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!"

Sept 23- Blessings Amid the Storms

Hello Family!

This week has been so eventful! Crazy week indeed!

I don't even know where to start. ha

Ok lets see, well first we didn't have a baptism this week Steven is still really figuring out what he is going to do. SO keep him in your prayers. So we'll pause for a moment with his baptism, He is so amazing!

We had two CRAZY exchanges! and when I say crazy I mean crazy. Let's just say.... Sister Missionaries are so silly! haha For some reason the Elders don't have these problems, the ones where they feel like they have to be perfect all the time, and if they aren't then they are failures! Oh WAIT that's girls in general! Why? It's silly! We are just here to do the best we can, and to rely on the Lord for the strength to keep it up. Anyway, It's all good now, but I am so grateful for the blessings of the spirit to know what to say and how to help these amazing Sisters! I love them so much and am learning so much from them and will continue to do so! I am SO grateful for Momma though, I always pull from things she taught me and it keeps me going and it helps them as well. They keep me on muh toes.

We found a new investigator!! His name is Robert and he is super great! It was Sister Billman (on exchange), Sister Hodgkin, and myself and we were out knocking on doors and knocked on his. We taught him the restoration on his door step, invited him to read the book of Mormon to know if it was true for himself, and to pray to Heavenly Father because He was the one who was going to tell him (Robert) if this was HIS church or not. And he accepted, and I invited him to be baptized into this church if he knew and again he accepted. I know some of your jaws might have just dropped!! you did what when?! On the first visit! Invited him to be baptized?! On his doorstep?! ... Yep! :) I LOVE door step lessons! AND I love inviting people to be baptized! It is such an amazing feeling watching the wheels turn in someones brain as they answer this life changing question! (I have the best life ever!) So he's great!

We also put Debbie on date for baptism! For the 26th of October! And she said she would definitely pray about it! We taught her with our member Angie Gretz (who is a convert of about 3 years) and it was amazing they talked most of the time and we listened and taught here and there but it was really good for Debbie to see someone not raised in the church and their story! LOVE HER! She also looked at me with these little squinty eyes and said, "How much longer to I have you here with me? I know you do this weeks then you gone business and you've been around for a while." haha I told her when transfers were and then I had no idea if I was going to stay or go. But I would definitely be at her baptism whenever that would be! :) It has been amazing teaching her!

Oh and then for the Lesson topper! On Saturday it rained.... all day! We had planned on going to see our investigator Tim later that night but felt like we should stop by around 6ish, so we did and he was home and at first he said, "You guys are early!" we asked if there were any females home and he said no and so we had to stay outside, he tried to get us to just come back another time and we just kept talking and ended up teaching him as we stood outside in the pouring rain getting completely drenched, under a tiny umbrella and he stood inside. We taught him the restoration of the gospel and answered all his questions (he asks really great ones) and invited him to read and to pray so he would find out for himself. The spirit was so strong. Then Sister Hodgkin invited him to be baptized on November 2nd. The spirit was even stronger then, and he said if he knew he would be the first in line. We invited him to pray right there and to ask and he tried to push it off on me to pray and I said, "He hears from me all day, he wants to hear from you." and so he did. It was a sweet and simple prayer and it was perfect. After ward we sat there quietly and he said... "woah". :) Don't ya just love the spirit? I do. I smiled from ear to ear as I knew (and he knew) that the Lord had answered his prayer. It was really cool!!

Right before his lesson we got a phone call from President Riggs telling us there was going to be a mix up in our companionship and that Sister Hodgkin was going to be leaving and serving in Kingstowne (where I was!) and that another sister, Sister Christensen would be coming to us (with a switch in the middle). It was sad I love Sister Kodgkin!! But I love change so bring it on! And then he proceeded to tell us that we had to make it all happen haha and before church.... Our church starts at 9. SO Sunday morning we were up at 4:30 and out by 5. In Kingstowne by 6, and Chantilly by 7 and then home again by 7:30-8 just in time to gather things get some breakfast and rush to church! I WAS TIRED! But we had two people come to church! Man this week has just been full of miracle after miracle. When I am in the middle of it, I don't see as many, but when I look back. Man the Lord has most certainly been there! So we have a new companion. She is adorable! We will keep her till transfers next week and then see what happens from there.
Wow that was a long one! Sorry if there were some dry places! haha my brain is still feelin the lack of sleep with all the crazy, but I wouldn't change it for anything! I love everyone so much and hope everyone has an amazing week!!!

