Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nov 4- Hey! Hey! Hey!

Dear Family and Friends,

How's life? Mine is pretty great! Fun first for me this week: Daylight savings! I got an extra hour of sleep so that was pretty fun! I'm just not too exited for when it switches back and we lose an hour of sleep! haha I like Arizona. No daylight savings just keeps it simple and easy.

Well, its been another awesome missionary week. Simple, but awesome. Nothing too amazing happened to write on, but life is simply great. I am happy, healthy, and having the time of my life!

This weekend was our stake conference and I wanted to share a couple insights that I took from the speakers. First, know that the theme of the conference was Missionary Work and thus the Quotes/Ideas are missionary oriented =] Missionaries Missionaries Missionaries. Its great!

The first idea I liked was a quote that was said by a woman that was talking about how members can get involved in missionary work. She was talking about how, at times, opening our mouths to share the Gospel can be a little bit daunting and we don't know where to start, but then she gave this advice: "First Invite the Savior to help us Invite." Its a pretty simple idea, but, I feel, very powerful. We aren't alone in this work! The whole purpose behind missionary work is inviting people to come unto Christ; therefore, Christ should be the first person we turn to for help. He is going to help us and push us in this journey! =]

The Second Idea comes from a talk that our mission president gave at the conference. He talked about Christ's parables of the Lost Sheep, Coin, and Prodigal Son foudn in Luke 15. He first pointed out that in each of the 3 cases there was a sense of urgency/frantic-ness to find the lost thing: The shepherd left all of the other 99 sheep to find just one. The woman tore apart the house to find the coin. The father RAN to meet the son from far away. He then pointed out that in each of the 3 cases when the lost thing was found, immense love and joy was shown: The shepherd cradled the lost sheep and threw him over his shoulder to carry him safely back to the herd. When the coin was found the woman called her friends together to rejoice. When the prodigal son came home, the father clothed him, the father wrapped his arm around his shoulders, and celebrated by having a great feast! Like wise, there are those that are lost among us. The Lord is hastening his work and pulling out all of the stops to find and help them. We are those that need to find, help, and lift with love.

K I hope all of you have an AMAZING week!! Love you tons!

Love,
Elder Stones
 
This is sister Arguetta. She makes the best tortillas in the world!! Also, right before we took the picture she said, "Ooh If Im holding these it will look like you all gave them to me." And then grabbed the flowers. haha Cute old lady =]
 
Elder Gonzalez's face cracks me up in this one! haha

Oct 28- Another Solid Week in Providence

Hello all! This week was simple and sweet. Not a ton happened, but life was just as great as ever =] I just have a fun story to share this week!

Story -- Street Contacting. The missionary work is really moving here in Providence so usually we don't have much time to go knock doors/ talk to people for long periods of time on the streets. Usually our days are appointment to appointment with investigators, less active members of the church, or members, which is a HUGE blessing. Well, one day this week we had a couple free hours so we decided to go to Downtown Providence and talk to people. If I am being completely honest, knocking doors and street contacting scare me a little! Well, not all of it scares me, just the initial meeting: the moments after you knock on a door and you are waiting to see who is on the other side or the first few moments before the conversation starts on the street -- Thats the "scary" part. Once the ball gets rolling on the conversation/ the ice is broken, I am completely fine and comfortable. But if the initial meeting goes bad it can be pretty awkward. Haha So... street contacting gets my heart pumping. So, like I said, one day this week we went to downtown and talked to people on the streets. We went to a park, said a prayer, and started looking for people that we could talk with. A little ways a way I saw two guys sitting on a bench speaking Spanish and I thought to myself, 'Hey, I could go tell those guys I am learning Spanish and ask them to Practice with me!" So thats what I did! I walked up to them and said, "Hola! Me Llamo Elder Stones. Soy un misionero y estoy aprendiendo espanol. Podrian practicar mi espanol conmigo?" They agreed and everything was sweet from there! It was awesome. I asked them lots of questions and we talked for a few minutes about "everyday" things. Then they said, "Your Spanish is pretty good! Why are you learning again?" And then I was able to tell them that I was a missionary, what a missionary does, and we were able to talk about religious stuff. It was awesome! One of the guys had to leave half way through the conversation so I only got to give him a card with our number on it, but the other guy gave me his number and we set up an appointment to meet this week. Super sweet experience! Conquered my fears. You guys can do it too =] Just gotta open your mouth!

This week I have been thinking a lot about prayer! My testimony of prayer has been strengthened so much while I have been on my mission. One thing in particular that prayer has helped me learn a little better is my/our relationship with God. He really is our Father, and he cares for us like an earthly parent would, but even more so!! Thats why prayer is so important! He wants to hear from us every single day and he wants to know what is going on in our lives. Of course he knows every single thing that happens to us every single day, but he wants to hear about it from US. Things that we are grateful for. Things we are struggling with. Things we need help with. God loves us and wants the best for us. He is anxiously waiting to bless us with the things we need, we just need to ask =] Its amazing!

K! I love you all SO MUCH!! I hope you have an amazing week and remember: 1) open your mouths a little more this week! and 2) Pray =]

Love,

Elder Stones
 
Pumpkin Carving for P-Day
 
Guess which one is mine haha



 
Old Monestary that was turned into a library. Its a little bit of a drive out to it, but its SUPER pretty and totally worth it!
 

