Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nov 4- Gratitude

First I have to say... Daylight savings? I can do without. I'll just stick to Arizona.. or Hawaii!! (hehe) and not have to worry about it! Yeah that's what I'll do.
Next! Halloween was bom.com! Sister Roper and I were Minions! hehe We both had blue skirts and yellow tops and then we just made goggles! It was great! And we aren't allowed to go out on Halloween evening so my zone got together at a members, had chilly (I made some guacamole and brought chips) and we watched Monsters University, and The Kroons. SO funny! You could definitely tell we were missionaries and hadn't watched movies in a while. We laughed at anything and everything. It was really entertaining!
We also had a miracle this week. We have been working with a family to come back to church for MONTHS now. I love them SO much and want so much for them! We went out to get ice cream with them and they told us they were coming to church on sunday (which they had been saying for the last little while). Sister Roper and I were Sitting on a bench saving it for them, and here they come walking in with big grins on their faces like (told ya so) ah I almost cried, It was so amazing!! I loved everything about it!! ---I want to invite everyone to do that!! Find someone that needs just a little extra love and help them come back! It is the most rewarding feeling ever!! Love them!
We had an exchange this week and interviews with president which are always amazing! I may or may not have cried because I am going to be leaving soon and this is my 2nd to last interview with him. sad day! We are just teaching amazing people! They are all preparing for December baptisms! And are so solid! I can not wait!!
So this week I have been thinking a lot about me... "Woah is me I am going home and I have a hard life". (which is foolish because I don't...I know Sometimes I can be lame) So this week all of my prayers are going to be gratitude prayers. Not that I am ungrateful but I need to stop thinking about me and asking for things and just recognizing the blessings I HAVE, and there are a lot. It's been fun and I have become really creative, because I still need to ask for Heavenly Father to bless my investigators, but instead I will say, "I am grateful that (enter name here) will have an increased desire to read this week." It changes everything. I have to have more faith, and do more to make it happen. So it's been really cool! And I am just happier. When we "make" ourselves do something because we are "suppose" to be grateful for it. We aren't too happy to do it. However when you actually say thank you for each specific thing you have, even if it's you coat (which I am VERY grateful for this week! ha) It changes everything!
I am so grateful for this gospel in my life, for my family and for my friends! I am SO grateful that my best friends are getting married and have found the Love of their lives to spend eternity with! I am grateful that I get to be a missionary. To help other people that I have grown to love have eternal families as well. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, who knows my every need and lets me learn by climbing. Sometimes it's hard, but lets be honest, when you climb a mountain and get to the top you don't think about the struggle, It's just liberating standing on the top! And I am grateful for that. I love you all so very much! Let's take the time to be a little more grateful and to let Heavenly Father know it! I love love love you!
Have a blessed week!
Sister Stones

Dropbox: "Halloween was bomb.com!! Minions all the way!! We carved pumpkins in District meeting ours was faith.. like a seed... It's growing into a flower... we didn't have very long haha. and beautiful fall trees!!! love them!"

