Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Aug 19- Hello From the East Coast

This week has been so much fun! And it has been beautiful. It's been in the 60s-80s with light humitity and light breezes. It's like I am in california... except without the beautiful beaches. But it's ok. Last summer I was MELTING and on bike so I will take this anyday! I even busten out my cute half boots and scarfs today! LOVE IT!
Ok first I have to comment on how hilarious it is that jonathan can't stay on his bike! I think he is going to far surpass me in the tally for "Bike: enter number here, Elder Stones:0" So all I have to say is I am going to make a score board if no one else does hahaha I love you bubba and I feel your pain! haha You will get a point some day! OH I know. You can gain a point every week you don't fall off!! That's a good one! You're welcome!
Ok so onto my amazing week! First we were supposed to have a baptism this week but it got pushed back a little. Zahra's mom is really wanting to make sure that she is knowing what she is doing, so she has asked her to visit a couple other churches and then when she does and still feels like this is right for her she can go ahead. haha that's a weird commitment to give someone, "Go to some other churches please so you can get baptized!" haha she knows it's true and I am not worried at all, I am grateful she loves her mom enough to do what she asks. SO I don't know when but Zahra's getting baptized one of these weekends! haha :)
We went on two exchanges this week with some amazing Sisters! I love having this calling! I get to learn so much as I teach these sisters but also as they teach me! I have the amazing opportunity to meet so many different people from all over and in differen phases of their conversion so I am learning a lot!
But besides our amazing investigations we got to go to the temple this week!!! It has been REALLY needed, and I was so grateful for the spirit there. I am so thankful for the blessings of the temple in my life!
Lets see... what else is happening! Oh yeah! Man how can I forget! Transfers are this week. Thursday. We find out tomorrow for sure, but we are pretty sure that Sister Borland will be transfered and I will get another companion. I am so excited/sad. I love change, but I love sister Borland! It will be good though! We are also getting elders in our area as well! AND our Bishop is moving to Utah in about a week!! SO there is a lot of change that's going on and I am thankful for the strength I will recieve to just keep swimming and loving the sun! :)
ALSO, there is a new mail policy. It is getting to be too much for the office to forward our mail. and the post office is going to start charging them. so with each new transfer you will have to send you letters to my specific address. my gainesville is:
Sister Michelle Stones
13550 Heathcote Blvd #321
Gainesville, VA 20155
Let the writting commence!
I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week!! You are all wonderful and I will talk to you next week! With more exciting updated news!! The life of a missionary is exciting!
Sister Stones
This link is to a dropbox photo album that Michelle created I am not sure if it will work or not. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Aug 12- Mailin' Monday!!

Hello Familia!!

How has everyone been?! I love getting everyone's email's they make me so happy! I am so blessed to have such amazing family members who keep me updated in their lives so I don't feel forgotten hahaha :) I love you all!

This week has been wonderful! I love gainesville and am so blessed to be a sister trainer leader! We are coming up to the rap up of this transfer and my heart is just jumping for joy at the miracles and people we have met over these last couple tranfers together! We have had many miracle lessons and this weekend we have a baptism planned and in a couple weeks we will be having another one! I am in awe of the blessings God grants us as we have faith, are diligent, and humble.

I went on two exchanges this week and one with Centreville and one with Herndon! I got to see and have a lesson with Oscar and Sister Dean!! My heart was so happy! I am so lucky and blessed to have this calling! Oscar is preparing for baptism! I can't believe it! He has been coming to church and he loves the Book of Mormon! I just remember the first time I knocked on his door! And our first lesson! Man oh man I love this work!

We also have had wonderful lessons with Zahra (who is preparing for baptism this weekend!), Steven and Debbie! They are all doing so wonderfully! Just learning more and more and drawing more and more to our Savior! It's really amazing to be apart of!

This week I am focusing in on different topics as I study and I am so amazed at the beautiful information the gospel brings us! I have been studying forgiveness and change or repentance. And how important it is to forgive ourselves in the process of change. We are changing everyday. It really is our only constant in life. The thing we can look forward to that will stay constant: change. That is what the gospel of Jesus Christ brings us though. As we are building our faith and gaining knowledge and a love for our savior we no longer want to do bad things, or even little annoying things that just ping our spirit, for instance: losing your temper on the road. When we focus on the life of our Savior you automatically will want to change. That doesn't always mean that the change will take place though. We have to be wiling to let go of whatever it is that keeps us from him. And with that come our willing heart. Man oh man is that hard! I have A lot of things that keep me from being prefect now. But it's ok. Because Jesus Christ wants to forgive us. He came to earth, suffered, and died for each of us so he could forgive us. Why then, is it so hard to forgive ourselves? If we ask, and really change, we then have to let it go. Don't live in the regret, and don't live in the sadness, or in the what if, or woulda coulda shoulda. Once you are forgiven by God, OR once others have been... let it go. move on and forgive! I love this concept and I am so thankful Heavenly Father has been inspiring me to study it! The only way we accept the inevitable is once we realize that change is good, forgiveness is possible, and We are here to have JOY! So go and love today with a free heart!

