Temple Dedication Date!

Hello Folks,

This week that passed by was a great one.  As a missionary we should strive to always feel the spirit and we get used to it, but this last week it was even stronger and we were able to do some great things.  But before I start, baptisms were a no go.  We had some problems with good old Lucy this last week.  He was really trying to mess things up, but don’t worry because things should be back on track this next Saturday.  Ok, so I did divisions with my ZL on Thursday (Elder Jensen).  We normally do divisions on Thursday because we can start divisions directly after district mtg.  This last week for District mtg I taught a lesson on how we need to leave Babylon and not return unto it or look back. In DyC 133 it talks about this and the importance of being clean as we are the vessels of the Lord and we also carry the vessels of the Lord. I have had a few problems with disobedience in my district and I figured this lesson would be fit to talk about.  I talked about the importance of fleeing from Babylon, not looking back, who do we serve (we made a list of the decisions we make everyday and see on who we are serving, God or Satan), and having our mirada puesta unicamente en la gloria de dios.(I don’t remember the exact phrase in English – DyC 88 67-68)  I used the example of lots wife and the Anti Nephi Lehis as they cleaned and buried their weapons of war and rebellion.  We talked about goals and the importance of constant improvement.  Its like what the article of Brad Wilcox, “His Grace is Sufficient”, said.  That Christ is like a mom paying for piano lessons for her child.  He doesn’t expect us to pay him back, he only expects us to practice.  God is with the professional piano players, and if we don’t practice and become professional, we aren’t going to feel comfortable living with him.  If we can’t even keep ourselves out of the world for 2 years, how are we going to do it when we return to the world?  So after talking about goals I had them write down their weapons of rebellion or the contrary things that they do, and had them set goals to improve them.  After that we buried them in a cement crate behind the church.

After the lesson we went and helped the Hermanas contact their area because they can’t knock doors and need our help for new investigators.  So we went as a district and knocked some doors to help.  Then we hopped on a bus with my box full of 35  BOMs. and headed back to Paraiso.  When we got there went to eat lunch with a member, but I was sick so just my companion ate.  Then we went and gave a bunch of awesome lessons.  Oh,  also during district mtg I was able to give blessings to everyone in the district.  I was already worn out physically and as I did my 7th blessing I about passed out.  I had to leave the room and have someone else give the last blessing. Kind of crazy how draining it was.  It strengthened my testimony that the priesthood is real and not just with that experience.  We gave a blessing to a member to help him with a new job that would really help him and his family do better and move up a bit.  He was really nervous and as we gave the blessing I could feel a power flowing from my arms and hands. I don’t really know how to describe it but it doesn’t happen very often.  Another experience was the first time my companion gave a blessing. He had never done one before, yet despite his lack of experience of the procedure to follow he did the blessing perfectly.  Afterwords he told me he didn’t even remember what he said, just that the words came out and flowed as he talked. This priesthood which we hold is real, and we need to keep ourselves tuned up and ready for when the Lord calls.

We had a big FHE with some members on Friday and we brought a 9 year old kid.  This guys is pilas.  The first time we met him we were teaching his aunt and cousins.  We taught about the word of wisdom and from that point he stopped drinking coffee and told his mom he wanted to  baptized.  In this lesson he sees my Book of Mormon that I always carry in my hand and asks to see it.  I give it to him and watch as he opens up directly to the Book of Mormon and reads 5 pages to himself.  The way he absorbed this book you would have though he was playing video games or something.  It was so neat to see that even small children, who are so sensitive to light and truth, can see the importance of this book even if he doesn’t understand everything.  The Book of Mormon has power not only in word, but in the spirit that it brings upon reading it.  We have been focusing on the importance of the Book of Mormon in conversion and how it is the KEY to help people understand our message.

We finally have a date for the dedication of the Temple!!!!!!!!!!!! March 17th.  The whole month of February will be the open house and then a couple of weeks to get the temple ready for the dedication. We have definitely felt the presence of Satan here as he has fought and caused such problems here in Honduras as we wait for this temple.  After the dedication the pressure won’t leave, I’m sure of that, but The Lord will arm his people with power and pour out blessing upon this land.  I’m really excited to be here for this and know the work is going to go crazy with the temple and the extra missionary help we will receive over the next couple of months.