Oct 21- Solid week in Providence

Hello Family and Friends!
Life is simply great here in Providence! Theres nothing too huge to report on this week, just working hard and having fun. Elder Gonzalez is an awesome missionary and I am continually reminded how blessed I am to have him as my companion. We are different in a lot of ways, but our differences make our companionship super strong and effective. He makes up for areas that I lack in and vice versa. For example: He is literally a super genious.... and theennnn theres me haha. As a trainee he asks me a lot of questions that never even crossed my mind when I was being trained, which is good because I have to stop and think about what I have learned and how I have applied it. Its a little different because I like to learn from example: watching and experimenting. Elder Gonzalez is very analytical and learns from the books and facts. So, it has been fun to teach but, even more, to learn from a super genious! (He got accepted into Princeton for after his mission.) And dont worry, on top of learning we, of course, are always having fun =] Missionary work is just fun! Theres nothing else to it haha
Hmm... Okay update on our investigators. We are teaching 4 people right now. Grisauris is a woman in her late 20's who we have been teaching for a few months now and we are going to extend a baptismal invitation this week. Magali is an older lady who is very strong in her faith and has a WONDERFUL testimony of prayer and a strong relationship with God. She is very sweet and genuine, she really knows what it means to exercise faith, and she has wonderful answers to the questions we ask her. She came to church for the first time yesterday. =] Then theres Jyel. He is a 13 year old kid who always asks TONS of questions. Quick awesome experience we had with him this week: So, he was introduced to the church by his grandma last year and was taught by missionaries, but because of the business of summer, the teaching stopped. We decided to drop by this week and see if he would like to be taught again. Things went really well, but he cant really speak Spanish so he told us he was thinking about going to the English branch that met in downtown. Elder Gonzalez was inspired and asked him to go inside his house, pray, and ask God what he would want him to do. Wwaited outside, fully expecting him to receive the answer that he should go to the English branch and not the Spanish Ward. It was definitely the logical choice, because although they speak a lot of English to the youth in the Spanish ward, he could get lost a lot. Anyway, Jyel came outside and we asked him how it went. He said, "Well, I'm going to the Spanish Ward." We were pretty surprised! We asked him how he got his answer and he gave one of the best explanations I have ever heard. He said, "Well, when I asked God if I should go to the English Branch it felt like I wasn't talking to anyone, just to myself. When I asked him if I should go to the Spanish ward, it felt like someone was listening. Thats how I know I need to go the Spanish Ward." It was a super amazing experience, and we are excited that we get to teach him. Our last investigator is named Efrain. He is the guy that called out to Elder Collins and I on the street a couple months ago when we were walking and told us that he took the lessons years ago in Guatemala, but nothing ever came from it. Elder Gonzalez and I miraculously ran into him again this past week, set up a lesson, and we are meeting again this week =] Super cool!
Well, I just want all of you to know that the Lord answers prayers. He is our Father and wants the best for us, we just need to ask for it. Pray every single day =] It is more powerful than we think.
LOVE YOU ALL!!
Love,
 Elder Stones


Generations



Most of the towns we ride in are pretty ghetto, but every once in a while you find a nice spot like this =] haha
Exchanges with Elder Berthelson-Elder Berto!! Love this kid! Together since the MTC!

Oct 16- 2 weeks to update!

Wow! It feels like I haven't emailed in forever and there is a lot to update on! This email might be a jumbled mess of information and events, so I apologize in advance.

First: Shout out for Conference! It was amazing! I can't wait for the talks to come out in the Liahona/ Ensign next month so that we can read them and study them a little more. Its totally true what they say: General Conference is really exciting on your mission. It was like Christmas! Haha!

Second: Fernando's baptism went great! After his baptism he was the happiest I have ever seen him, and everytime we have seen him since then he has had an extra happiness about him. He is such an amazing kid! I love him! Ill send some pictures of the baptism a little later =]

Third: Transfers! There is A LOT that has happened with transfers. First, Elder Collins went home last week! Its crazy! Our 12 weeks together flew by and I am really going to miss him. He was an awesome trainer and there was never a dull moment being his companion. Quick funny story: So, last Wednesday was P-Day and we used it to finish packing up Elder Collins stuff and get everything ready to send home (thus why I didnt email. Sorry!) At the end of the day he had a few things that wouldnt fit in his bags/ boxes that he wanted to send home: 2 paintings of boats, a bead curtain, a tea set, and an old typewriter. He is a goof. Anyway, the Sister Missionaries were able to take us to a UPS store in downtown Providence so that we could mail off his boxes and hopefully his other random stuff too; the only problem was that they couldn't give us a ride back, but we, being smart prepared missionaries, didn't think too much about it. So, we get to the UPS store, find out that mailing everything that he wanted to mail would be WAY too expensive, decide to just send off his boxes, and, when all was said and done, we were stuck in downtown Providence (about an hour walk from home) with 2 big paintings, a bead curtain, and an old typewriter. Stuff like that happened to Elder Collins and I way too often haha. Anyway, after walking through downtown Providence with said miscellaneous items for about 30 minutes, we finally found a member to give us a ride home. That was Elder Collins and I last big adventure together!

Before I continue with transfers, I should give you a little background info! A couple weeks ago I got a call from President asking me if I would train one of the new Spanish missionaries coming to the mission. I was thinking, "Train?! I only have 4 months! I'm the one that needs more training!" haha It was a little bit of a scary thought because I'm still learning the language and feel like I'm just barely getting the hang of being a missionary, but lets just say that I have learned something very important from this transfer experience and this is it: Heavenly Father knows each one of us perfectly. He knows exactly what we need in any moment. He knows when to push us and when to give us a little bit of extra help. Lets just say, the Lord blessed me with A LOT of extra help in the form of my "trainee" companion =] His name is Elder Gonzalez, he is from Utah, originally from Mexico, he has the "18-year-old, just graduated from high school" missionary fire, can speak 4 languages fluently (aka he is going to/already has helped my Spanish a ton. We talk almost completely in Spanish together), he is insanely smart, he has so many awesome insights, and basically... he is pre-trained. So yeah, our companionship rocks. Elder Berthelson (my AZ buddy from the MTC) is staying here in Providence too AND his companion is native from Mexico as well! Basically, we are going to be a Pro Spanish speaking district! We are pretty pumped =]

Well, that is most of the major stuff that has happened the past two weeks and I think it will do for now! I love you all tons and tons and tons and hope life is treating you all well =]

Love,
Elder Stones
 
Fernando's and Aaron's Baptism- No body is looking at the camera... but its the best picture we got haha

 
Elder Collin's and I with Jeffrey, one of the Young men from the ward
 
Elder Gonzalez and I
 
We did an activity with the youth in which they got the opportunity to share the book of Mormon on an "airplane" (aka chairs set up in rows like an airplane with a little bit of special lighting and a microphone so that we could have the announcing flight attendant) Anyway, we put on mustaches and became "flight attendant missionaries" on the airline: Celestial Airs. Too fun (Thank you Turner family for the mustaches =] )
 

Sept 30- A week of little miracles

Where did this past week go? It flew by even quicker than usual! Maybe because tons of fun stuff happened =]

This weekend we took a trip to the Boston temple to do baptisms with some recent converts and some members that had never been. It was simple, sweet, and beautiful. The Spirit was so strong and the members loved it. Such a good trip! Temples are simply beautiful.