I love this work, I love my savior, and I am so thankful for the knowledge I have of the plan Heavenly Father has for each of us! I love you all and I hope you have a glorious week!!


Sister Stones

PS and go study forgiveness!! :) It's great!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Aug 5- Missionary Life

This week has been the life! We have been jam packed with lesson after lesson and meeting after meeting. It has been wonderful! I can't believe it is already august! My mind is blown! Where has the time gone?!
A couple shout outs:
-First Dawn wins the best member missionary award! Man oh man ask her how amazing she is!
- Second Mom sent the most AMAZING gift! It is a plaque that says "Come what may and LOVE it!" done! (and the goodies inside were good too!)
- Loved ALL the letters from the Stones Family and loved hearing about whats going on in everyones lives!
Ok so I am loving the Trio I am in! I love having Sister Magaoay and Sister Borland as companions we are all best friends and we work so well together! We have had miracle after miracle happen!! I will start at the beginning!
First like I said last week, we finally got in contact with Grant! And then Monday night we taught a lesson to a girl named Zahra and put her on date for baptism on August 17th and she accepted so we have been teaching her a couple times a week to help her get ready! She is dating one of the youth in our ward, is reading the book of mormon and LOVES it! She knows it is true and can't wait to get baptized, and she came to church on sunday!
Debbie is doing amazing!! We taught her about the importance of church because we invited her the last few weeks and she said yes and then never showed. So we asked if she would like a tour of the church so she could be more comfortable, knowing where the kids would be going and what she would be doing and she said yes! We had a tour of the chapel the next day and then Sunday morning her and her ADORABLE children came to church!! SO GREAT!! Amazing feeling as a missionary having people come to church, and the ward was so welcoming. It was wonderful. One of the members looked at her and said, "Are you a little overwhelmed?" and Debbie's eyes just got big and she chuckled and said yeah and then Sister Lopez said, "It's like standing under a waterfall and trying to figure out what part you are trying to catch." (haha) we all just started laughing and Debbie agreed... She is so wonderful. We also talked about baptism and when she feels she would be ready and she said she know's she needs to, but needs to pray more for the strength to give up he coffee and things. We talked about filling her life with better things, like reading and praying instead and then the Lord can help her! She agreed! Man oh man it's great!
There is also a family in the ward where the mom and dad are both members but none of the kids are. So we knocked on their door and asked if we could come and teach them! They agreed and loved the lesson so we are going to continue to teach them as well!
We have been so blessed this week! I haven't had a week like this since the very beginning of my mission! I love watching people lives transform because the gospel is touching their hearts. It is such a humbling feeling knowing that it isn't because of anything that I am doing that these individuals are accepting the gospel. It's because they are allowing the spirit to touch their hearts and then they are acting on it, and I just sit and watch it happen.
I love you all so much and am now about to go tackle another amazing week of miracles! This is the Lords work and I love being apart of it!! Love you all! Talk to you next week!!
Sister Stones

July 29- Aloha!

