Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dirt, Baptisms, and Transfers! --Week 75, 73 weeks in Phoenix Mission, 25 Weeks in Glendale

Dirt, Baptisms, and Transfers! --
Week 75, 73 weeks in Phoenix Mission, 25 Weeks in Glendale

Dear friends and family,

It was a great week here in the APM! Sooooo much happened this week
and I can't wait to tell you all about it! Here we go!

New Companion
After spending a few days with Elders Clough and Bryan since a Elder
Fernandez left, transfers finally came around  on Wednesday. The whole
missionary force around the world is getting rid of organized transfer
meetings, but since I am training again we went to the training
orientation meeting. While there, I got to see a few missionaries who
I haven't seen in a while. For example, I got to see Elder Thaut
again! He is also training a new missionary down in Buckeye. Anyway,
my new companion is Elder Young from Kingsport, Tennessee. He has the
accent to prove he's from the south! He served a few weeks in Mexico
City a while ago but had to come home due to medical problems. He came
back out to Arizona and is here to stay, but he's assigned as a
Spanish speaking elder. So he does language study with our roommates,
since I can't really train him on how to do language study. Elder
Young is doing GREAT! Elder Bryan is also training a new elder—Elder
Plourde (Pronounced Plerd) and he is from Alberta, Canada. That dang

Early Friday morning we headed over to Brother Stanley's home with our
roommates to help him spread dirt in his back yard. He had 6 tons of
dirt delivered to his home and we used shovels and rakes to move and
smooth it out across his back yard. Man, talk about manual labor. My
arms were sore for days after it. It was really fun, though. We were
able to build trust and get to know a member even better. Plus he got
us some Barro's Pizza, which is like Heaven in a pizza box here in

Saturday was a very special day. We were able to be a part of two
baptisms: one for Lucilia, a 9 year-old we have been teaching, and one
for Marie Jeanne, someone the French missionaries have been teaching
in our area. Her husband, Raphaël, was baptized about a couple months
Lucilia's baptism was awesome. Her dad was able to baptize her which
was a really cool experience. I gave a talk on baptism and I asked her
how excited she was to be baptized. She replied with "More than this
excited!" And she held out her arms as far as they would go. She was
then baptized by her father. The Spirit was so strong.
Later that afternoon, we had the baptism of Marie Jeanne. All of the
French missionaries were there and lots of members of Marie's family
were there as well. The room was absolutely packed. I conducted the
baptism which was a new experience for me...every time someone would
get up to conduct/talk, it would be translated. If the person was
speaking English, a French missionary would translate it into French.
If someone was speaking French, it would be translated into English.
Needless to say the baptismal service took a while. But that's okay,
because it was an AMAZING experience. She was baptized by Israel, who
was the first French convert since they introduced the French
missionary program here in Arizona. There had to be at least 30 people
surrounding the font to witness this miracle. Ever since Raphaël got
baptized, his wife is now a member, and there are three others in his
family who are taking the missionary discussions and are scheduled to
be baptized in February. I'm so excited to be a part of this work! The
Lord is hastening His work in many languages here in the Valley. After
the baptism, Marie Jeanne and some of the members of her family sang a
song about Jesus in Swahili, which is their first language. Overall an
amazing experience.

Almost all of our investigators are progressing. We had 5
investigators at church Sunday and had two confirmations. I had
the opportunity to confirm Lucilia as a member of the Church during
sacrament meeting. Marie Jeanne was confirmed by a member of the
bishopric. We taught Liz and Rusty about the word of wisdom and they
agreed to live it. One of our investigators, Dianne, also agreed to
live the word of wisdom. Oh, and during a lesson with her, her cat was
crawling all over me. I love cats and I usually don't have too much of
an allergic reaction, but I was really messed up that night. I had a
pretty bad allergy attack from her cats! But it's all good–it went
away. All of our investigators are doing really well and I'm so
excited about it!

This week was a really good week weather wise. Mid 60's every day!
This coming week is supposed to be 70 every day. Yep, be jealous! :)

Bike Miracle
Elder Young didn't have a bike, so we drove up to Peoria to see if
there was one in the mission storage that he could use. We opened the
storage unit and there was an almost new bike right there in the unit.
There wasn't a tag on it that it was being sold, just a missionary who
has since gone home's name. We called up the mission office and asked
if we could just use that one. He said that if there's not a price tag
on it then it's available for use! So we grabbed it and it's been
working great! Yet another miracle to add to the books.

Anyway, that was my week! I have lots of pictures so I hope you enjoy
them. Love you all and I wish you the best!

Much love,

Elder Jones
Black Canyon Ward
Arizona Phoenix Mission

The baptism of Lucilia. Her dad, James, and
Elder Young and myself.

Elder Josh Young (Elder Jones' new trainee)

Elders Jones and Young

 Going to transfers with Elders Clough and Bryan,
and Brother Gomez!

Look who I saw at the training meeting! Elder Thaut!

Me, Javier, and Elder Gardner.
Sisters Casagrande(French), Haymond(French),
Javier, Elder Gardner, 
and myself.

In front of the new mission office!

Look what I found at the store. It's been WAY TOO LONG!!

Elder Young and Elder Plourde at the mission office

Mike harassing me for liking the Patriots...

Today's selfie!

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