Also, this week we had some pretty sweet little miracles happen here in Providence. First, all this month we have been trying to set up a time to teach this older lady, Magali, who is interested in learning more about the church. It was our goal to set up a teaching appointment with her by the end of the month, but we had been struggling to find a time in which a member's schedule fit with Magali's schedule so that the member could join us in the lesson. It was the 27th and, with a full weekend, we knew the appointment would have to happen the next day or we wouldn't meet our goal to meet with her in Sept. Well, in our nightly planning for the next day, we found a 2 hour block that we had open, which would be perfect for a lesson with Magali. Now we just had to find out if her schedule and the member's schedule would also work. We called the member, and he was good to join us. Score =]. We called Magali and asked her if she was free the next day to which she replied, "ah I'm pretty busy tomorrow, what time were you thinking?" "4" we said. "Wow that's actually perfect!! I will see you then." So, after a month of trying to set something up, we finally had that "little miracle." Not too big, but just a little testimony that if we are doing what we are supposed to do, God will do his part to help us with our Goals. And not just missionary goals!! That applies to all of our life goals too =] Okay, second miracle, which happened yesterday, that I still can't believe happened! Remember Fernando, the young man that I was telling you all about last week that we have been teaching for a few months? Well... he has decided to be Baptized!! He was talking with his dad (who joined the church a couple years ago) and said he just had a "lightbulb moment." So yesterday, out of the blue, Elder Collins and I get a text from Fernando's Dad that just says, "Fernando says yes." Our mouths literally dropped open! It was so crazy because since we started teaching him, the thought of baptism worried him, even up until a couple days ago. But now he feels comfortable and is really excited! He is going to get baptized next weekend in between conference sessions!! Miracle experience =]

So little thought for this week: Conference is coming up this next weekend. Do something to make it special! Elder Collins and I found a little "Conference Countdown" paper chain in the Liahona that we cut out and put together. Each day the chain has something new to do like, "Explain to someone why conference is special to you" or "Write down some questions that you want to have answered during Conference". Funny story, Its actually a chain for kids. So one day it asked us to "Draw your favorite Prophet from the Scriptures." I have a pretty fun drawing above my study desk now =] hahaha Just make this week special and get in the mindset to learn some great things from the Prophet and Apostles.

Little teaser for Conference: Quote from President Monson - "No podemos dirigir los vientos, pero podemos ajustar las velas."

Simple and Sweet. I Love it.
Love You all!!!

Love,
Elder Stones

 
Picture of us with some of the members after the temple!

 
Took a wrong turn this day and rode 6 miles in the wrong direction. Had to a get a picture next to the street that we finally decided to turn around at. I really promise I wasn't upset haha
 
We were riding in downtown after early morning seminary last week and just thought we should get a picture in front of this sweet cathedral.
 
 

Sept 23- Birthday, Camping, Wedding, Baptism

Hello Family and Friends!!

I thought I wouldn't have much to write about this week, but looking back, I realized that a ton has happened! First, we had Elder Collin's birthday, which was a super fun, crazy day! One of the members threw a little party for Elder Collins that night so we decided to bring our younger investigator, Fernando, a long with us and we had tons of fun and got some good pictures. Fernando has been coming to church now for like 2 months and he is such an amazing kid. The ward loves him, the young men in the ward love him, and he loves all of them. He fits in so well and he is really starting to develop his own testimony of the Church. He even goes to early morning seminary with the kids in the ward!! (We went with him last week. Now I can say I have been to early morning seminary haha =] ) In one of our lessons this week he told Elder Collins and I that he loves to read the Book of Mormon at school during his breaks because he "feels like it solves problems that nothing else can." He literally said those words! It was awesome! Haha anyway, I love that kid.

We also got permission to go camping with the men in our ward this weekend! We weren't allowed to stay the night, but it was still awesome. We helped them set up the tents (the ward struggled with that a bit. Being able to set up a tent is a nice benefit from doing Boy Scouts haha), helped make the fire, had HUGE grilled sausages for dinner, and had an awesome fireside about how the Lord qualifies us for the tasks which he gives us. The ward here doesn't do camping trips very often so they LOVED it. The brotherhood in the ward was really strengthened and the young men had a blast =]
Then to put the "cherry on top" of an already great week, our ward had a wedding and baptism this weekend! It was pretty special. Andres has been waiting two years for his "wife-to-be's" divorce papers to come in from Guatemala so that they could be married and he could get baptized. The papers finally came in a few weeks ago and his years of waiting and trudging through hardship finally came to an end with an incredibly fun wedding and a great baptism. Elder Collins and I got to help out the Sister who made the wedding cake by making some Fondant flowers. Not my forte. (Deanna, we might need to work on my flower making skills when I get home haha). But the cake turned out great, the wedding was a crazy party (SO much food), and the baptism was simple and perfect. Good week =]

Quick scripture I found in my studies this week that I want to share with you all, but first, a little background: There are a group of people in bondage, supporting a terrible work load, and feeling very much overwhelmed. In the midst of this trail, they begin pouring out their hearts to God for help and support. This is his reply: Mosiah 24:14-

14 And I will also ease the aburdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand asbwitnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their cafflictions.
I love this scripture! There are a few things that we can learn. First, if we are feeling burdened, overwhelmed and stressed with our responsibilities (work, school, LIFE =] ) we can turn to the Lord and he will be there to help! Second, the Lord never leaves us in our afflictions. No matter how alone we may feel, he is always there. Love it!
Well, I love you all and hope that you have an absolutely incredible week!

Love,
Elder Stones

It was too dark to take any nice pictures, but it was super pretty! We were surrounded by trees and camped right next to a lake. And those sausages were HUGE!

The member in our ward got him this hat. Haha its great! I couldn't stop laughing

Baptism. Not the best picture, but it was the only one I got.

Us with some ward members

Sept 16- Life in Providence

I hope everyone has had an amazing week! Mine was simple, but great =] On Tuesday night we did something super fun for Mutual with the Youth: Missionary Night. For the first half of the night we did Boys vs Girls missionary relay. It was a relay race of everything a missionary does in the morning:
1) Get of bed (A blanket on the floor) and do your workouts (ten pushups).
2) Put on your missionary clothes (big pants, shirt and tie for boys. Skirt, a shirt, and jacket for girls)
3) Make your breakfast and eat it (PB&J sandwich)
4) Study (Scripture Chase. We called out a scripture and they had to find it and show us)
5) Run back to the beginning and tag the next person on their team who was waiting in the bed.

It was super fun and the kids loved it! The adults got really into it to... it was pretty funny. For the second half of the night we calmed things down, watched some really cool videos about youth being able to get involved in missionary work, and bore testimonies. It was a really fun night!