Why hello my wonderful family!
This week has literally been insane! I am LOVING being a missionary more and more the longer I am out but this week was extra special. So Sister Borland and I did back to back exchanges on tuesday to Wednesday one to one, I was in Oak Marr (the Oakton Stake), and then Wednesday to Thursday I was back in Gainsville and Sister Borland was in Chantilly one to one and then we were reunited on Thursday for interviews with President Riggs at 1:15. She planned my day and I just followed suit. BUT the best part was when I was on exchanges with Sister Wilcox in Oak Marr that night Sister Borland called and said "Hey I have fun news for you! We are getting a new companion tomorrow!" uhh what? "Yeup so you will be on exchanges and you will pick up our new companion whenever Sister Riggs calls." hahaha It was insane. So at about 5 (dinner time) Sister Riggs had our new arrival! SHE IS AMAZING!! Her name in Sister Magaoay (Ma-Go-Why) she is from Hawai'i and on her out bound from temple square (like Sister King), but President hasn't had a moment to pause and recieve revelation on where she is going and with who and so he put her with us for the time being and it has been amazing! Oddly enough we have actually really needed the extra hand this weekend. We have gone on a couple splits with the ward and needed an extra person to be able to be in 2 places at once (so very inspired by President)!
We all get along so well and we teach really well together too! We taught really great lessons to Mary, Debbie, and Steven. Who are all doing wonderfully! Steven even came to church on sunday and loved it! We are walking around and just talking with everyone! And having so much fun while we are doing it! I wish I had my camera cord with me (I am at the library because our complex computers stopped working) So I could show you our trio... It is literally me, Tori, and Darlene!!! HAHAHA seriously though. I have been telling sister Borland from day one that she reminds me of my best friend Tori. And then Sister Magaoay gets thrown into the mix and it's like a blast from the past! We are just constantly laughing and just having a grand ol' time! Love em!
Ok lets see on a spiritual note...
Heavenly Father is amazing and in the details of our lives! Today as we were going about shopping and things we needed to get a quota on some apartment complexes in gainesville for elders to move into and it is in the same complex as grant (our former investigator). We have been trying for weeks to get a hold of him and haven't been able to! But, today we went and were talking to this old guy (His name is Ed and he is great... and basically deaf. But so great) and asking about renting places there and stuff and grant walks out! My heart skipped a beat I was so excited! He saw us and waved and put his finger up like "hold on" and when we were done talking to Ed we went over and talked with Grant. Saw how he was doing, and why he has been bobbin and weevin our calls and things. He has had a lot of things happening so he's been "busy" (He say's "Awe man I just can't lie to you girls. I try and I am doing horrible." and I said , "Yeah but it's fun to watch you try." haha He is so hilarious. He is really wanting to meet again. So we set up a time for next week! Man oh man. It was such a miracle. We have been trying to contact him for weeks. And once we stopped worrying Heavenly Father was able to orchastrate it so all would work out. Sister Magaoay said that this morning in her studies. Elder Ballard came to the Temple Square Mission and had a Q &A with the sisters and one of them said "How do we know if we are following the spirit or what?" and he said, "EASY, Relax. You let Heavenly Father worry about it. It is His work. He can worry about how scared you are and if the person is going to accept the message. All you have to do is show up." It is true and I am thankful she shared that because I needed it :)
Ok I have like 2 minutes left on my time so I am going to wrap it up! I love you all SO much and I can't believe I have been our a year! It has been amazing and I can't wait to work my little bum off in the great work for the next few months! They are just goin to fly! I love this gospel with all my heart and I know it is true! I know that Jesus Christ loves me, and I am thankful to know I am a Daughter of God! I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!
Sister Stones