Oct 28

Hola Familia!!
What a week I've had! Seriously! It has been a jam packed week! I'm not even actually sure how we fit it all in! .... really..
Let's start with monday. Our really cool, super awesome, wonderful invesigator Debi has been begging us to get permission to do Zumba with her one time! SO we magically got permission and on monday got to take a Zumba class! wooowee can I say I have not so good rhythm anymore. hahaha. but it was really great to support Debi! She rocked it! This little hispanic lady behind Sister Roper and I just kept laughing at us. haha. But lots of fun. Then that night we had a conference call... yeah you read that right, a conference call with our mission president and the other leaders in the mission to tell us that we are now going to be "Online Missionaries" Including: Facebook, Blogs, Mormon.org. AND in december we are getting Ipads and IPhones!! SAY WHAT?! Yeah... Mind. Blown.
Let's just say I have been almost freaking out about it because I know how many of my friends are married or having babies or are getting married! Do you know how distracting that is?! So yes I am now a Facebook Missionary. SO If you see me on there please oh please! Only talk to me about missionary things. If you have a friend you would like me to teach. OR if you are someone that has quesions than by all means chat it up! And think about how you can be a facebook missionary too. again.. mind. blown.
On to normal missionary work!
We taught the Alfeire Family this week! They are a part member family and we are teaching Brianna (9) and Connor (8) so that they can get baptized in December! They are so cute! We taught them the plan of Salvation and they ate it up! Cute kids! We also taught another family just like that. The Masons their two youngest girls haven't been baptized yet, and their family has been Less active for many years, so we are teaching the whole family. We taught them the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation this week and again they ate it up too! They are getting baptized in December as well. Heavenly Father has blessed us so much! We are teaching so many wonderful people! Debi is still preparing for December 24th. and she is so excited! :) Robert is learning how to rely on Jesus Christ so he can stop smoking! He's doing great!
We went on 2 exchanges. Sister Schramm came to me and we worked! It was wonderful! We went knocking on doors (first time I've done it in this area) and we found a new invesigator! Her name is Norka, she is in the Military (like everyone else) and yeah we found her by knockin on her door! She's fun. Definitely Military. After everything we said or every question we got a "yes, Ma'am". Loved it!
Then I went back to my old stopming grounds in shirlington!! CRAZY! We walked around everywhere and man oh man has that place changed in a year! It was super fun to go back though!
Friday we had a Sisters Conference which was so wonderful! I was asked to talk with the Sisters on how to stay focused and no become distracted. ha. That's fitting for life right now. Heavenly Father knew what I needed and how to help me get back into the swing of things. Have me study and talk about it. The spirit was really strong, and I was able to say exactly what was needed for me, and for everyone else. Then we had a meeting about how to use facebook. (I felt like mom. "wait. go back. I didn't see which button you pushed!" "Wait. Show me again. "How did you get here?" haha it was really commical)
I can't believe how much the work is progressing even in this small area of Fort Belvoir! And now we get to teach people all over the world! I am so blessed to be a missionary right at this time! I wish I was at the beginning of my mission so time was on my side. But I will work with what I get! :) and as our Member Brother Parkes liked to remind me last night "Hey that's only 14 weeks" ah... rude. :) haha Love them! Anyhoo. I love you all and I know that Heavenly Father is Hastenin his work! SO everyone jump on! I love you all so much!
Sister Stones

Oct 21- Lovin' The Mission Life

Wow has this week been full of miracles!! First off all I have to say is God is great! We have been working really hard at seeing each of our investigators twice in a week so that they are having more frequent reminders to read and learn and things, that is almost nearly impossible in this area because everyone has 2-3 jobs trying to make ends meet. But this week we had 12 lessons. That's right I think the most I've had almost my whole mission except with Sister Rozsa when I was being trained was 6. So I was so happy! We also had the primary program this week for church and we had 9 non members that came with us! 9! That is an amazing miracle, and they LOVED it! The little kiddo's did just a good job I was even in tears when they sang "I like to look for rainbows". They did sign language with it, and it was just beautiful! It reminded me when I was the primary chorister with mom and they had me teach all the little ones "I am a child of God" in Sign. So. cute! I love them!
We went into DC today to go to the Arlington Cemetery and it was really cool .We ran into a bunch of members. One was from one of my old wards! So that was fun, and the spirit was just so tender ans sacred in that place. We also happened to go right as they were changing the guards at the "Unknown Soldier" which was also really sacred and cool to watch. We are so blessed to live where we live, and to have the freedoms that we are so blessed to have. And today was just beautiful! Very rejuvenating! Muh feet hurt... but we'll look past that. ha :)
I love Sister Roper! She is wonderful and just loves life, and I need her! This week was huge for both of us. She got a package in the mail from her mom congratulating her on her 1/2 way mark! She's been out for 9 months. And I got a letter from the mission office.... The "Trunky letter" as missionaries around here call it, or "We're about to give you the boot, lets figure out the details." or "Thanks for all you do, don't let this distract you but... Your going home." Yeah. I may or may not have cried. I haven't really thought about it, but knew it was coming... So when I got it in the mail I just looked at it and my heart dropped and I put it back in the mail box and walked away. hahaha The I laughed and went back and grabbed it and then couldn't breath right. So I am officially on my climb home haha because they are going to have to carry me out on a stretcher from this place!! I'm headed home on:
February 7th.
Now people don't have to ask me. haha there it is. I have mixed feelings about it, but I am going to try my very hardest to not get distracted, funny enough we are having a Sisters Conference this friday and Sister Riggs has asked me to talk with the Sister's on how to do just that, "Being here" and not being distracted by anything at home or whats to come. So Heavenly Father is giving me a little help so I know how to do it too haha!
I love my mission so much! I can't believe how fast it has flown by! And I know how fast the holiday's go so I will be home sooner than you know it! ah. ***deep breath*** ok I'm good. Yes I love everything, even the crazies! Because there are some, don't you worry.
I love you all. I hope you have an amazing week and I will talk to you next week!!
Sister Stones
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Changing of the Guards. So Cool.
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"Fall!!! Arlington Cemetery. And just our pretty faces! :) love you!" Drop Box: https://www.dropbox.com/home/Fort%20Belvoir%202#!/home/Fort%20Belvoir%202