Cool new challenge from our Mission President that we are now trying to do as a district (the 6 of us missionaries): Talk in Spanish 100% of the time! Its tough, but it is going to be so worth it! Sometimes in lessons I want so badly to be able to say something, but have to change it a little so that I can say it with the Spanish that I know. Although it takes a lot more effort to speak in Spanish all of the time -- and makes conversations like 3 times longer haha-- its going to help my teaching and Im so excited for that!

So, quick little lesson that we taught to Fernando this week, and that has also been on my mind a lot recently. It may sound familiar to some of you because the idea from the lesson was given in a talk a few conferences back. Anyway, a few weeks ago I found the talk in a Liahona (Spanish LDS magazine) I was reading, which is why I am now bringing it up. Wow long explanation. Haha So here it is:

There is a story told of an old Cherokee teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil: he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good: he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I love that story! It is a constant reminder that we need to be doing good things in our lives to feed the good wolf inside of each of us. Doing Service. Prayer. Scriptures. Going to Church. Loving one another. When we do these things, we are feeding our Good wolves and ensuring that the Evil wolf doesn't get a chance to ever show its influence in our lives.
Well, I love you all so so much and hope that you have the best week ever!
Love,
Elder Stones
Providence

About half of the young men and us at one of the Young Men's birthday party.




It was Jeffrey's birthday! The guy in the back is Hermano Fernandez. He is crazy and super funny.
 
 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sept 9- The Work Is Moving Right Along

Hey Everyone!

How are you all doing?! Surviving the AZ heat? Its starting to cool off here and get a little chilly at night (its super nice!). It makes riding bikes around that much better! No crashes to report this week. So thats sweet. But there also wasnt too much else interesting that happened this week (other than normal mission life, which is ALWAYS awesome =]) so I'll make a little bullet list of the highlights.

-Saturday Elder Collins and I had 4 meals all two hours apart. WAY too much food for one day. One of them was a BBQ with some of our investigators and I grilled all of the food! My first batch of hamburgers was pretty dry because I was a afraid of under-cooking them, but the second batch was pretty dang good. Also, at the BBQ they didnt have a cooler to keep the drinks cold so they pulled out an old beat up washing machine from the side of their house, filled it with Ice, and put the drinks in. I got a good laugh out of that.

-I finally got my Missionary Satchel! Haha really not that big of a deal, but all missionaries are supposed to use satchels now instead of back packs. They dont want us to look like students. Its kinda annoying because it gets in the way when I ride on my bike, but im getting used to it. Hopefully it doesnt lead to more crashes. (You know its been an exciting week when I start reporting on my bag hahaha but really, even "unexciting" weeks are great when you are a missionary =])

-Cool story: earlier this week we were walking down the street in front of this body shop and we heard a man inside trying to get our attention: "Misioneros! Misioneros!" We stopped, and when he came out he told us that he had investigated the church 15 years ago and that he wanted to come to church on Sunday. We gave him the time and address of church and he said he would see us on Sunday. Sadly, he didnt come, but we are going to stop by the shop sometime to go see him and see if he is still interested.

Well, thats really about it for this week. Im going to send some fun pictures in a second, so keep an eye out for those =] Love you all tons! Have an AMAZING week!

Love,
Elder Stones


This is Jeffrey, one of the young men from our ward that goes out with us every once in a while! He is a stud! Fun fact: Providence (where im serving) was originally supposed to be the capital of the USA and the building behind us was supposed to be the capital building. Atleast, thats what they tell me haha

 
Us on the bike path.

 
Cool forestry path from a couple of weeks ago.



 
 Sweet Little Lake
Same day we found the bike trail, we found this lake! It was a dammed up lake and we rode right next to the dam so I bet you can guess our conversation:
Me: *we are riding our bikes* "Elder Collins hold on!! I want to take a dam picture!"
Elder Collins: "NO. I dont want to take a dam picture"
Hahaha I love my companion
 

Sept 3- Another Week Flies By

Hey Everyone!

Wow. This past week flew by! A ton has happened! First, a fun little thing, this past week I met some brand new missionaries that just got to the field. Its weird that I'm not the little guy in the field anymore (not that 6 weeks really means much haha) because I feel like I just got out here! I still have SO much to learn and so many areas in which I need to grow before I feel like I could do this without my trainer. Good thing I have another 6 weeks with him. He is awesome! We get along super well and plan awesome lessons together and I just cant imagine what the field would be like without him. He is a stud!
 
Yesterday was Labor Day (libraries were closed, sorry I didnt write!) and we had the coolest Pday ever! Elder Collins, Richardson, Berthelson, and I all went to a Red Sox game!! One of the members in a ward that Elder Richardson used to serve in was kind enough to buy us all tickets. So, yesterday morning we took the train into Boston and walked to Fenway Park for the game! It was so awesome and I had the best time ever. Elder Berthelson made it especially fun because, although he is from AZ, he LOVES Boston and the Red Sox. When the second inning hit he was like, "hey Elder Stones lets go walk around and soak this up!!" The whole time we were walking around the stadium he had the biggest smile on his face and just kept giggling like a little kid in a candy shop. Super funny! Then, before I knew it he led us to some way nice empty seats right next to 3rd base where we watched about 4 innings and got some sweet pictures. He just sat awestruck. His eyes were so big, and he was like 8 years old all over again. Haha I couldnt stop laughing at him. After a bit we decided to head back to our normal seats, but he just couldn't get enough and instead took another beeline to even nicer seats right behind homeplate!! He was crazy. We only stayed in those seats for like 6 pitches ( they were super nice and I got some good pictures =] ) and then we finally headed back to our seats. The Red Sox lost the game, but it was quite the adventure. Too fun.

The missionary work is as great as ever! The ward is super involved and so nice, my companion rocks, and our investigators are such amazing people - I absolutely love teaching them! Nothing super big to report on, just that it is amazing to see people change as they let Christ touch their lives =]

Alright, I guess thats it for this week! I love you all tons and hope life is treating you as well as it is treating me!

Love,
Elder Stones
 
Fenway Park
3rd Base Seats with Elder Berto
Home Plate
View from behind the plate
Last One: Fenway Park





Aug 18- Made it Through The First Transfer Out In The Field

How's everyone doing?!
Life is still great out here in Providence! I didn't write on Monday because its transfer week and Pdays move to Wednesday on transfer week. So yeah, I made it through my first transfer. Thats pretty sweet! I'm still staying in Providence, of course, because I have another transfer with my trainer, Elder Collins. This is his last transfer in the mission and then he goes home. Its hard to imagine not having him as my companion, but we try not to think about it haha We are just focusing on making this the best transfer of his mission!