Love you all,
Sister Stones

Sept 16- Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Hey Family!!

SO we had an amazing week! Full of fun and laughter if I can say the least!

Our mission and the missions around us were invited to the Nationals baseball Game to kick of the National Day of Service!! It was AMAZING!! We had such a fun time! We left here around 4 and didn't get home till about 1!! My body started to shut down around 10 haha It was so funny how loopy all of us got once we were out later than we are normally. Funny thing is that I would normally be starting my night at that time back home! ha Funny how things flip. Didn't think that would happen.... Surprise. It Did. We took lots of pictures, sang, and danced (respectfully as missionaries would), but it was funny, I literally couldn't control it. I had to dance even if it was just the bob of my head, it is embedded inside of me hahaha But it was so much fun!! I ate some dip-in-dots, and basically saw the whole Herndon ward! They were there and I got to say hi! That was cool! Seriously a blast!! It's been a long while since I had that much fun, with THAT many people! So great!

We also had an AMAZING lesson with a woman named Gina! Sister Olson and I had knocked on her door a couple weeks ago and had a return apointment for the next day, and when we went to go to her appointment Sister Olson's tire went flat (we rode bikes that day) and we missed her by 5 minutes. There was a note on the door saying that she had waited but that she had to get back to work and the kids and she wished us a wonderful mission. So we hadn't gone back until sunday afternoon. We knocked on her door and apologized for not making it to the last appointment and asked if she had a few minutes to talk now? And she said yes and let us inside! We sat down at her kitchen table and she talked about how she was born and raised in Arizona and how she had a friend that was Mormon growing up! (go member work!). She told us how she was catholic but was still searching. She told her reason why she believed, and then asked each of us. And each of us bore a similar testimony about the Book of Mormon, and how we read it and prayed and know it to be more scripture from Our Loving Heavenly Father! And then she asked us some more questions, but the most amazing one was she asked where Joseph Smith got his authority or how he could be a prophet. And so I told her about Joseph Smith searching for Gods church when he was 14, we read together the Scripture that touched him so deeply to pray and ask (John 1:5) and then recited to her the first vision. (I have to give a a little side note, there had been some quite country music going on in the background while we were talking that wasn't disruptive or distracting.... but still on. which normally we would ask them to turn it off at the beginning of the lesson, but had neglected to do so.) So as I was telling the first vision, the music, which was quite and unnoticeable until that moment seemed to be almost screaming in my head. I prayed with all my heart as I was focusing and trying to bear my soul to Gina and it was as if Heavenly Father turned it off himself, the spirit pushed through and was FILLING the room that nothing else existed. After Sister Olson asked her how she felt. And she said "amazing, Sister stones you almost brought me to tears. You believe this so much it would make anyone want to believe it." Sister Olson testified that it was the spirit that she was feeling, teaching her of truth. That this was true. And then I shared with her what had happened. I said, "Gina, we as missionaries don't listen to music like this right now." and her mouth dropped and her eyes filled with tears as she said, "Sister Stones, there was no music as you were telling me that story." I started to cry as I testified that God knows her heart that she is searching for truth, that it was no coincidence that we knocked on her door when we had, and that he loves her so much." By that time we were all crying, and I invited her to be baptized. She said that she would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, but if she knows than yes. aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh IT WAS SO COOL!!!!! The Church is true!!!

And then we ran to the Church and Steven got his baptismal interview and is getting baptized on FRIDAY!!! SO cool!!! Seriously though it was an amazing week! I am so thankful for the spirit and for the peace I feel from it being a missionary! I love this gospel and I love my Heavenly Father!! I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!!
Love ya,
Sister Stones
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"The Nationals Baseball game!!! SO MUCH FUN!! I love these missionaries!! They are so great! The game was so awesome and the Nationals WON!"