Oct 14- Tender Mercies

What is up my good lookin Family!!
I don't have a lot of time today because I took so long being distracted by who knows what. ha. But this week has been crazy and weird! SO I am in a new area and I have just been sick. Almost the whole time so far. Terrible headaches, nauseous, you name it, I had it. No idea why. I even had this awful terrible night mare. and when I say awful I mean it. bleck. No fun. I am slightly afraid to go to sleep some nights. It's weird. I haven't ever been like that. SO I am banking on this next week being WAY better. But even with me being sick and super off, we still taught 10 lessons, put 2 people on date, and had 2 wonderful souls come to church! Let's just say God is really good at what He does, and using his instruments even if they are a little out of tune sometimes, or even broken. Helps me know that I am not super woman and sometimes I can't do it all. Weird. but true haha :) So I am doing better, and sleeping again and jumping right back on the horse! I am still getting to know the area and this week we are jumping right into exchanges again. So I am excited to work with other Sisters in different areas. Back to a couple old stomping grounds which I am stoked about!
We also went to the temple this morning. Which was really needed! The spirit was stronger than usual and I think it's because the Lord knew I needed a little extra boost. Which I did and it was recieved warmly and with open arms! In Relief Society on Sunday we learned all about the tender mercies of the Lord, and then last couple days I have been bombarded with them! I just know that Heavenly Father is aware of me. We went to a members home to check on her because she wasn't at curch and her nephew was there so we taught him and when he ended the lesson with his prayer he prayed the we would be protected and that no evil spirits would be around us. It was crazy! Because the night before I had had a nuzto dream and hadn't been able to sleep! He had no clue, and such a random thing to pray for. But Heavenly Father needed me to know he was there. Cool.
We also went to see another member and met a man named Javier out side and started talking to him about the church and by the end of our chat we had taught the restoration and given him a book of mormon to pray about. and then o end the lesson he prayed. Which was a miracel because he hadn't prayed since he was 17 when he stopped going to Catholic school and to church (now he's 40)and the spirit was so sweet as he prayed, you could just feel the Heavenly Father was grateful to hear from his son! Man I am so lucky. I get to have those moments everyday. I am so blessed and even with sickness and crazy going on I know that God is aware and then he loves me! I love you all and I know this church is true. I know that I am here in Lorton Virginia serving in the Fort Belvoir ward because that's exactly where Heavenly Father needs me to be! I love this work! I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week!!
Sister Stones
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"Fort Belboir""WE HAVE AN IHOP~! yummmm, just built. They knew I was comin. I was sick with migrains, Grandma (she's amazing!) The temple! Tender mercy: the Gainesville Missionaries were there and so I go to see a couple members and muh mission buddies! ...ANd stress=a cold sore. "
Drop box:

Oct 7- Pumpkin pie is gross... no matter what people say!