Good news! I didnt crash on my bike this week! But that shouldn't be a surprise... I'm a pro. In other bike news we found the COOLEST bike trail this week. One of Elder Collin's former companions came back to visit and we decided to meet at a member's house for dinner. The only problem was that the member lived like 15 miles away from where we normal ride. So we got on Google maps, looked up the fastest route, and it told us to take this bike trail to save time. On the map, it showed the trail weaving between two rivers, and from that I suspected it was going to be awesome, but it blew my expectations out of the water! We were riding in a small town and then when we hit the trail it was like going into an awesome forest! The trail was perfectly paved, with lanes and a nice wooden fence on each side. There was a river on each side of the path and along each river there were beautiful trees and brush and it was just super pretty! Like something out of a movie. That happens quite frequently out here when we are riding in a car: we will be driving on a freeway in the city and then all of the sudden there are just trees and lakes everywhere. Anyway, it was just cool to have that happen while we were on our bikes. We were riding and all of the sudden 'bam' we were in nature. I took some pictures because my lame description doesn't do it justice, but I forgot my camera when I came to email so you guys will just have to wait until next week to see.

Our investigators are great! We are still teaching Fernando (15 year old). He already has so much understand and maturity when it comes to life, its kinda crazy. He understands that committing to live a religion for the rest of his life isnt a small decision and he wants to make sure he is ready. Great kid. Love him. We are also still teaching Anny and her sister, Grisauris (younger women from the Dominican Republic). Our lessons with them are always so great because they already have a strong belief and faith in God, and they really have a desire to learn of God and get closer to him. Its great to find people in this crazy, busy world that still have strong beliefs in God and make faith a priority. Oh, something cool happened with them this week! Their house/apartment thing is always full of different people going around doing different things inside and out. One time during one of our lessons, one of the men that is usually busy working came and sat and listened to one of our lessons. At the end he said he would like to listen to more in the future. Pretty cool!

Spanish is coming slowly but surely, like always =] I have real testimony of the Gift of Tongues. When I am feeling the spirit and really relying on it, I can usually speak pretty fluidly. But when I try to do it alone... not too good. Haha so, moral of the story: rely on the Lord and he can lift you even higher than the best that you can do on your own. I have actually experienced that many times, so I know its true! =]
Well, I feel like theres not much meat to this email, and I was going to make up for it by sending pictures (we took quite a few this week), but I forgot my camera. So, I will make up for it next week with even more pictures =] I love you all tons! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! You are all the best!

Love,
Elder Stones

Monday, August 19, 2013

Aug 19- Simple Week Serving on the East Coast

How's everyone doing?! I dont have a ton to update on because I just wrote a few days ago, so, this isn't going to be as long as my other emails, but I'll still try to make it good =]

This weekend (Saturday) was the broadcast of the groundbreaking of the new temple they are going to build in Hartford Connecticut. Of course by the time all of the talks were broadcasted to us in our chapel they was translated into Spanish, but I could understand most of it and it was just really cool. Also, it was especially special because normally one of the 12 apostles goes to the groundbreaking ceremonies, but we were blessed enough to have President Monson come and speak. He gave a great, simple talk. He is looking pretty frail and his voice was Hoarse so keep him in your prayers =] He is an amazing man and I love the spirit that he carries with him as he teaches and loves the church.

Okay, I was trying to figure out a cool way to tell all of you this so that it doesnt sound so lame, but I'm just going to throw it out there: I crashed on my stupid bike.... again!! Haha first, I promise I know how to ride a bike. Second, I dont need a score board that says "Elder Stones:0 Bike:3" haha. And third, I've only crashed so many times because I'm on a bike way more than a normal person should be; therefore, the likelihood of me crashing is much higher. The dumb thing is that I almost made it through the week without crashing!! It just happened last night! We were going down this huge hill (probably going a little too fast haha), got to the bottom, crossed through a dark parking (still going pretty fast), and all of the sudden there is a BLACK curb in my way.... who the heck puts a black curb in a parking lot?! I almost turned out of the way, but my front wheel hit it side ways and the next thing I knew I was on the asphalt. Hardest hit yet, tore up my knee and hand pretty good, but I'm still good to work =] The Lord is definitely protecting me... I should make it easier for him haha.

Well, thats it for this week! The work is progressing here and life is great! Remember that Christ and God love us and are always there to wrap us in a big hug if we need it!

"But behold, the Lord hath aredeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his bglory, and I am encircled about eternally in the carmsof his dlove." 2 Nephi 1:15
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Love,
Elder Stones
 
Hacer Caras
All of the Providence Spanish Elders at a Members home for dinner. Tacos. Super Good.
 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Aug 14- Wednesday Email

Hello Family and Friends!

So, I didn't email on Monday because Rhode Island has this holiday called "Victory Day"? or something like that and all of the libraries were closed. Its a celebration of the day World War 2 ended, but I have never heard of it. Anyway, It has been another solid week! First, I have something embarrassing to report ... I crashed on my stupid bike again!! I was just riding down the street, not really paying attention to the road, and I hit a pot hole that turned my handlebars side ways and I flew off. Thats twice in 2 weeks... embarrassing. At this rate Ill catch up to Michelle's crashes in no time (love you Michelle =) haha) This time I hit a little harder, but most of the force was on my helmet, so thank goodness I was wearing one. I also landed on the same arm as last time and reopened the previous road rash, which ruined my shirt, and made for a good picture (I'll send it later.) But the good thing is that I didn't get hurt and we could just keep going with our night. Well, thats a lie. My pride was really hurt! [2 crashes in 2 weeks?! Cmon ;)...] but pride is a bad thing so maybe its good that mine got hurt a little haha =]
On Monday we got to do a really cool Pday activity: We went to a Patriots practice that was open to the public! We had to get a ride with a member which wasnt a problem because Everyone here LOVES the Patriots and Tom Brady. We called a member and told them about it and they were like "Heck yeah I'll take you guys!! I had a family lake trip planned, but Im cancelling it so I can go see my team!!" Hahaha the loyalty out here is crazy. Anyway, the practice was super fun and I got a nice tan.... on only half of my face, but hey, a tan is a tan. Right?

The work is going great! This past week we started teaching a young woman in her 20's, Anny, who just moved here 4 months ago from the Dominican repubilic to study medicine and English. She is super nice, she believes in and loves god, and she came to church after only one lesson! She is awesome. The second time we went to her house to teach her, she had 4 other friends over to listen. We were just like, "Whoa, okay!" Her friends were just visiting her here in RI, but they loved the lesson and the idea that God still talks to people on the earth today. Also, Anny's sister listened in on the lesson with all of the friends and since then has been sitting in our lessons. She really likes the values that the church has, and is going to come to church with Anny this next Sunday to see what its like!