July 22- This is Michelle's talk on Eternal Families

Becoming an eternal family: This Life is the time to prepare
I grew up in a family of 6 a crazy family of 6, and I love every one of them. I remember waking up at 6:30 in the mornings to read scriptures and pray as a family before my older siblings ran off to school. We each took a turn reading and then closed our eyes to “listen” to the story as everyone else got a turn. With nudges from mom and dad to wake up. I remember Monday evenings consisted of “Once there was a snow man”, popcorn, the Book of Mormon, and someone quarreling with someone else and my mom singing “let us all speak kind words to each other” or “Love at Home” (They were interchangeable.)  I remember going to church each Sunday with mom just grateful we all made it in one piece, and Dad passing out tootsie rolls to keep our mouths busy. I loved church. My family was strong in the gospel and active at church.
My mom and dad taught me from a young age how important it was to be kind, and do as the Savior would do and I am so thankful for them. I am the way I am today because of all the little things they have instilled in me to do. I have been learning how to get along with my family now so I will know how to be with them forever.
Today I have been asked to talk about becoming an eternal family, that this life is the time to prepare.
Eternal families are how God has intended his Children to live from the beginning of time, from Adam and Eve. They were married and sealed together by the power of God. And when Jesus Christ was on the earth he gave that same divine authorization to Peter, when he promised: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
With the falling away of Christ’s church for a period of time, that authorization was gone with it. And without it no eternal families….Thankfully, it was restored back to the earth so we could be blessed by it once again. That is why we are married in the temple.
I honestly never knew just how important this blessing was until here serving my mission. I knew I was blessed by it because my parents were married in the temple. They were sealed by that same power to be together with their family for time and all eternity. But I never knew the other side of that. I sat the other day and thought of how it would be if I didn’t have a guarantee of being with my family. If I didn’t know the gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored and along with it this amazing gift from a loving Father. How differently I would act, I probably wouldn’t be very close with my siblings. My heart ached just imagining not having that. I see it every day when we knock on doors or when we talk to families who are broken because of the world. I know from growing up watching my mom and dad that eternal families are something you work for, something you fight for. My little brother was saddened because of the choices and judgments of members of the church that he didn’t want to go anymore. So he didn’t. I watched it break my mom’s heart. I saw her kneel in prayer by her bed every morning and stand up in faith knowing that the Lord had this in his hands. I love my mom and her faith. I came on a mission because of her faith, and with me being on a mission it softened his heart. He saw how important it was to me and how many lives I was touching daily and that I was teaching the gospel of “Good News” to everyone. His perspective widened and he recognized how much he needed the atonement in his life. He came back to church and read his scriptures again. He just entered the mission field to serve our Savior in Boston. I am so proud of him.
The atonement is something that we are all needing to access. There is no one here who cannot be helped or reached or picked up from where ever you may be by the atonement of Jesus Christ. That is again another amazing gift from our Heavenly Father to enable us to change. To become more like Christ and to live happier more fuller lives. One of my favorite Scriptures in the book of Mormon says, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” Our Mission President is all about absolutes. He always points out promises in the scriptures and helps us see how we can obtain them. Something interesting about this scripture is that there aren’t any absolutes. And you ask “Well, then why is this your favorite.” The scripture says “and men are that they might have joy.” We chose to come to earth, to gain a body, and to live in a place that we have to CHOOSE to have joy. Agency or the gift to choose is one of the most important gifts God gave us. We choose to have joy.
No matter what our circumstances may be… When we choose to access the atonement we can find joy in anything... We just have to see the cup half full… not half empty.
When I was at a really difficult time in my mission I remember writing my mom and asking for advice. I had prayed and prayed and tried to keep my cup half full, but just found myself feeling as if I was drowning in the missionary life. I couldn’t connect with the people, my companion, or the ward. I put on a face of happiness but inside I was searching for comfort of some kind. My wise mother counseled me “to kneel in humility, and to stand in confidence in the promises of my Father in Heaven.” I needed to show my faith in my Savior. I remember kneeling in prayer and as I knelt in humility, I felt a wave of comfort wash over me that I hadn’t felt in a long while. I allowed, I chose to let, my Savior in, I had stopped doing it on my own and really listened, and then stood up in confidence knowing I would be ok. And I was.
She is a great example to me. How I had allowed the business and loudness of the world cloud my ability to communicate with my Heavenly Father. I had been praying, but not humbly enough to really accept which answer I was going to get. I didn’t get the answer I was wanting but I got the comfort I needed.
Elder Richard G Scott a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “Many voices from the world in which we live tell us we should live at a frantic pace. There is always more to do and more to accomplish. Yet deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, regroup, and reenergize to prepare for future pressures.
The ideal place for that peace is within the walls of our own homes, where we have done all we can to make the Lord Jesus Christ the centerpiece.”
How true it is, when we center our lives and our homes on our Savior it becomes a safe haven from this changing world. I always knew I would be safe in my house because we were careful what we brought into our home… From the media to our attitudes.
My mom would always say “This is a safe place, leave all that is weighing you down in the garbage can outside. If you want to pick it up again with you when you leave you can, or you can just leave it there and have a better day.” Our homes are safe places, and if it isn’t yet. Make it one. And it’s everyone’s job to make it that way. President Ezra Taft Benson taught, “In an eternal sense, salvation is a family affair…” and I say, it can start with you. Choose each day to be a little kinder, put the dishes in the sink, or do a siblings chore. Our constant goal in life should be to live each day as if the Savior were by our side. To be obedient, “don’t rationalize future happiness by taking shortcuts instead of applying sound gospel principles. Remember “By small and simple things. Great things are brought to pass.”… “Simple, consistent, good habits lead to a life full of bountiful blessings.”
So how do we prepare? We live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each and every day we nourish our faith in Jesus Christ, we repent and change to become more like him, we make and keep covenants or promises with Heavenly Father, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. When this is repeated throughout our lives it becomes a pattern of living, and is the only way of living that will bring peace of conscience and enable us to live with our families in Heavenly Father’s presence.
In “The Family: A proclamation to the world” it says, “The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.”
However, just as I stated earlier Satan is attacking the family, and the world is tearing it apart. People are using the philosophies of man to run their homes rather than the commandments of God, and then wondering why their lives are falling apart? It breaks my heart to see people become so selfish they separate themselves from their loved ones. Too many families are being destroyed because of Satan’s efforts. God doesn’t want this. Through the light of the gospel, families can resolve misunderstandings, contentions, and challenges. Families torn by discord can be healed through repentance, forgiveness, and faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Preach my Gospel states that “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
I know from personal experience, we had a family reunion a few years ago. It had been the first time in 5 years that all of us, spouses and kids included, were together. I don’t know about everyone else, but when we all got together the mix was different. Years of not being together and knowing each other’s personalities really put a wedge in the family, we didn’t mesh as well as normal and a lot can happen in 5 years that can fester and grow and if not handled right when it should can really get destructive. One night as we were cleaning up after dinner something happened that was the last straw that broke the camel’s back and chaos ensued. We all separated and cooled off for a few hours, and I will forever be indebted and thankful for my dad. Who kindly and gently brought us all back together to talk… We sat and talked with one another each getting a turn to speak. As we talked hearts were mended, forgiveness was given and received, and our family became stronger than ever. My dad fought for out eternal family. As we talked that night we also fought for our eternal family, and I am so thankful for the gospel for this to be possible. It brings peace to my heart knowing that just as my family was mended, every other family who has ever been broken can as well. The love our Father in Heaven has for all of us in unconditional. We need to give that same love to our families.
This life is the time to prepare. Right now. We can change because of Christ, be better, and choose to have joy. As we read from our scriptures daily, and pray and talk with our Heavenly Father we will know exactly what we need to do to prepare. Just as my family did the little things as I was growing up, so can each of you. I have such fond memories of my childhood and the dedication my parents had to the gospel.
Each one of us can be that example in each of our families. I am so excited to see the blessings of eternal families continue to play out in my life, to marry in the temple and to have an eternal family of my own. We can’t afford to not have the blessings of the temple. If you don’t have them now prepare for them. If your family members don’t have it pray and ask Heavenly Father how you can help them, know the gospel well enough that it truly becomes a pattern in your life! I love this gospel and I love my Savior. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the prophet Joseph Smith and that the Priesthood Power of God is on the earth again. I love the Book of Mormon and I know it is the word of God to bring us closer to him. And I say these things. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

