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

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 =]

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!
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!!


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...


- 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!!!
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


June 28- 4th Week

Hola Family, Friends, and Fellow Missionaries!!
This past week was a solid week. First, I have a fun story. Since Wednesday I have been searching and searching for Sister Linford, but I haven't been able to find her! So, when I got on earlier this morning to read all of my emails, I was going to write my weekly email and say that I hadn't seen her, but my companion and I decided to wait to write for the day. In the afternoon we ran by the post office and bookstore and guess who I saw?!! Sister Linford!! It was pretty awesome!! Even as a missionary she is still a goof (You're the best Alison) haha Also, some more fun news: Elder Clouse is in my Zone!! Pretty crazy eh?

Alright, into my week. First, the Sunday devotional on member missionary work was pretty awesome! I was in the section of Elders in the choir right next to the sisters but I didn't get on the camera because I was on the very end of the second to last row at the top. 3 in. If you have a HD tv you might be able to see me in like one scene where they get somewhat close.... but probably not haha. It was a great devotional and it was fun to be there in person and have some of the apostles turn around and wave/thumbs up at the missionaries.

Second, the special choir experience was pretty dang awesome. I'll give you a little rundown of the week. Sunday we sang "I Feel My Savior's Love" in Sacrament meeting, the whole first presidency and quorum of the 12 apostles were there which was an awesome feeling. Monday we sang a song called "Precious Savior Dear Redeemer" at a meeting in which President Eyring was speaking. Tuesday we sang "Lead Kindly Light" at a meeting in which President Uchtdorf was speaking. And finally on Wednesday we sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" in the morning for Elder Nelson and Elder Ballard and in the afternoon we sang "Nearer My God to Thee". I'm not sure who was speaking at the last meeting. It was pretty funny because every time we sang, we would all walk in, get in our spots right in front of the stand, sing, and then as we would walk out we would reverently and "nonchalantly" look at the stand at the stand to see the Apostles and Prophet. I got a couple awesome smiles and nods from Elder Perry, a nod from Elder Bednar, and every time Elder Anderson was there, he would watch us leave with tears in his eyes. He is the sweetest man. One time Elder Nelson got on the stand and asked us to wait after we sang. I was like 5 feet from him... He stopped us because he wanted to thank us and see how the age change had affected the missionaries in the MTC. He had Elders in the choir under 19 raise their hands and Sisters under 21 raise their hands. About half us raised our hands. It really is crazy how much the age change has affected the work. Its awesome.

Third, this past Tuesday we had an awesome devotional by Sister Janice Kapp Perry. She has written and composed the BEST songs in the Children's Song Book. Songs like: "I love to See the Temple", "A Child's Prayer", "We'll Bring the World His Truth", "I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ", "I'm trying to be Like Jesus", and "As Sisters in Zion." During the devotional we sang a medley of her songs, but the best part was at the end when all of us as missionaries stood to sing the "As Sisters in Zion/ We'll Bring the World his Truth" mashup/medley. By the end I had tears in my eyes, and im not a cryer! It was so incredibly powerful and I just loved it. Also, Sister Perry wrote an awesome new verse to "As Sisters in Zion" to reflect the awesome response from the sisters now that the age of missionary work has been lowered. It was good.

Hmm.... I think thats about it. Missing and loving you all so incredibly much! The Church is true, the MTC is awesome, and the missionary work is progressing like never before. I can't wait to get out there and serve. LOVE YOU ALL!!


Elder Stones

2) The whole special choir


June 21- 3rd P-Day!

Hello Everyone!
I hope that everyone has had a WONDERFUL week and has gone to see Man of Steel at least 10 times each... except for you missionaries. No movies for us. haha also, write me on dear elder so that I can read your messages during the week and then respond during Pday =] Thats the easiest way to do it! Elder Stones. Mailbox 229. Departing JUL 16.
Well, this week has been great for me! I have just been doing normal MTC stuff... y´know, like learning spanish and the gospel for like 10 hours a day. You might think its long, but I LOVE it! Also, we have started to teach another "Investigator" this past week which is fun. Now that we have two investigators, I think we are teaching about 4 lessons a week, and its all in Spanish. I have always had a pretty good grasp on how to undestand the Spanish language and now I´m finally learning how to speak it, which is great, but I have a LONG way to go. Most of the time I know what I want to say, but I dont know how to say it in Spanish, so I have to really mess around with my phrases.... haha its a fun a little mind game. I think thats about it, but I have one more pretty exciting thing to update on! So I told you all last week that I have the opportunity to sing in the big MTC choir at the Devotional on Sunday (keep an eye out for me =] ), which is awesome! I also told you that I was also selected to sing in a Special choir for the Missionary President's Seminar all next week, but that I didn't know much about it. Well, I figured out more about it and IT IS AWESOME!! So all next week they are completely closing off the main MTC building to the missionaries for this Mission Presidents Seminar, and I was thinking to myself "why are they being so crazy about this thing?" And when I went to the first practice for this choir I found out: The whole first presidency and Quorum of the Twelve are going to be meeting with and teaching the 300 new Mission Presidents!! The special choir ( there are only 32 of us in the choir) will get the opportunity to sing the opening number for the Bretheren's Sacrament meeting on Sunday, and then every day next week, we sing the opening number for each of the daily devotionals that is led by one of the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency. We will be singing like 15 feet from the Brethren!!!!!! Its going to be such an awesome experience and I count my blessings every day that I was selected to sing in the choir! It has been a lot of work (we memorized five songs in one week) but its so worth it! My favorite way to bear my testimony is through music, and I will get to do that in the presence of the Prophet.... pretty cool eh? Haha Thats all for this week! I keep you all in my prayers and love you all with all of my heart! LOVE YOU!!!
Elder Stones