Missionary Milestone

This week marks 9 months since Sestra Jones began her missionary service – that’s the halfway point! It’s amazing to think of what has transpired in these 9 months past, and still more exciting to think of the experiences that await in the 9 months yet to come… Enjoy the adventure, Sestra Jones!

Just 9 months ago…
Newly called Sestra Jones at the England Preston Temple

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9

21 October 2013

Another week come and gone – what a roller coaster ride – I still haven’t gotten used to the thrills and exhaustion, and highs and lows. In a way it’s a blessing – there’s never enough time to get bored! On the other hand, I struggle to take enough time to be organised and make a concerted effort in all the areas I wish to develop. (Each night, it’s like: ‘Finally 22:00, tomorrow planned and teaching records filled out. Let’s see, I could write in my journal or practice piano or read the Ensign…Zzzzzz. Nah.’) 😀  This week I’m feeling reduced to my normal, scatterbrained self and this update may well be far less comprehensive (or even comprehensible, as the case may be…) than last week’s.

We had some really great miracles again this week (they always come when we’re being obedient – sometimes we’ve got to look hard, that’s all!).

On Tuesday on our way to District lunch I lost my companion! We mis-communicated about which bus stop to disembark at, and before I could blink we’d pulled away with me inside the bus and Sestra Johns outside it! (We’d split up to bus contact, see). One Frantic call to Elder Guy and a dozen silent prayers later, we were reunited safe and sound outside the church building – we’d all had the feeling to go meet there. What a relief!

Another walkabout with Pres van D - he's such a great tour guide! He's got a head full of local knowledge, and a heart brimming with love and kindness to share. Notice the autumn colours showing in the trees...

Another walkabout with Pres van D – he’s such a great tour guide! He’s got a head full of local knowledge, and a heart brimming with love and kindness to share.
Notice the autumn colours showing in the trees… how quickly time marches on!
Sestra Jones, Sestra Johns, Starší Guy, and Starší Fe’l

On Thursday we got an unexpected phone call from Elder C in Nitra: “Sestra Jones, we just wanted to let you know that a young woman you contacted in Žilina back in April and invited to church is now planning to be baptised – she studies here in Nitra and got in touch with us!” Whoa, we just never know how far-reaching our influence can be.

Finally, we had a beautiful service project at a less-active member’s home. Since Elder Guy arrived, so many doors have been opening in the branch: this area is his mission ‘birthplace’ (he was trained here by Elder Bat), so he knows lots of the former investigators and less-active members here. He already has a great relationship with many of them, and knew that R was trying to remodel his house. We showed up in grubbies and basically gutted an old kitchen (tore out rotting cabinets, cleared rubbish…). It was GREAT to do some manual labour: quick, tangible results, and that satisfyingly achy feeling when you’ve worked your muscles hard. R is SOOOOO amazing! He’s an engineer / construction expert / entrepreneur, speaks perfect English, but hasn’t been to church for nearly 5 years. R was living in London when he saw an ad for a free copy of the DVD ‘Finding Faith in Christ’, which he ordered (When Elder Guy heard that he was gobsmacked: ‘You did? I thought that never worked!” :D). The missionaries delivered it to him, and he was baptised there in England before moving back to Slovakia. Anyway, it’s complicated but he shared with us that although this building project is the culmination of a lot of imagination and effort – a dream come true really – he’s finding that it doesn’t really fulfill him. Despite the extravagance and comfort his new home could one day offer, it’s not giving him PEACE. He accepted a challenge to read the Book of Mormon daily and come speak with President van D – miracle!

P’s baptism will likely be delayed a week or two, as he hasn’t yet obtained written permission from his mother to be baptised, and he wasn’t able to make it to Church this week. We don’t want to rush him into something if he isn’t fully understanding the commitment he’s making (and especially if family support is not yet forthcoming), so we’ll wait until everything is in place. He’s pretty much ready by all outward appearances; he’s had all the lessons, desires to be baptised, and already lives a pretty clean life. But we want to make sure that we help him develop DEPTH of testimony as well, so that he will continue to keep important commitments and covenants on his own strength, after we’ve moved on.

On Sunday, we started out sacrament meeting feeling so disappointed; we had expected 3 investigators (and the Elders were expecting at least 2 to come as well), and the only ones there apart from missionaries were the van D’s, Sestra B’gova, and Sestra B (bless her! – Brat B’s in the hospital, but she’s still come for a running streak of 3 Sundays). Then after the sacrament and first talk, we stood up to sing a missionary musical number when who should walk in but P K’ova! We were so happy! She’s normally quite shy, but she was actually conversing, laughing, and hugging the branch members after staying all 3 hours, what a blessing. Plus, our wandering Sestra N walked in after meetings had concluded with two teenage Roma girls in tow, asking if we could give them a spiritual thought. Another instance of Heavenly Father saying, “Catch!” 🙂

I have so much to improve on – I need to work harder, put my heart into it, and have a cheerful attitude despite the challenges of each day. I’m living my dream – I’m a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, pushing new frontiers and speaking new tongues and touching new hearts! I can imagine nothing better to be doing with the precious time the Lord has given me here on earth. I love you all dearly. You are in my prayers. I know this is the Lord’s work – what a sweet assurance!

S laskou, Sestra Jones

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2 thoughts on “Missionary Milestone

  1. We have followed Sister Jones’ letters for the past 9 months as Elder Ferrell received his call at the same time Sestra Jones began her mission. It is amazing the time has gone by so quickly. Her letters have been inspirational and so instructional for us. Our son has said how quickly the time is already going for him. Kosice has been such a great place to start his mission and we are grateful that he has had the opportunity to serve with such a wonderful group of missionaries and members. Congratulations to you all as you celebrate the midway point of her mission and a memorable time for your family and friends. Thanks for sharing her last 9 months with us, her mission family. I hope she is celebrating with her district.
    The Ferrells

  2. Dear Ferrells,
    Thanks so much for the well wishes and kind thoughts! The time has flown by. As far as celebrations… she didn’t mention anything of the kind in her letter this week, so she might not have even noticed the significance of the date! That’s good, leave the counting down the months to the parents and keep focussed on the work in hand. Yes, what an outstanding group of missionaries and members of the Church they’ve got there in Kosice, so glad they’ve been able to serve together.
    Thanks again for the thoughtful message!
    The Jones family

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