July 22- Lovin' bein' a missionary

This was such a fun week! Man oh man I am so excited to get emails from Jonathan and to feel his fire! We had an interesting start to our day so it pushed our time to write emails to later and I am so thankful or I would have had to wait an entire week before getting to hear from him! Oh hey also does anyone have his mailing address? That would be good to have! :) Man oh man I love my little brother!

This week has been loads of fun! I'll start at the beginning of the week and give you the run down.
Tuesday we had district meeting and played Jeopardy! It was hilarious! Sister Borland and I are the only companionship that stayed together in our district and most everyone was new. The topics were Book of Mormon, Preach my Gospel, New Testament, Doctrine and Covenants, Hymns, Prophets, and Random. We were put into teams and I was keeping score so I asked the other team to come up with a name and Elder Staley said, "I don't know." and I said "WE DO" So those became our team names. hahaha It was hilarious! It was the most fun game of Jeopardy I had ever played, probably because I could answer all of the questions. Sister Borland and I were on opposite teams so it actually ended up that everyone was helping with all the questions haha. It was great! Afterward though... not so great. Sister Borland had to go to the doctor because she hurt her knee 6 weeks ago (We were playing gator-ball and she got pummeled by a Samoan... not on purpose they just both went for the ball and she lost! We thought her knee would get better on it's own but... it hasn't so off we went.) She was so scared! This was the first time she had gone to the doctor.. ever... welp good thing I was a pro. We aren't sure what is wrong with it quite yet we have to get a MRI of it to see what up. SO please keep her in your prayers.
After we came home and had a little melt down. We picked ourselves up and went to work. And had 2 really amazing lessons. With Bonnie and Carrie.
We taught Bonnie the plan of Salvation. It is one of my favorite lessons to teach and I haven't been able to teach it that often. Her little kids LOVED it though. They love when we come over and talk about Jesus (they are Samantha (5), Jackson (5), and Robert (3)) and when they all get excited they stutter which usually comes out as "I I I I I I LOVE JEEEESUS". or "a a a a and he saw JEEEESUS." (referring to Joseph Smith). So as we were teaching the plan of salvation they kept mixing different things up (which made me just giggle) and then Robert's eyes got really huge and he stood up and said, "I I I I have a perrrrrfect BOOODY" with his shirt lifted up and patting his stomach. We then explained that, that is the goal but first we have to keep being good here. Haha I love the fish family!!
And then we went over to Carrie's house and taught her all about feeling the spirit and recognizing answers that we receive. She is really awesome and progressing to know her Savior more and it is really cool to be apart of.