Quick story: Anny and her sister wanted to make us dinner when we came back to teach them the next time. They were like, "what do you want?" Elder Collins says, "Mondongo" and they start freaking out because Mondongo is a classic dominican dish and they were so happy that Elder Collins knew what it was. I asked Elder Collins what Mondongo was, but he just told me not to worry and that I would like it... so naturally I worried just a little bit because he was being pretty hush hush about what this Mondongo stuff was. Anyway, we came back the next time, taught them, and then they brought out the mondongo: a soup with chunks of veggies and other stuff in it that you pour over rice. Anyway, I take my first helping, start eating, and it tasted pretty good. It had potatoes, carrots, and other veggies, but it also had these smaller chunks of really chewy stuff, and I couldn't quite tell what it was. I finished my first helping and went back for seconds, which had a much bigger chunk of the chewy stuff in it. I looked closer and found out... it was INTESTINE. Even though it tasted pretty good, the thought of eating intestine made the second helping a little harder to swallow, but I'm happy to say that I finished it all; Even the huge chunk of intestine that I couldn't cut or chew into smaller pieces, so I just had to shove it in my mouth and muscle it down. It was chewy like fat. Anyway, that was a fun first time for me!

Alright, I dont have much time left, but I have to correct something from my last email. Im really dumb and kinda left out the apartment number on the mailing address that I gave you in my last email. I got all of the packages (Thank you!! =] ), but if you sent mail, you will probably get it back this next week. So here it is again:

Elder Stones
60 Valley Street #11
Providence, RI 02909

I got to read everyone's emails, Loved them all =], but I dont have time to write back and send pictures, so Ill be sure to write back next week. Love you all and Hope that you all have amazing weeks! Talk to you again in 5 days =]

Love,
Elder Stones
 
1. Bike Crash. So dumb. Bike:2 Elder Stones:0
2. My componion is in a 90's workout suit. He is hilarious.
3. First zone conference my MTC comp and my Companions MTC comp are now companions.:)
 


 
 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Aug 5- Mission Life

The missionary life is so awesome! I can't believe that it is already Monday again. SO much has happened in the week when I stop and look at it, but it all just flies by! Alright, where to start? Oh, I had my first bike crash this week but it was so lame! I didn't hit anything, or get hit by anything, or anything cool like that... I wasn't even going to mention it, but since I gave Michelle a hard time for crashing, I decided I should tell haha Well, I was just cruising down this street and Elder Collins was infront of me and I wanted to catch up. So, I put all of my weight on my right pedal to speed up RIGHT when my chain came off and I my bike just flipped to the side and I ate it. I didn't even know what happened! I just crashed to my shoulder, my bike was on top of me, and a car stopped next to me and asked me if I was alright. I looked like a fool! haha but its alright, literally less than 3 minutes later, Elder Collins took a sharp turn on a sandy road and his bike slid out from underneath him and he wrecked too. But atleast he rolled out of it and looked cool... I just ate it. haha but we are all good! Just scraped up hands and a few other scratches. So, Bike:1 Elder Stones:0. (Wait, how am I supposed to get points against my bike?) Also, I think mine and Elder Collin's misfortunes are connected. Not only did we crash like 3 minutes apart, but 2 days later we were flying down this hill and I went up a curb too hard and popped my back tire. He rode back, we started walking our bikes, and his back tire caught a sharp pole and it popped. So we walked our 2 broken bikes back home together. We got some pretty funny looks!
The work here is progressing really well! There were 4 companionships of missionaries in our ward, but this week 1 companionship got their visas and headed out to Argentina. That leaves us with 3 companionships and LOTS of work. Quick little summary of whats happening with out investigators =]
- Tuti and Editza accepted a baptismal date! They really didn't know much about religion or even who Jesus Christ was when we first started teaching them, but they have been learning everything really well. They really like everything and loved learning about the Plan of Salvation. They said it all makes sense! (Which is good because the Plan of Salvation could be confusing!)
- Alberto. We were walking down the street one day after eating dinner at one of the ward member's homes and this random guy that was washing his van in the street called us over and started asking us questions. When we got closer we found out that he was completely drunk, probably high, and pretty out of it, but he was asking questions and wanted to learn more about what religion could offer him. We sat on his porch for a while, talked with him, and found out that he had had a pretty rough life. (We also found out that he had met with the missionaries like 2 years before! In one lesson we pulled out one of the paper back Book of Mormons and he was like "Hey I think I have one of those", went inside, and, sure enough, he walked out holding a Book of Mormon.) Long story short, we told him that we would come back and talk more, but that he had to do something for us: No drinking or smoking until the next day when we came back. The next day when we came back he was more coherent and we were actually able to teach him about Christ, but since then he has been drinking more and its hard to even have a conversation when he cant think straight. So, we are working on that haha Oh that brings me to someone else we met this week:
- Mikey. We went over to teach Alberto on Saturday night and his grandson, Mikey, was over for the weekend visiting. Alberto was out of it, but Mikey loved talking about God. He is 10 , asks lots of questions, and he shared an awesome experience about how he knows God loves him. He said he used to go to church a lot and loved it, but his parents got busy, so they stopped going. We found out that he visits grandpa every weekend, told him we that we would come back and talk to him more next weekend, and asked him to say a little prayer to God every night before he went to bed this next week. He is awesome and we are hoping that we can get a hold of his parents this next weekend and see if they wouldn't mind us talking to Mikey more and see if they would want to join us.
Well, thats about it for this week! The Spanish is coming along slowly but surely. Its hard when I am surrounded by so much English, but its all good! I know I will be able to speak it soon if I keep working hard and rely on the Lord =] I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! Talk to ya in a week!
Love,
Elder Stones
 
I didn't take any pictures this week, so I sent some old ones:
1. MTC branch President. Such an awesome guy!
2. This is Elder Curtis Stone, pretty crazy huh?! He is one of the Assistants to the Pres. in the mission
 

July 29- Life in Providence!