Things are kind of rough with my companion, but im making the best of it.   But its good because with every companion I learn something different.  The Lord is always teaching us with all the people,  opportunities and environments in which he places us.  Lots of times we ask him to take away the problem, but he is just waiting for us to learn something.

Talking with the niece of Rosa this last week was also a highlight of the week.  She told me that as she talked with Rosa after church that they fought about who would do the proxy baptism for their mom and sister until they both were crying.  They still haven’t figured it out. haha.  Kelin really  wants to be baptized and is ready but she just has to get married.  We will see what happens.

We had a member come and meet with some of his friends this last Saturday.  We have a ton of good references, many of which are open to the gospel. The members are the key here.

We had some good service gigs last week which drained me and made me super tired, but it was worth it.  We painted one day and as we painted I got used to the paint and didnt even realize just how bad it was until I left the room 2 hours later. I had some huge brain damage. ha.  I was a zombie until I took a nap and drank a ton of water.  Now all is well, but next time I’m going to leave for air more often.

Well things are just peachy here.  Bedoingood.  We have the Christmas party this week.  Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

– ELDER JONES  O_O   (your missioncanary)

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A Wonderful Surprise

Hello my fellow norteamericanos (gringos, cheles, gueritos)

I had one of the most pleasant surprises this last week.  I have been thinking a lot about Rosa and Walter and wanting to know more about what is happening with them. I always get home too late to call, and in the morning we are always studying and I don’t think about it.  Well y’all know that we are teaching her niece here in el Paraiso.  We promised her during the week that we were going to come to bring them to church and help get all the kiddies dressed and ready.  When we got to their home at 8 in the morning, to my surprise Rosa answered the door. There is nothing better than that!  It was so great to see her and what was even better is she was getting ready to come to church and Walter was there too!  They came on Walters motorcycle Saturday and were going to leave after church.  I was able to chat a bit with Walter, as Rosa and Kelin were getting ready.  He has had a real change.  Like I said before he has always been serious about the things we teach but a bit timid, and for that reason he didn’t get baptized when I was there.  But with time and seeing his family grow in the gospel, and change for the better, he finally was baptized the first week of October.  I was going to return to the Trinity to baptize him but his mom died in September and they postponed the fecha.  It was a true change that I saw in him.  He was really hesitant about getting married, but now after seeing his wife be so strong and committed he has become a new man.  He talked to me how the gospel has blessed their lives and explained the little things that have happened in their lives that truly come from God.  He also told me that the Trinity has cooled down a lot and that they haven’t had a death since July.  Thats remarkable.  When I was there last December we had 7 deaths in a week, and I listened to a guy murdered behind my house.

The church is growing little by little and all are excited for the temple.  Yesterday as you know was fast Sunday and everybody was bearing testimony.  Rosa has never had fear of those kinds of things even when not in her own ward.  She got up and gave a testimony that I will never forget.  I can’t really describe what she said very well, neither the feelings I felt, but I know that this family was meant for the gospel.  If I came to Honduras to just baptize this family I would be happy – mission accomplished.  Now with Walter baptized they can be sealed in the temple in a year.  Rosa talked about how grateful she was for the temple and now that even though her sister has gone on she can do the work for her, and for her family, and help those who are still alive who don’t know of this gospel.  It was astounding because she talks like a member that has years and years and years.  She understands exaltation, the importance of temples, and many other principles.  She is going to come more often to help us get Kelin baptized.  The problem is that her husband is scared of commitment and doesn’t want to get married.  It helped a lot to have Walter there supporting him.  I hope their example will have a profound affect on them.

This week we are chuck full of service. Tomorrow we are going to paint, Wednesday we are going to chop weeds out in a far far village, and Friday we are going to go harvest beans up in the mountains.  Im excited for all the opportunities we have to serve and truly use our time to help those in need.