We went on exchanges with some sisters on Thursday and I went to Ashburn and trained Sister Heidi Loar! Which was SO much fun! Because we knew each other before the mission, and even hung out with the same people so we did a blast from the past! Which was crazy but lots of fun! And then we went and taught some great lessons!

I spoke in church on sunday. First time on my mission. I thought I was going to make it without speaking. haha no such luck. BUT Mary came!! That was amazing! And then we had a lesson with her at 8 that night and the spirit was so strong and she recognized it! So many amazing miracles and fun memories this week!

Oh and fun fact... I hit my YEAR MARK on Thursday!!! What?! That is nuts! Really I don't believe it! I will be on exchanges that day. SO I will celebrate with a high five to myself and then I'll dance a little and cry a little! haha. I really have been so blessed being on a mission and have learned so much I couldn't have ever learned any other way! I love being a missionary!
Love you all!!
Hope you have a fabulous week! And everyone eat ice cream on thursday!! :) LOVE YOU!
Love Sister Stones
 This is my scared little companion!
SISTER LOAR! So much Fun.


July 15- I am a drama queen :) Nuff said!

Oh hey family hey!!

This week we had transfers and I am safe! Still here in Gainesville with the wonderful Sister Borland as Sister Trainer leaders! And loving every minute of it! She seriously is so amazing and such a goof! I realized I haven't really said much about her, but she is so great! And brilliant in all things. That's currently our running joke. I (who doesn't know very much) asks her What does that mean? or What is that? or Why is that (because I am a toddler apparently) and she either answers with a super profound answer (which is so mind blowing) or "Why would I know?" Which I than respond "because you know EVERYTHING!" hahaha I love it! I am learning SO much!

I had to go to the foot doctor this week to figure out why my foot has been bothering me and why I have been having a hard time walking on it and they took an xray and saw that my bones are too close together and are squishing my nerves so when I walk it irritates it. So my options were 1. have an injection or 2 get an MRI which may or may not end in surgery.... uhh.. both options not ideal.. So I chose option 1 and about passed out when she brought the needle in and it was a HORSE needle! I was laying on this chair reclined (like the first time I had this done because I had a toothpick in muh foot. SO that didn't bother me) however I was freaking out because I don't like needles so kind sister Borland began to distract me by teaching the doctor and her assistant the first lesson and what we do as missionaries! haha it was awesome. She tried to incorporate me in on the teaching but I ignored her and I just laid their and made sure I breathed. hahaha I survived! I have a HUGE bruise on my foot but no more pain. Yay!

We are teaching such amazing people and have had some cool miracles! One which actually happened the other night. We have been seeing one of our investigations quite frequently and she is kind of an "all over the place" kind of thinker so it has been effecting Sister Borland and myself in our ability to really work (because we are taking on some of her habits), and so we have been thinking we need to lay off teaching her for a little. To give our brains some break. And then the other night we both felt really prompted to go and see Mary (which is her name). So we headed over there and knocked on her door. And to our amazement there was no answer. As Sister Borland wrote a little letter on a sticky note, I knocked the door that was across the way. No answer. So then we went to the next door. And this really awesome lady answered the door! We had an awesome conversation about a lot of different topics, and it was the end of the night so we needed to be getting home and as we were getting her information I said,"oh, I am sorry We didn't get your name, I am sister Stones." She then said. "It's Mary".
!!!! MIND BLOWN! So cool! I love when we listen to Heavenly Father and he puts us where we need to be! A lot of times He will use things that are familiar to us and as we listen and do His work He will bless us! So Yeah we are going to teach (New) Mary this weekend! Love it!

I love this work! I love you all! I am about to go kick some trash in Zone sports, or get mine handed to me... which ever happens today, either way it will be fun! I love you all!

Sister Stones

July 9- Happy Fourth and Fun Miracles

Oh hey Fam!!