Whats up everyone?!
Hope life is treating every one well! I sure know mine is! Being a missionary really is an incredible thing. You get to completely forget about yourself and just go serve, teach,and try to improve lives in any way you can. Its awesome. The ward here in Providence is great! I told you a little bit about it last week, but I ran out of time before I could say much. The ward is all hispanic and they all speak spanish (some speak English which is a relief since I'm not very good at expressing all of my ideas or feelings in Spanish yet, but I do try to only use Spanish with the Members... its cheating if I dont haha oh and I could understand a lot more of what was said during church this Sunday, which was a HUGE relief! My ears are finally able to distinguish where words start and end when the native spanish speakers are speaking. The Dominicans are still hard to understand because they don't say their S's!). The ward also LOVES the missionaries. They want to have the missionaries over as much as possible to feed them and visit. We have a HUGE dinner of rice, beans, and some type of meat almost every night... sometimes we have two. Its a really good thing we are on bikes otherwise I would be getting FAT. We ride anywhere from 10 - 20 miles per day and its real good exercise because there are hills EVERYWHERE. The great thing about hills is that when you ride up.... you eventually have to ride back down and then you just fly haha its great. One other bad thing about bikes: when it rains, you get really wet. This past week we got caught in the rain like 4 times! One time we were supposed to go to a members house for lunch, but they forgot and weren't home when we got there. Then it started to rain but we had no where to go because we were in the middle of a big neighborhood... so we hid under a tree. I bet it was a pretty pathetic/funny sight to see two guys in white shirts and ties hiding under a tree from the rain. We had a pretty good laugh about it! Another time it was raining and we had 30 min to get to an appointment so we got smart and wore rain jackets... too bad rain jackets don't cover pants. So we showed up at an investigators house with pants completely soaked... we knocked on the door and she says, "Wait I thought you guys were coming tomorrow." Apparently she called the number on her phone titled "the missionaries" to cancel the appointment because she knew we would have to ride on bikes through the rain, but the number she had in here phone was a different companionship. She told them to come to her house tomorrow and those missionaries were just like "uh, okay". hahaha so we rode in the rain for like 5 miles to get to a cancelled appointment, but it sure was fun!

Alright, so right now we are teaching the missionary lessons to 4 people and they are all awesome!
-A man named Andres in his late 50's who should be getting baptized this month! (he has been coming to church for 2 years! Pretty crazy huh?)
-A 15 year old named Fernando whos Dad got baptized recently! He really liked the kindness and friendship in the church, and that made him want to learn more. He is the nicest kid ever, and he looks like he is at least 18! He's a stud =]
-2 teenage girls named Tuti and Editza. My companion actually baptized their grandma when he was here like a year ago and they have a cousin who just got back from a spanish speaking mission in North Colorado. We were over at their house for dinner one night and they had tons of questions about life and we were just like "want us to come teach you?" and they were like "Sure!" Tuti is really funny and has MILLIONS of questions! Its entertaining and very fun to teach them
Also, this next week we are meeting a couple more people for the first time who are interested in learning more about the church, so that will be fun! I love meeting new people and just talking to them about our lives and theirs and its just great. Oh I just remembered something! Last week I told you 4 of us Elders played catch with a football across 3 lanes of traffic with 2 guys last week, Well one of them decided to hear the lessons from Elder Richardson and Elder Berthelson (two missionaries from AZ) and he decided to get baptized at the end of the month! Crazy right?
Well I think thats it for this week! I love you all so much and I'm so happy to be out on a mission right now! Its different than anything I have ever done before and its sweet. Oh my, address here in Providence for the next 3 months is:
Elder Jonathan Stones
60 Valley Street
Providence, RI 02909

But if you send it to the Email that I put on Facebook, it will get to me too! Love you all!!

Love,

Elder Stones
 
1. Rain!
2.After hiding under the tree, we eventually got smart and hid under a porch instead
3. The kitchen is off to the right. There is a lot more room back and to the left. Its a pretty sweet pad haha
4. This picture is a little dumb haha but this is where we were trying to hide before we got smart.





July 22- First Week in the Field

Wow! This past week has been crazy busy, crazy awesome, and crazy fun!! I only have 40 minutes left because I'm on a computer at the public library. I'm going to try to type fast so forgive me if this has a lot of mistakes or makes absolutely no sense. Also, I haven't read any of my emails this week because I want to make sure and have enough time to update everyone on whats been going on, so I'm sorry if I dont respond! Okay, on to whats happened this week!

I flew to Boston last Tuesday morning and the President and his family were waiting at the airport to greet us. They are the nicest family I have ever met. President has one son on a Mission in Chile, 2 daughters, and a Son who is probably 11 or 12. They are the happiest, most loving, sweetest, and biggest "missionary mode" family I have ever met. They all have their normal lives but being the kids of a mission president means that missionary work seeps into every aspect of their lives and they embrace it like nothing else. Its pretty awesome. Also, the youngest boy break dances like a gangster. Pretty dang sweet.

Our first day we spent at the mission home for training. There were 25 new missionaries entering the mission with me so we split into two groups for the training. Half of us stayed at the mission home for some lessons and info on what we were focusing on as a mission, and the other half went to the Boston Common (kinda like central park for NY) in Downtown Boston to go do some contacting with the people walking around. Then the groups switched spots. I was in the first group to go to the Common and it was super fun. There were some interesting people for sure (and I bet they thought we were interesting... two guys in white shirts and ties handing out books and cards with pictures of Jesus on them =] haha) but there were some sweet people who were just really fun to talk to. Its great meeting people! You just gotta get out of your comfort zone and open your mouth and start talking and you meet all types of cool people!

The day after training we headed to the chapel right next to the Boston temple to find out what area we would be serving in and who our trainers would be. I got assigned to Providence Rhode Island in a 100% spanish speaking ward (Sunday was interesting, they are hard to understand and sometimes I'm not even sure if they are speaking spanish!!), riding bikes, and I love it! My trainer's name is Elder Collins. He is from Utah, he is super fun, and he is a great missionary. Before he was made my trainer he was an Assistant to the President for like 9 months, and he also served in Providence at the beginning of the his mission for like 9 months so he is a veteran to the area and everyone in the ward LOVES him. I am SO excited to have him as my trainer for the next 12 weeks (I'm his last companion! He goes home in 3 months and we are going to make it the best 3 months of his mission). After we found out our assignments we got to spend some time at the Temple which was pretty sweet. After that, we somehow crammed 10 missionaries and all of their bags into a Minivan and 2 five passenger cars, and headed down to Providence.