We also watched the devotional last night.  It really touched me and I learned some really important things, things that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Although the words of the First Presidency were profound and inspiring, it set the environment for the spirit to teach me what I want to do this month of December.  Last Christmas was special, but I was caught up a lot in home and missing stuff.  This year to tell y’all the truth I’d rather be here.  Its all about love.  True love in which all things unimportant are tossed aside and we learn to love unconditionally as the Savior.  This is what I want to focus in this month.  My Zl is really tuned in and had the wonderful revelation that instead of doing a christmas party all for us we would do something truly special and touching this Christmas.  The original plan was to have a big christmas party with food and games for us, but now we are going to bring a bunch of people off the street and treat them like kings.  True children of our God.  For a couple of hours we will give them the chance to feel the love of God through us. A love which they do not know of.  We are not doing this to have good dats, not even to baptize.  We are doing this because we love the people.  When we love them we love our God, and in loving God we will take care of his other children.  I believe it will be an experience that we will never forget.  This idea came to my Zl when we had a movie activity here in the stake center.  A woman and her three children entered the church to get out of the rain and went upstairs to see the movie.  Upon finishing the movie they went to use the restroom and leave.  The mens room didn’t have anymore paper to dry hands and as they were in the restroom Elder Jensen (my zl) asked her to get paper towels out of the dispenser that you push down to release paper. The woman touched it with a finger.  Then as Jensen encouraged her and told her how to do it she still didn’t understand.  Something so simple and normal for us, was foreign and strange.  Her worry is her and her three young children and how they will survive another day and not be hungry.  They know not of riches temporal or spiritual.  So this experience sparked the idea.  I believe it will defi(nate)ly be a special Christmas this year.

If everything goes smoothly we should have 6 baptisms this Saturday.  Please pray that they all go through!

Hey don’t worry about calling President.  Our whole group is going to go home a few weeks early to be able to get to classes.  I just need you to figure out when I need to sign up for classes.  It should be in the next couple of months.  We are going to figure out a date together.  It will depend on when the changes fall. I will be coming home at mini changes, but the exact date isn’t sure.  By May I will already have my itinerary. Pretty crazy.

Im so glad that all of you are doing so well and that you have enjoyed being together so much as family.  I love you all!!!!!!!!

– ELDER JONES  O_O   (your missioncanary)

Zone Conference

Hello folks.  I wrote a bunch of stuff that happened this week in my agenda so things should go more smoothly this week.

First off I would like to tell y’all some good news.  We had Zone conference this last wednesday and President Hernandez announced some things that came from the area 70 of Central America.  The exciting news is that we will be able to Skype this Christmas.  Yup you heard right folks, you will get to see my ugly mug on christmas!  WHOOOOO!   We already found a family that will let us do it at their home.  Another thing we learned is that sister missionaries that come here to Central America can no longer knock doors. Jamas de los Jamases.  They just have to work with the wards and members and that will be a bit hard on them.  The hermanas in my district were a little distressed upon hearing that.  We were also told the story of “One Righteous Man”, which Elder Cook gave about one righteous missionary that changed his mission and the people he met where ever he went.  He was going to be sent to Paraguay to open an area.  It was one of the worst places to work and he wrote a letter to the president with a list of negative comments  but said at the end, that he didn’t believe any of them, and that by Christmas day he would have 20 or 25 baptisms.  By Christmas day he had 18 baptisms, and in the week after christmas he had 11 more. It really showed the importance of faith and truly relying on and trusting in the Lord. One of the AP´s talked about a topic that was really good for me to hear.  He talked about how here in the mission there are lots of problems and trials and we can choose to react like water or Sprite.  Upon being shaken and opened Sprite explodes with the pressure, and the other is normal. What makes the difference is us.  Who we choose to be, and how we choose to respond to different situations here in the mission and in life in general.  This last couple of weeks I’ve been frustrated  quite often and I’ve busted my cap at my companion.  He is like a kid sometimes and he knows my buttons really really really well.  So I just told him look, if you want chips you push B23 on the vending machine.  That happens with me too.  If you kick my legs(B34)  you are going to get some nice words. So I went on a list of little things like that that in all reality don’t matter, but satan was using him to make me angry and lose the spirit.  He was always telling me be patient and saying that it doesn’t make sense getting angry because it doesn’t help anything.  Which is true, but as I change my sprite to water he needed to chill off.  So we made a list and now we are Patrick and spongebob, and not Tom and Jerry.  I was taught a good lesson,  especially since this is a big weakness for me.   Anyway the conference was nice and gave me some good thoughts on how we can work more effectively.