Ok so first I have to give a shout out to mom for being the greatest mom and drama teacher ever! With this leadership position we do lots of training with the other Sisters and I have used MANY acting tricks with them and it has been really awesome! I have obviously tweaked them a little for missionary purposes but it has been really cool! I will give you an example! For some reason every missionary who ever is on a mission has this weird idea that missionaries "sound" a certain way (and it makes me nuts) I call it the "missionary voice" or the "spirit voice" which is actually just when missionaries get this weird tone that actually doesn't do anything but make them sound weird (If you have been a missionary than you know what I mean). SO I had one of the Sister's teach me something and she leaned forward lowered her voice and looked at me and said "Our Heavenly Father has a plan for you." all "spirit voice like" so I paused her and asked her to just tell me about the plan don't "teach" me. As if I was just her best friend and so she started and was all over the place and not really actually teaching... so I paused her again and said sincerely, "This is the most important message I am ever going to here. You are the only one that may ever have a chance to tell me about it." She asked if her voice was allowed to change? and I told her of course Sincerity it different than the spirit voice. Sincerity will bring the spirit. She paused and thought about it for a moment and then she began to teach, and the spirit just filled the room. I felt every word that came out of her mouth, and I was on the edge of my seat because I could tell that she knew and wanted to tell me. It was really cool. So thanks mom :)

I love being a missionary so much! I am so blessed to rub shoulders with so many amazing people! I learn so much about myself and about this great work! This week has been truly full of miracles day after day. We are teaching some amazing people right now. One being Debbie who I talked a little about last time. We will be seeing her later tonight to teach her all about the plan of salvation which is so exciting :) We also are teaching a man named Steven, He is the son of a woman who has been a less active most of her life and just decided to come back so we are teaching them and man Heavenly Father has just been blessing us with these solid people to bring into the gospel and we just happen to be in the right place at the right time (ok I actually don't believe in coincidences I know that Heavenly Father has been leading us all a long to be able and prepared to teach such amazing individuals!) mm love it! Oh and we have made some great progress with Mary! She is a born again christian and LOVES Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ but is trying to figure out, if she can feel the spirit in all churches why there would be just one with his authority. Which is a great question. So we have been helping her understand about the apostasy and just why there are so many churches with the same source all teaching different things. And why it's so important to know which one is Heavenly Fathers. So it's been amazing. I love that woman!

Tomorrow night my Zone is putting together a Musical Fireside and Sister Borland and I are singing at it. We are singing "Come thou Fount" and it should be really wonderful! It's been interesting though. I have been missing my voice for the last almost 6 weeks (which is hard as a missionary) so I am just praying that is will be here tomorrow... So it will be wonderful because I know even if I can't sing how I would like I know that the Spirit with be there to carry the message to everyone's hearts.
Let's see... Oh yeah the fourth of july happened too (haha wow this is oober long!) We had such a wonderful fourth! We went to a block party at the bishops. They had food and fun and fireworks! I took fun pictures of everyone and all the sparklers. And some hooligan kids bought the big fireworks so we got to see some of those too. ha it was really fun! We are so blessed to be in such a great area where we are take care of and loved so much!
We have had a couple of meetings relating to building the mission and allowing the grace of Jesus Christ to really fuel us, and heal us, and change us, and I love that topic! I also have loved studying in the Book of Mormon. There is a part where Captain Moroni is preparing for war against the Lamanites and he continually is preparing (Alma 48-50. go read 'em). He doesn't ever stop. Even after they have successfully beat them, and caught them off guard. I feel that is the same in our lives. We may feel safe and comfortable where we are but we must always keep our guard up against Satan and always be preparing because he is! As we daily pray and read our scriptures and go to church we are doing what is required each day to continually stay strong. So if anyone has been slacken on any of those things, I invite you to pick it back up, build that part of your wall, and don't allow the enemy in! I love you all so very much and hope you have an amazing week!!! LOVE YOU!

Sister Stones

July 1- Oh Hey

Oh Why hello there Family!!

I feel like I just wrote... oh wait I did. :)

Not much has happened in the last little while. We are just working hard and teaching everyone who will listen about the Gospel. Which hasn't been very many people because we have had some CRAZY rain storms! I went on exchanges to Oak Marr in the Oakton Zone and it POURED while we were walking around so I then just danced in it! haha it was awesome. No one was outside and no one was answering their doors so I just danced in the rain. :) It felt wonderful and then at the end of the night I ran and jumped in a HUGE puddle hehe it was so much fun! I was soaked from head to toe and wouldn't have it any other way :)