Dropbox pictures: https://www.dropbox.com/home/Nationals%20Base%20ball%20game!#!/home/Nationals%20Base%20ball%20game

Sept 9- Teach People Not Lessons

Hello familia!!
This week has been wonderful! We got a new sister to join our party! Her name is Sister Hodgkin she is from the temple square Visitor Cener mission and is here on her out bound (my 3rd trio) I love her!! She is from Germany and such a fun addition to our companionship. We all have so much fun and know how to laugh and have a good time as we go about our work teaching the gospel!
SO this week has been nuts! As sister trainer leaders we go around and do exchanges with each of the different sisters we cover but we also go to each of the zone conferences! This week we had zone conference with the centreville and the ashburn zones. And we rocked it! We were given the topic of teach people not lessons and so we had to teach and present at the conference to help the missionaries better at asking inspired questions. Sister Olson got this Bomb.com "skit" to do. In my pictures last week I sent a picture of my legs all torn up from mosquitos. I had at least 15 on each leg! bleck. anyway. I have tried EVERYTHING on them. every kind of cream you can think of because they were miserable! We happened to have about 5 or so different types of creams or lotions or whatever you can think of to relieve the pain from my bites and so she had this idea...
We wrote down different problems people would have on pieces of paper like: pink eye, a cavity, the flu, ear infection, heart complications, and my bug bites. and then we handed them out and had the missionaries come up to the front and she would ask (as Dr. Sister Olson) what their symtoms were and how she could help. (haha) She asked me and I said, "I have these terrible bites that itch like crazy and I really need help!" She said, "Oh I have the perfect thing for you! Benedryl!" Me: "Perfect that will work just great!" Then she went to the next person, and say "What are your symptoms?!" they'd say, "Oh you know, I think I might have [enter illness here]. And I am not feeling too good." then she would look at them and say "oh I have the perfect thing for you!!!..... Benedryl" (haha) and then after she asked everyone (and gave the same response) she went back down the line to see how the medicine worked. I told her that I was all better and my bites were all gone! but the coments from everyone else were hilarious! On the pink eye, one missionary said.... "uuuhhh... well now I'm blind in that eye, but my pink eye is gone" (haha) it was hilarious. But the point of the whole thing was that it didn't "work" for everyone. Not because they weren't ready but 1. she wasn't knowledgable enough to help 2. She didn't listen 3. Medicine is here to bless and help! But just because it's "medicine" doesn't mean that it is going to work for everyone all the time. In the same way that the gospel IS FOR EVERYONE but you have to get to know the right diagnosis to really know what part of the gospel will REALLY help them. We have to really study every day to know what the Lord would have us teach each person, each and every day, something that worked for someone yesterday or even the lesson before isn't going to help the person I am teaching today. I have to study and gain more knowledge everyday, and then I have to ask questions. It was awesome! (hope that made sense..... if not... sorry haha) I loved it and it was really effective! I have a great companion!
Zahra got confirmed on Sunday!! And recieved the Holy Ghost!! It was a sweet blessing and a wonderful sacrament meeting! She is so wonderful! Steven is still preparing for baptism but probably not this weekend he is still reading and praying to make sure this is exactly what he is wanting to do! He is great! Him and his mom made us dinner the other night! It was delicious! I love this work so very much!! I know that the Jesus Christ is my Savior and I know tha I am learning to pattern my life so that one day I will want to live with God again! I love this work and am so blessed to be a missionary!! Love you all!! have a Glorious week!!
Love Always,
 Sister Stones
"These are the great adventures of Sister Olson and SIster Stones and Sister Hodgkin!! Don't mind the video!! hahaah we have an investigators daughter who talks like that ha she is adorable and we love her!! (Samantha Fish) oh and the cat shirt is for tori and darlene! haha I saw this at target and thought of you girls. LOVE YOU ALL!!!"

Aug 26- "Wait what?! Did you get bit by a snipe?!"