Ive continued to be sick this week.  There’s a really bad viral bug going around.  EVERYONE is sick. So sick that people are going house to house giving free injections so an epidemic doesn’t start.  Yeah, nuts. I was walking around with a fever again on Saturday and Sunday.   Saturday was really busy because I had to come to Danli to do 3 baptismal interviews and it took a long time.  I was hoping to use the morning to chill and study and rest, but that didn’t happen.  After church Sunday I took some medication, made some tea, and went to sleep to sweat it out.  Now I feel a lot better.  I also make lots of tea.  Ive made sunflower tea, lemongrass tea, and cinnamon tea.  Thats been helping me be able to hear. I had a lack of hearing in my right ear.  Anyway I’m better now. No worries.

Yes I got your package.  Im going to cut down a tree and put the presents under it.  I’m going to the Colonia today to buy a apple, cinnamon air freshener.  I already have lights and christmas music from tab choir, Josh groben, and Sufjan Stevens.  What more do I need?

One pair of my shoes finally died.  The back heel caved in.  How?  No idea.  I think its all the rocks.  Yep.

Of all the interviews I have done for baptism I had my favorite one this last Saturday.  It is a girl who works for a part member family who are really good to the missionaries.  They are successful, so they are nice enough to give us about 5 meals a week.  Anyway, this girl and her mom, who also works in the house cooking food and cleaning and running the store on the side of their house, started receiving the lessons about 3 weeks ago.  The mom didn’t want anything, but the daughter had some interest.  When I started the interview with her she told me her conversion story that happened in the short space of 3 weeks.  Before even hearing about the BOM she had a dream where she saw the numbers 1820, a rock, and a gold book.  Kind of familiar right?  I gave a Joseph Smith pamphlet to her sister in the park a couple of days earlier without knowing who she was.  This girl picked it up and saw the connection in her dream.  When they had the next lesson she was asking the questions not the elders.  ha.  She prayed one night and sat reading the Book of Mormon and had a moment where everything made sense.  Authority, the restoration, prophets, Joseph Smith, everything.  It just clicked. From that point she decided to be baptized.  She had some other really neat dreams also which only added to her conversion.  Overall it was a really neat experience for me to see someone who already had such a strong testimony of the gospel even before being baptized.  She reminded me a lot of Rosa.

Also after a whole year of talking to this guy and sending him really nice emails, Jerry the forro guy is going to do my scripture cases.  I payed last December and he is just barely starting them.  I should have my Christmas present from last year for this year!

We had a neat conversation last night with a guy as we were walking to an appointment.    I live in the capital of coffee and for that very reason I hear choruses of quiere cafe! all day long.  So I use that as an opportunity to open the mouth and talk about the word of wisdom.  People think that if they give us coffee we will go away and stop bugging them. hehe  Not the case with me.  So this guy said cafe and we started talking to him.  Turns out he likes to drink but wants to change his life and look for God in his life.  He actually is one of our neighbors.  So this week we will go contact him.

Ok.  Well I’ll beeseenul8r.