Lets see. I have done lots of shopping on p-days haha I am basically a walking target mannequin. It's great! Haha... I know not that spiritual but it's whats going on. I am trying to think of something super profound to write but not a whole lot has happened that's not the norm haha like talking to people and having dogs attack us, and us coming home and smelling like dogs. Knocking on doors, visiting members, and teach people the gospel. Oh that just sparked an idea! We did talk with a lady that has been Less active her whole life basically after she got baptized and she is wanting to come back to church which is so exciting, but she doesn't remember much about the church so we are going to teach her and her sons the lessons :) So that's exciting! Oh and we are going to visit with a lady named Debbie tomorrow! We met her while we were just walking around and she was sitting in her Garage looking really sad so we walked up and said hello, and I asked her if we could help her. She said no, and I walked up and knelt down next to her on the ground and told her who we were. That we are representatives of Jesus Christ and that it is no coincidence that we walked by her house. We then had a great lesson about the struggles she is going to through and how the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ will help her. And so we are going back tomorrow to teach her and her cute little family! SO great! I love this work! :)

We are also going around the families in the ward and teaching everyone the message of the Restoration and answering any questions they might have and then teaching them how to teach it to their family and friends so everyone can feel comfortable and excited to do missionary work (I would suggest doing that in your wards, ask your missionaries, they would love to do it!) So we are starting this week and I will tell you how it goes! Anyway. I am off to finish laundry and all that fun stuff before p-day is up! LOVE YOU ALL!!! It was fun to see all the pictures from the Trip Ally sent them. It made me miss everyone and want to give everyone HUGE hugs!! So {{Hug}} :D Love you!!

Sister Stones

 Sister Billman and me after dancin' in the rain!

June 27- Missions Rock!

Why Hello my amazing family!!

Man oh man this week has been crazy!!! And don't worry I am aware that it is Thursday and I am writing! It's because we had to switch our P-day to a different day due to ALL the crazy that has been happening in the mission! With Zone Conferences AND with all the new missionaries they have made a whole lotta new missions so mine got split! Actually happening today! anyway so we had a HUGE whole mission conference! We were so spiritually filled and then cried! They asked me to lead the music which was just wonderful until the opening song was "I'll go where you want me to go" which is in 6/8 time and really WHO KNOWS HOW TO ACTUALLY DIRECT THAT?! Not I! hahahaha so there was a lot of giggling as I switched from actually waving frantically 1 2 3 4 5 6 then to 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 and then to a slow 2. (Does that make sense?) anyway lets just say I had a HUGE smile on my face directing everyone I stayed in time with the music I just couldn't decide which meter I actually wanted to do ANYWAYhahah... We had an amazing meeting and learned so much about Grace (we watched "His Grace is sufficient" by Brad Wilcox... if you haven't watched it stop reading and do it now! It will change your life... actually even if you have go do it again!) President Riggs got up and spoke, as well as the assistance and it was just so great! then brutally we ended this spiritual feast with "God be with you till we meet again" which I was fine directing until I made eye contact with these three beauties who will all be heading to the other mission...

came and I weeped... seriously huge smile, fake singing (because nothing would come out) and then tears streaming down my face! I love these elders and sisters so much! They have changed my life and I will miss them!
We also had that amazing broadcast from the Prophet and other apostles which was mind blowing and I am pretty sure I had every missionary keeping their eye out for Jonathan! haha with no luck. Darn! One kid at the end looked a little like him and both Elder and Day and I thought it was him but nope. haha It was so amazing though to hear the amazing news from the bretheren! Man oh man Heavenly Father Loves us so much and he just wants us to all come unto him! Christ did everything for us, all we need to do is open our mouths and help each other so we can all succeed in this amazing roller coaster of a life! No one should do it without this amazing gospel! So please open your mouth!

We had some amazing lessons with Grant! Oh my goodness he is so prepared! He is searching for Heavenly Father and we are there just as guides to help him know how to find his answers! It has been really cool to watch his transformation even in the weeks we have been teaching him! I love this gospel and I can't believe I am lucky enough to get to help! I prayed last night and asked if Joseph Smith was his servant and if he had actually given him his Power and Authority to translate the book of mormon, and had this overwhelming excitement wash over me and I asked if the book of Mormon truly was his word and could bring me closer to Him and I was again washed over with such happiness I felt as if the feeling inside of me was too big for my body to contain! I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. The Same one He himself organized. I know that there is a Prophet of God for us to learn from (just like in the bible! So cool!) I know that prayers are answered in the Way Heavenly Father see's they need to be answered, but they are ALWAYS answered! It isn't our place to tell him when we are done with His timing. It's our job to keep the commandments and know that as we do we will be blessed tremendously. I love that and I love my Savior! I hope you all have an amazing week and I will talk to you monday!


love Sister Stones

And I just love these Beauties!! (Sister Crockett, me, Sister Jeppsen, and Sister Borland)

We made one large nobake cookies.... yummmm

 It's REALLY humid and hot...... yummm