Dear Family,
Crazy eventful week!!
Like I said on friday, I have been transfered! I am now in Fort Belvoir Ward Serving with Sister Roper! I love her! I have been on a bunch of exchanges with her before this and I just love her to death! She is an amazing Missionary, hard working and we ard just going to see lots of miracles! I can't wait! Plus being sister training Leaders! It is going to be so much fun!! It is going to take me a while to get to know all the investigators and everyone's names, because they are all from Ghana and have such beautifully interesting names, but it will be great! And since I only have 3 transfers left (super sad day, and kinda crazy to think about.. so now I am done thinking abou it... ha) I most likely will stay here till the end! Super crazy. But who knows. Lets be honest, this girl doesn't. Ha I just go where ever the Lord needs me too and then I open my mouth. I love this work! man it's just the best!
Also, Was conference wonderful or what? I was so touched by all the different talks and all the messages my heart is still just so full! I have been preparing and studyin and getting ready for conference. I came up with questions to have answered, and I just studied :) Well, lets just say all my questions were answered and I am just so grateful for a living modern day prophet! Heavenly Father loves us so very much! We definitel need to work on some things, but he loves us and wants us to know that and I sure felt it! If you missed it go to lds.org and watch it! Totally worth it!
We got to go to the Temple Visitor Center and watch conference with our investigator Blake! That was fun! It was sunday morning (afternoon here) session, super cool!
Let's see. I am just getting settled and getting used to everything. Oh at transfer meeting I got to sing wih Sister Goates, a sister that goes home this next transfer, and I am so grateful, because it was really beautiful. The night before I get a phone call from the Ap's and it's Elder Cluff, he says, "Uh so. Sister Stones, We neglected to plan in advance. How are your vocal cords doing?" haha I said, "Doing great do you need a musical number?" and he said, "We thought you'd never ask!" ha so the next morning I found Sister goats and someone to play the piano and we sang, "I need thee every hour" it was so fun. I am so grateful to know that I am trusted in that way. That everyone knows that no matter what it is they can call me, even last second and if I can I will always be there to help. I hope I am always like that! :)
Welp, I am off to have another wonderful miracle filled week! Love you all so so SOO much! Go out and follow the coucil from the prophet aka the mouth piece for God and spread the gospel to everyone!!! :) Love you!!!
Sister Stones
Ps. I had pumpkin pie for the first time this week and It was gross. Good thing I'm a missionary and can muscle things down haha :) Love ya
"Tranfers"-"Our Last disrict meetings, the Fish family, packin the car. Transfers, We watched conference at the temple visitor center, and it's pouring today!"
Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/home/Transfers!#!/home/Transfers

Oct 5- Drumroll Please...

I have been transfered BACK to the Mt Vernon Stake! I am serving with Sister Roper in the Fort Belvoir Ward Still serving as sister trainer leader. I am stoked! I'm over Sisters in Kingstowne AND Shirlington!! That's my first area! So stoked!
My new address is:
Sister Michelle Stones
7520 Woodside Ln #14
Lorton, VA 22039
you can send letters and all sorts of stuff. :) What ever your hearts desire!
Love you all! Talk to you Monday!
Sister Stones