Love you,

– ELDER JONES  O_O   (your missioncanary)

Still in Pariaso

This last weekend passed pretty chill.  A lot more peaceful then expected.  However in Dan Li, which is 30 minutes away from my area (where we go for district meetings and p-day) 2 policemen, 6 men, and a political candidate were killed last Thursday.  Dan Li went on lock down from Friday until today.  Because we are far enough away we were to keep working but always with an eye looking out for any sign of problems.  Saturday morning we went to give service at the very south part of my area in the very last house of paraiso to dig a big hole.  It’s about 5 meters deep and 2 meters wide. It’s to be used as a place for sewage.  Because they don’t have sewage tubes that go out to this area they just make a tube to this hole and then cover it up when it gets full.  Anyways we got there early and when the other elders came they told us that they passed the police station on their way and saw a truck full of bullet holes and blood.  There was a baptism that day so we just kept working and Sunday we found out that some people were killed here too.  Sunday all the missionaries of the mission stayed in there houses, and only went to church in a car.  I was able to finish D y C, so that was really nice.  Now I’m going to start the Book of Mormon again but this time I’m going to read it out loud in Spanish to improve my pronunciation and to have more help from the gift of tongues.  I’ve noticed that as I strive more to learn Spanish and am constant in my efforts I am able to speak much better and fluent.  I can always speak, but sometimes there are those days when it is just like second nature, and all the words I want to say come too easily to be true.  Kind of neat to experience even though I am already comfortable speaking Spanish.

We went to a part of my area so far out that it takes about an hour to get there on foot.  It is called Kuidali. We left at 3:30 last Wednesday with a member to get to know some of the members and less active members out there and to establish a base of work.  We ended up leaving at 6:12ish and it was already dark.  We set back on the road and we walked in complete darkness for about 20 minutes.  People get robbed on that road a lot during the night; since there were three of us we didn’t have any fear.  As we walked back the sky was clear and I could see all the stars so clearly due to the fact that there was no streetlights or house lights.  I’ve been studying a lot about the preexistence, the second coming, and all that God has done and it made me think just how marvelous it is that we are here on this earth.  When were are focused in the things of this world many time we are lost in darkness just how we were on this path, but when we raise our view and try to perceive and understand our Father in Heaven it gives us so much more perspective and a clarity of life.  Maintaining that perspective is so important in this life because it is how we view this life.  Depending on how we perceive our actions, the actions of others, our circumstances, etc, influences how we will respond or live this life. It’s like the scripture in d y c that says that we walk in darkness at midday.  DYC 95:5-6.  Satan is so good at blinding us with all his distractions, pitfalls, and lies that we feel so lost that there is no hope. But we just have to look up to Him our Savior, and change our course bit-by-bit, walking by faith in this darkness, until we reach the light.  I try to look up every morning to try and gain that perspective so I can live according to his will.  This perspective is the pure love of Christ. When we are in possession of this love we are changed because we feel, see, and sense everything with a different perspective.  There is a reason that the first and greatest commandment is thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart might mind and strength.  If we truly have this love we understand his love, what he feels for us, and we act according to how he wishes us to act.  You just have to choose to put the right type of glasses on in the morning.

Its cold here and I still haven’t bought a blanket. ha.  I’ve been doubling shirts and socks at night to stay warm.  We were walking into the house the other day when I saw what I thought was a snake head. Turns out to be a caterpillar that my comp decided to make his pet.  He put it in a box and now it has already started its cocoon.  Pretty soon it will be a cute little butterfly.

I decided not to be lazy anymore and I finally wrote some letters.  I haven’t written letters in a long time.  I also haven’t received letters in a long time.  That’s when I had the epiphany that generally if one wishes to receive cards one must write them in return 🙂

Last p-day I had food from Spain.  We went to eat dinner with a family that had been in Spain for years and years.  Actually they have over 13 years gone back and forth in between the 2 countries.  They made a good potato tortilla, which was basically a big omelet with meat, potatoes eggs, and cheese, with an apple and orange lettuce salad, and to drink water, sugar, and oats.  For dessert we had a cooked banana with a peace of ham on top.  Yeah, definitely strange. It was basically a banana and bacon.  It was interesting but good.

We have zone conference this week and hopefully 5 baptisms.  They are still a bit sketchy but I have faith that it will happen at some point even if not this week.

All is well in Zion (not the carnal security kind – look for the scripture reference.) I’m going to go take a snooze and then study. I’m a boi skowt. Avenchur!!!!!!!