This is my first day in the mission: Elder Collins and I got to our apartment and unloaded our stuff. (the apartment building is a redone cotton factory with old wooden floor boards and our apartment is just a HUGE open room with a movable wall type "L" shaped thing to divide it and make a room, its sweet! Ill take pictures and send them next week). After that, we headed to the church and met the 2 other new elders and 4 veteran Sisters that are serving with us in the same ward, to talk about what has been happening with area. One of the Elders Im serving with was in my district in the MTC: Elder Berthelson! We were so happy when we found out! His companion's name is Elder Richardson, we are all from the Valley in AZ, pretty sweet. Anyway, we have 4 companionships in the same ward because the work is ON FIRE here. The Hispanic people here (there are people from Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain and other countries) are all so excited to share the gospel and the 2 companionships they had here before couldn't handle all of the work. So now they have 4 companionships. Pretty crazy. Okay sorry, back to the first day: Us 4 elders ate dinner at a ward members house who thankfully spoke english. They are the most energetic and funny people I have ever met and they have the thickest Rhode island Accent ever. It was great. After dinner they decided to take us to the the store to buy our first few days worth of groceries. They dropped us off back at mine and elder c's apartment and drove off (the other elders were going to stay the night because they lived about 15 minutes away).... We didnt have our keys, locked out on our first night hahaha so we had to call the members to come pick us and take us to the other apartment. Crazy first day...

OKAY I HAVE ONE MINUTE TO TELL YOU SOME QUICK HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE REST OF OUR WEEK!!!

- rode home about 2 miles in a HUGE rain storm and got absolutely soaked
-played catch with these two super athletic black guys across 3 lanes of traffic and ended up playing a little game of football in the street and got their info
-IM OUT!!! LOVE YOU AL:L:LLLLLL!! have a great week!!

July 12th- Final Week in the MTC

Hello Everyone!!
I can't believe I have reached the end of my time in the MTC! Six weeks have flown by and I have loved all of it. Not much new has happened this week, but I did get my travel plans. I leave the MTC on Tuesday morning at 5:30AM and head to the airport to Fly to Boston! Im so excited!! That means this is my last week that I can receive dear elders, so send them if you want to. If you were planning on sending a hand written letter, I would hold off because I dont know what happens to the mail that gets sent here if Im not here. haha Hmm what can I tell you all this week? Oh I thought of something that I forgot to tell you last week! Here in the MTC they do something called TRC. Its where missionaries get to practice teaching short "home teaching" type lessons to members of the church in the language we are learning. Well, last week we did a Skype TRC lesson, and Elder Pope and I got to skype with a Lady from Chile.... she talked really fast. haha but it was still awesome and I could actually understand most of what she was saying which was encouraging. I bet I would have understood more but the sound was bad and there was lots of noise in the background. Hmm... we finished up the final Spanish language concept yesterday which means now I just need to talk and talk and talk and talk to get fluent. Which I have been trying to do, but its hard when I could just say what I want in like 2 seconds in English. Anyway, it just takes patience and I really hope that when I get to Boston I will be semi- immersed in the Spanish Language and I wont have any choice but to speak in Spanish. That would be awesome!
Quick really cool lesson I learned this week. First, on Tuesday we had a great devotional about prayer. After every devotional we meet as a zone (about 30 missionaries) and talk about what we liked in the devotional. In the devotional the speaker quoted someone who said something to the effect of "we make decisions first, trying to solve our own problem and then go to the Lord to see if our decision is right." Thats how I always thought you were supposed to go about receiving an answer to prayer, but during the devotional review on Tuesday night my Branch President expressed to us all how strongly he felt that that isn't how its supposed to be. The lord loves us and wants to be with us through every step of our lives. One of my Branch President's favorite scriptures is D&C 6:36. "Look unto me in Every thought. Doubt not. Fear not." He told us that counseling with the Lord should be a constant frame of mind so that every step we take would be a step that he would take. We should constantly be counseling with the lord and soon our decisions will always always always be guided by the Spirit. Pretty cool eh? I dont think i explained that very well, but it has changed my perspective on prayer and hopefully somehow it made some sense to all of you haha
Oh last thing, Yesterday, we had "In-Field Orientation." Every missionary goes through it at the end of their time here in the MTC. Its an ALL day devotional that focuses on 5 points of missionary work: Preparing, Setting Goals, Finding, Having Faith, and working with the members. Each subject is taught in a different room with different role plays, activities and presentations. Lots of people don't like it because it is such a long meeting, but I actually enjoyed and learned a lot! Well, thats really all I can think to say right now... I just cant believe 6 weeks have already gone by! I can't even imagine how fast the rest of my mission will go. Leaving the MTC is a little bitter sweet because the spirit is seriously everywhere and I know I could learn a lot more, but I'm ready to get to Boston and learn what the Lord wants me to learn as I serve the people there. I love you all and keep you in my prayers!! Les quiero!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Stones
 
1. Me and Elder Pope in our matching Jackets
2.Me and Elder Clouse infront of the Provo Temple (Which sadly has been close the past few weeks)
3. Me and Elder Hamblin... he has such a nice Tie on. I wanted it so bad haha
4.Me and Elder Cockriel with Sister Linford and her companion, Sister Rodriguez






 
 
 

July 5- 5th Week

Santa Vaca (Holy Cow)!! Today is my one month mark!! I can't believe I am starting my 5th week here in the MTC. The time has flown and I have loved it here! Nothing too exciting happened this past week, but I will try to think of fun new things to tell you so that you dont get bored reading this. Hmm lets see.... Yesterday was the 4th of July! I hope all of you had a great time watching fireworks and celebrating America! We got out of class early so that we could go to a patriotic devotional where we sang songs, listened to a short talk, and watched 17 Miracles. I had never watched that movie all of the way through, but I'm glad I finally got to because its actually pretty good. Last night we also got to stay up later than normal to watch the "Stadium of Fire" fireworks show that Provo puts on. We didn't have the best view from inside the MTC, but it was still fun to be able to watch some fireworks on the 4th.
oh actually I just thought of something new that we started doing this week. For the past 4 weeks when we would practice teaching investigators, we would just teach our teachers, but this week we have started teaching each other so that we get to play an investigator and experience what that would be like(well, kinda haha). Its a pretty funny situation though, because we still can't speak spanish that well. When we teach our teachers they can correct our spanish so that we are actually making sense, but when we are teaching each other we just say sentences that we think are right and then look at each other like "Cmon that was so clear... I obviously just asked a question.." hahaha. Its pretty fun and I really enjoy it.
well.... I cant think of much else to really tell you, but I took lots of pictures this week to make up for it! I love you all and hope you have a WONDERFUL week!!!
Love,
Elder Stones
 
1. Me and Sister Linford
2.Me and Elder Clouse
3. Missionaries from Mesa
4. Me and Elder Naumann
5. Me and Elder Ebmeyer