Sept 30- If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Hello Family!!
This week has been loads of fun!! Seriously! We had a bunch of meetings and a bunch of lessons and a bunch of pranks pulled on us. ha man oh man I love this big family I am apart of right now!
Ok So first off I will start off by saying the Elders in our mission are crazy! AND they LOVE pulling pranks on us, because we give the reaction they want. haha but these ones were really good. First. There used to be an Elder in the Mission he has been home a while now, but I heard a rumor that he was coming back to visit his name is Elder Makwenkwe and he is from Africa and amazing! I called one of the Assistant to the President (AP's) to ask him a question (Elder Cluff) and this is what I hear, "Hello this is Elder Makwenkwe." WHAT?! I was stoked! I then proceeded to have the best conversation with elder Makwenkwe! Asked him how we was doing and what he had been up to. and as I continued to ask him questions his thick African accent started to slip and so half way through the conversation I hear this timid voice, "uh... Sister Stones. hey.. uh... it's elder cluff." "What?!" (seriously so confused!) "It's Elder Cluff." bahahaha then I hear Elder Day in the background just bustin a gut! (They were on exchanges) and then we all laughed hysterically. man oh man I am a blonde. The next day We got a text from the zone leaders (where elder Day is) and it says, "Hey remember that one time when you thought Elder Cluff was Elder Makwenkwe? ... good times." ha terd. Oh but that's not all, I then got a call from Elder Gustafsen asking how my convo with Makwenkwe was. I am with a bunch of children. ha. I love them!
To continue forward onto the next one. (ha) We had the best night Saturday. We got a ride from a member to the Relief Society Broadcast (the women's organization in the church) so we were being really kind and we gave the elders the keys to the car so they could drive the rest of the night since we weren't going to be using it. After this spiritually uplifting experience (quite life changing I might add) we are driving home and we were telling our member that the elders have our keys to the car. And then all the dots connected and I said... "Oh they also have the key to the apartment." hmmm... "Elders don't do pranks." Says the member sarcastically. OH.NO. So the elders come and let us in to the complex, and give us our keys and silly us are just so tired we don't think anything of it (short term memory loss I swear), UNTIL we get up to our room and I go to turn on a light and nothing happens. or any of the other light switches in the house. Oh ok they turned off our power. So we find the power box and turn it back on... oh wait nope they have taken all the lights out of the light fixtures... it's fine it's just pitch black and we are all screaming and yelling and (I am recording this on my camera for laughing purposes) when I find all the bulbs underneath our beds! And the ones where they couldn't take them out were on our balcony! haha So we get all the lights in and on and Sister Olson goes to turn on the water in the sink to wash her hands and she is then sprayed!! Yeeup they had rubber band, (rubber banded??) our sink sprayer so when we turned it on... we got wet. Her face should have been recorded! Seriously! I dropped to the floor laughing! Man good times. We got it all figured out and are now trying to figure out how to get the elders back. any good ones?!
Onto the spiritual now, because this week was full of that too!
We are still teaching Steven, Debbie, Tim, Amy, and are doing new member lessons with Zahra. They are so amazing. They are all struggling with their own things that they are needing to overcome but as they read the book of Mormon little by little they are struggles anymore. They recognize the strength that comes from keeping the commandments and they are working on finding out if this is true for themselves.
We went to a Fireside with Steven last night and it was wonderful. Afterward he said, "Yeah I feel like my prayers were answered by some of the testimonies that were said. I think I know this is true. I want to get baptized on the 12th." !!! YAY! So we are working hard and helping him remember why he loves this so much! It's fun! We also had a half mission conference, and learned all about how important it is to go back to the basics. And so that is what I am doing. It has been great so far! I'll just keep it up!
Ok last thing before I run. This morning I was studying and reading from the Book of Mormon and read Alma chapter 26. It is about Ammon and his brothers when they have finished their mission among their brethren who didn't know Christ and how much joy they have for being an instrument in the Lords hands. I feel that exact way! This experience has changed my life! I have become so deeply grounded in the Gospel nothing could change my mind ever! I know that there is a Prophet of God on the Earth today and that this weekend we get to hear from him and the other general authorities of the church, and I can't wait. We have divine guidance sent straight from Heavenly Father, through his servant to us! Wow he loves us so much! I want to challenge everyone who is reading this to watch it! Watch it with questions, and I promise they will be answered! I love you all so much and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I hope you all have an amazing week!!
This is one of my favorite verses from the chapter (Alma 26:36-37, and exactly how I feel!!:
"36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land. 37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.
I love you all. Remember that we are all children of God and we are all meant to change and grow! SO If you don't like where you are, then change it! You are not a tree!
Love you,
Sister Stones

Dropbox "September Fun" Elders pranked us, I made spaghetti squash for dinner, Sister Olson in her Armor of God, And Sister Christensen. LOVE YOU ALL!"