Love yall.

D y C 136:32-33 – I read this yesterday and really liked it.

– ELDER JONES  O_O   (your missioncanary)

Nathan’s Testimony

Hola mi familia.  ¿Que ondas?

Everything is smooth here – like peaches and cream.  Like I said last week we should be getting some nice baptisms this month.  But we have changes Wednesday and word on the street is that I’m a goner.  Not sure yet, but I feel like I’m going south.  Who knows.

This next week due to the elections we can’t leave the house. Depending on how bad it is depends on if it is Saturday and Sunday or just Sunday.  It gets pretty dangerous because supposedly there is going to be another golpe de estado (coup d’etat) like back in 2009.  We will mosey our way to church, but right after we have to get back to the house.

I’m so glad Parker is taking his mission seriously.  Studying is so important.  I’m almost finished with D y C and it has been really eye opening to understand new things and get use of these revelations. Everything makes sense.  Everything said in the scriptures is written for a reason, even the smallest phrase, or type of words.  It’s amazing.

I am still pretty sick.  I just have a cough now but I was thinking it was bronchitis or something because I had a couple days when it was hard to breath.  I am grateful things are getting better now.

We had a very blessed day yesterday.  We had 7 investigators in church.  They all showed up on their own too.  We stopped by some folk in the morning, but they couldn’t come, and then all of the sudden other folks came, including people we didn’t know.  We taught some lessons during church to set up a basis with the new people, and then set up other appointments.  Anyway it was really nice to have that after struggling weeks and weeks to have some investigators at church. After many trials come the blessings.

I know that this work is true.  What we do here is so important and changes the lives of so many. I’m glad that I have 4 brothers that will leave and do the same thing.  It may seem simple to say this but I know that the church is true.  I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  I know that we are children of our Heavenly Father.  I know that each one of us has a purpose and gifts given to us to fulfill that purpose.  Just as Christ grew grace by grace we also follow him in this way.  As we understand our callings, mission, and gifts, our lives transform from something temporal to something eternal.  Something that will perish at our time of death, to something that truly matters and gives meaning to our actions.  Agency is a power that we have to combat Satan in these tough times.  Our willingness to use this agency in the premortal life gave us the gift of a body and this life of challenge and trial and happiness.  We still possess this gift and upon gaining knowledge this agency gives us power to choose the right in all moments.  I know that God lives and loves us.  He always listens to us and keeps us close, even when we feel far from Him.    Jesus is the Christ and our medium of salvation, and his gospel is true.

Lovetomybelovedfambly ❤

– ELDER JONES  O_O   (your missioncanary)

In the back of a truck – getting a ride after church

Me and Jensyboy, my ZL

The cutest little girl I have ever met…I wish you could hear her talk!

B-ball at the stake center

P-day at the Waterfall

Hello my beloved family.  Things are peachy here.  We started the day today by getting up at 4:40 in the morning to catch a bus to go to Dan Li, to meet up with the zone to go to a waterfall.  I was thinking it was just going to be a normal trail, but we ended up walking really far. Actually we walked up the river directly to the waterfall.  We had to climb and repel in some parts.  Not really big though, I didn’t need to use the rope much.  When we finally got up there some were already completely soaked.  So we joined in the fun and climbed up a ledge on the waterfall and let the freezing cold water soak us until we turned numb.  It was really nice.  I got some good photos, but I lent my cord to someone 2 months ago and it was lost.  SOOO I can’t really take off my photos right now.  I’m going to look for something to take them right off my SD card like a card reader.  However I have lots of photos from other missionaries so you can see what’s happening here in the hood of Honduras.

Walter was going to be baptized and even had a date set, but his mom died 3 days before so that threw everything off.  I was even going to go back and baptize him.  That was about 2 months ago and I am hopeful that after a little time he will still be baptized.