Hello amazing family!! I love you all and thank you so much for you letters and love and prayers my way! This week has been so much fun! Transfers were this week and my new companions name is Sister Olson she is about 4 feet 10 inches and has the biggest heart! I feel like a GIANT as her companion (being 5'6" and all) but we are having a blast!! There are also elders in Gainesville now too! That is a lot of fun! They are rockin it!
SO funny FUNNY story! I have the most amazing companion! seriously besides the fact that she sleep talks which wakes me up for a half a second and then I am back asleep she is amazing! haha but last night at about 2 in the morning I woke up to her throwing back her covers and in one motion up on her feet with her hands clasped together against her chest knees bent STANDING on her bad crouched as if she is talking to someone and she says, "What?! What? You got bit by a snipe?! Was it a snipe?! Wait (as she starts to come to) Wait Sister Stones did you get bit by a a sni... a ssnake?!" BAHAHAHAHA I was laughing so hard I just said, "Nah, you're just sleeping." hahaha and then she slowly got OFF her bed and laid back down and then just started laughing hysterically!!! hahahahaha oh.my.goodness. I love her!!! most.epic.night.ever! haha!!

I have been tremendously blessed this week! So sadly for about the last 3 and a half months I have not had a voice. It is all rapsy and it isn't really there most days. It is hard to talk and singing in nearly impossible. Which has been a really big struggle because I love singing so much! Well we had a Musical Fireside last night and I was asked to sing "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul." Which is really amazing! I love it so much and it brings the spirit so strongly! However yesterday my voice was worse than it normally is. I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I fasted and prayed, and was ready to let someone one else sing it because at 6:30 I ran through it and hardly anything came out. Everyone said I should still do it and so I asked for a blessing. I received a sweet blessing from one of the Elders and went out in confidence from the blessings I was promised. And then most amazing thing happened. I had a voice. Not full voice, not amazing, but it was there and I could sing. So I sang all the numbers with the choir, and then it was my turn to sing. I got up and started to sing,
"Savior, Redeemer of my Soul
Who's mighty hand hath made me whole
Who's wondrous power hath raised me up,
and filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O Gracious God of Isreal."

It was a little weak and hoarse, but it came out. That I sang,

"Never can I repay thee Lord,
But I can Love thee. Thy Pure Word.
Hath it not been my one delight
My Joy by day, my dream by night.
Then let my lips proclaim it still
And all my life reflect thy will."

Then the piano and violin continued to grow and I just allowed the spirit to take it and I gave it my whole heart and soul and sang
"O'errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee...."
I began to cry and with tears running down my cheek barely audible sang
"Make me more worthy of thy love
and fit me for the life.
I shouldn't have been able to sing, I shouldn't have been able to. I physically could just minutes before, But I know that my savior loves me and he knows my heart! He knew how badly I wanted to praise him and sing in the fireside that he allowed angles to be my voice! I will be forever grateful! There wasn't a dry eye in the chapel. One of the elders came up after. Brand new only been out for a few days and he said, "Sister stones (as he shook my hand) Thank you for singing. I have been feeling really homesick ever since I left home and when you sang the spirit washed it away and I just want to go out and serve my Savior. Thank you." I love this work! I know that Heavenly Father knows each one of you. He knows your hearts, your desires and your dreams, and I know that if you give them all to Him He WILL make miracles out of your offering. I know that my Savior lives. I know that he loves me and knows how to use me as an instrument to bring people closer to him and I am so humbled. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week. Remember as we are obedient God will bless us.

Sister Stones
"Zahra's baptism, Sister Olson, and my bug bites! oh and one of the elders that went home. haha we were friends! " Dropbox pictures: https://www.dropbox.com/home/Gainesville%20Part%203#!/home/Gainesville%20Part%203

Aug 23-New Mail Policy

Hey hey hey everyone! Just reminding everyone about our new mail policy! Please don't send mail to the lyngate address any longer send it to the address that I am living! :) which is

Sister Stones
13550 Heathcote Blvd #321
Gainesville, VA 20155

And then I'll let you know on the address change when I get transferred to new areas. But I will be here for the next 6 weeks :) Oh and My new companion is SISTER OLSON! She's awesome! Pictures to come! :)

Sister Stones