The members here are great and they feed us for one of our meals each day.  It’s usually a plate of beans, eggs, cheese and tortillas, which to me tastes like chocolate cake.  I really do not have problems eating anything now.  Even with the meat.  I’m not a fan of meat, yall know that I like BONLESS chicken.  Well I have to say I have grown a level in my meat maturity.  I now eat normal boned chicken.  Yep.  heh. After eating cow tongue, intestines, and many unknown parts of many different animals, those bones really don’t disturb me.  There is a Mexican restaurant here called Jorocho, which is awesome.  The owner was almost baptized and is really kind to us.  He gives us a 5 lempira discount on all that we order. Ck ck. We usually eat there if we don’t have food, or we make something in the house.

 

 

We are Teaching People, Not Lessons

This week was an interesting week to say the least.  Tons of rain, and a naked man walking around the city.  Just to explain a bit, every morning it is really clear here.  Sometimes it rains in the morning, but almost afternoon it has about an hour when it just POURS. I’m talking I need to buy a boat to raft around the streets to knock doors, kind of rain. It’s actually kind of nice though because it has been sweltering hot.  It makes it kind of hard to go out because we will walk 30 minutes to the bottom of our area, or go into the mountains to find someone, and de repente I’m swimming. It’s good though because my boots are finally getting some good use.

We were walking to the church Saturday morning at 6:10 to go get some of the youth to help us with an activity, when far off I see this guy standing on a corner about 100 yards from me.  I thought he was wearing like tan shorts or something, but then I realized that he was completely naked and what I thought were short, were actually just a tan line.  We spooked him a bit so he left and started walking down another road.  We sat there laughing and a bit stunned to see that, and watched as this lady came out of her house to go to work and was just struck with amazement as she watched this guy walk past.

I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting about being a missionary.  The first person got up and talked for 7.54 minutes (i timed it) and then the next person talked for 9.34 minutes.  So basically when it was my turn, the clock was saying 9:30 and I had a lot of time to speak.  It actually went really well.  It was the first talk I have given where I actually felt comfortable.  I wasn’t sweating, didn’t have my heart pounding, and I didn’t even read my talk.  Man, I can’t even do that in English.  I just wrote down some quotes, scriptures, and outlined my talk in a way it would make sense.  I knew I had a ton of time so I just talked and talked without looking at the clock.  I ended up talking for 25 minutes.  Not bad right?  Most definitely an answer to my prayers.

I don’t know if you remember when Rosas sister died last June.   Well she was from here in Paraiso, and I was talking to Rosa the other day and she gave me the number of her niece.   So we went and talked to her the other day.  They are actually really positive.  Rosas sister was going to get baptized right before she died, but couldn’t because she was too sick.  Bad news right?  Nope, just part of God’s plan.  One of the last things her mom said to her before she died is that she should keep listening to the missionaries.  For some reason the missionaries stopped coming, but we found her the other day.  With her Mom gone I think she will feel great excitement about the temple and the work that can be done for her family.  I love how Preach My Gospel works.  You gain a testimony and understanding of the doctrines and principles of the gospel and then you apply them right to the needs of the people. We are teaching people, not lessons.

We have a ton of youth here that are getting ready to go on a mission and are excited to help us.  They want to get involved in what we are doing they really look up to us.  Kind of cool.

Last P-day we made baleadas.  We made everything.  Tortillas, salsa, eggs, beans, you name it.  It turned out really delicious. Then today we went to a church were they have GRASS.  Yeah lujoso.  So we played football, and futbol on the little cancha.  It was really nice.  The only bummer was there were some mean ants that were biting my feet.  I have welts on them now.  Really nice though.  We just chilled, then we went to eat and now I’m here using the Internet.  Then we’ll take the 30-minute bus back to our area, wash clothes (by hand), study, teach a lesson, and then go eat dinner.  Good day.  Anyway things are always a little hard here in the area, but it is all part of the trial of our faith. Our goal is to find 3 chosen, prepared families for this next month to baptize.  We are applying the guidelines of “Drawing Down the Powers of Heaven.” and using our collective faith to boost our performance. I’m actually really excited.

Well my family, things are well here.  Things are well there. I think Ill stay here for a while longer.  I love you all.

– ELDER JONES  O_O   (your missioncanary)