Monday, June 22, 2015

Transfer 6 Week 4

Hey friends! 
i hope you had an excellent week!
I'm short on time but I'll just give a quick update.

___ we watched la esperanza de la luz de Dios. He just cried and cried. He
told us how he has been questioning if God really exists. He felt so
strongly that God lives and he finally understands what path God wants
him to follow. He has been praying every morning and evening and
reading in the Book of Mormon every day and is already in 2 Nephi 4!
He told us that he feels an empty space in his whole body filling up
with happiness. It was a really cool way to describe it. As he was
telling us it just made sense to me. I never know how to describe it
but it's so true! As we keep the commandments to read and pray, we are
physically filled with happiness! Why? Because we are feeling the
Spirit ~ 1 Nephi 1:12
___(____cousin) called and told us that ____wants to get baptized before he
goes to Mexico in July! They get together until almost midnight every
night talking about all the lessons and baptism. He has decided to be
baptized the 11 of July and confirmed on the 12.

We always tell people to call us if they ever need anything and we
really mean it. We have set apart 1.5-2 years of our lives to serve
the way Jesus Christ would serve. We pray hourly that we can find the
people who need our help and that we can be answers to their prayers.
Opportunities always present themselves and miracles happen so often
that I have to write them down to keep track! It's so awesome. But
where I was going with that first sentence is someone finally called.
We dropped everything we were doing and ran to his house. He is making
some very difficult decisions to align his life with Gods commandments
and Plan of Happiness. He cried and we cried with him. It can be hard
to understand why when we are trying our hardest to live the gospel
life throws every curveball your way. We couldn't understand exactly
what he was feeling and the heavy burden he was carrying, but we know
someone who does. We couldn't take away the hurt the way only our
Savior can, but we could take him out to ice cream with a member and
talk about the surety of the good things to come. Even Nephi a great
prophet and one of my heroes struggled in a moment of despair.
"17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in
showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O
wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh;
my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins
which do so easily beset me
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins;
nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine
afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the
waters of the great deep
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh."
(2 Nephi 4:17-21)
He goes on the rest of the chapter, but there are two more verses that
really stick out to me
" 27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why
should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my
heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because
of mine enemy?
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and
give place no more for the enemy of my soul."

There are 2 very real influences in the world. One that cause feelings
of shame, guilt, and despair, and one that heals and fills our entire
soul with the love of God. I know that the love of God is infinite. He
sent His Only Begotten son Jesus Christ to "go forth, suffering pains
and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word
might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the
sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death
which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities,
that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that
he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according
to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12)

I have been comforted and healed in my most painful trials and I have
watched in amazement as those I love and serve have felt the power of
the Atonement of Jesus Christ work in their lives. This true Gospel
changes lives. It heals us and gives us hope to carry on so that we
will live with our loving Heavenly Father again.

I love you all so much and pray that we will recognize the answers to
our prayers and BE the answer to someone else's.

Hermana Stone

Friday, June 19, 2015

Transfer 6 Week 3

Hi friends! 

I hope you've all had a great week! 

Not too much to say about this last week. We've dropped all of our investigators except ____ who is doing awesome! It was pretty sad let the investigators go, but I know that someday they'll have questions and they'll know where to turn for answers. 

We went on exchanges this week and it was my first time ever teaching in English! It was pretty different but really cool to be able to share the same message in my own language! I have to admit that by the end of the day all I wanted was to bear my testimony in Spanish :) I learned a lot about feeling joy and pure love. We spent some time with an elderly lady who lost her husband last year. She is so lonely and just wants to know if she'll see him again. We testified of God's wonderful plan for each of us, the Plan of Salvation. I know that someday Helen will see her sweetheart again and what a beautiful thing it is to have this knowledge. 

Well I'm out of time, but I love you all and hope you have an excellent week! 

Hermana Stone

Mormon 9:21

Monday, June 1, 2015

Transfer 6 Week 1

This week went by too fast! I hope your's was as good as mine though! 

Well my new companion is Sister Childs from American Fork, UT and someday she will be the General Relief Society President! This is her last 6 weeks as a missionary and we have big plans for it! The goal is 3 baptisms! We didn't waste any time at all. We have been sprinting and teaching every minute possible! Wow I'm pretty exhausted, but I wouldn't want it any other way :)

This week our investigators have made a lot of progress!
~____ has been an investigator since she lived in El Salvador about 5 years ago. She has been waiting for certain things to get straightened out for a good long while and things are finally falling into place! We're planning a beach wedding and a baptism for the end of July :) We are so excited for her! Her family needs this. 
~____ is the daughter of a member who hasn't come to church in years. She is reading the Book of Mormon and preparing to be baptized June 21. We were talking with her about how she can strengthen her family through her example of living the gospel and she invited her 9 year old brother to be baptized with her! He thought it was a great idea :) We'll be working with the parents and teaching him the things he needs to know as well :) The Gospel Blesses Families!
~____, our investigator who we've been working with for 2 weeks now, came to church yesterday! He told us all week that he really wanted to come but had to work. We explained the importance and power of prayer. Long story short we all prayed super hard and long all week and who showed up at 11:30? ___ did! He sat front row and absorbed everything he heard! He had excellent questions for us when we stopped by last night and is so excited for his baptism the 5th of July! 

Have you ever wondered what the requirements for Baptism are?
37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the  manner of baptism— All those who humble themselves before God,  and desire to be baptized, and come  forth with broken hearts and contrite  spirits, and witness  before the church that they have truly repented of  all their sins, and are willing to take upon  them the name of Jesus  Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly  manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of  Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

D&C 20:37 

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I love the peace and happiness that it brings to individuals and especially to families. I have seen it change so many people, including my own family and myself. I know with all of my heart that this truly is the "good news" being sent forth to all the world and I feel so privileged to have this opportunity to serve the Lord and represent Him in New Jersey. 
"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." 3 Nephi 5:13

Hermana Stone

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Transfer 5 Week 6

Hi friends!

I hope this week was amazing and you had the opportunity to serve and
laugh everyday!

We started off with a 7 hour training on hastening the work through
digital media. We are now an iPad mission! We are the 30th and final
mission testing the use of iPads in missionary work. The coolest part
is that it's not about the iPad itself, but that now we can reach out
to soooo many more people in Jersey and all over the world to share
the unique message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!
I have so many notes and learned so much but I'll just share a couple
of my favorite quotes
"Never apologize for being obedient"

"We are not policemen, but shepherds"

"The strength of the church isn't in the numbers, but in the hearts
and personal conviction of the individual members of the church"

"Learn it here, learn it now, learn it for the rest of your life"

"Never give up. Never stop serving with all of your heart. Never cease
to be valiant."
-President Taggart NJMM

Well I get to stay in Red Bank for at least 6 more weeks! Tomorrow
I'll have a new companion and say goodbye to my favorite Brazilian.
Sister Mendonça is going to Utah to figure some things out with her
health and have surgery. I learned so much from her about teaching
with power and authority and applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ
daily. I know she's going to change lives wherever she goes.
I'm out of time but I wish you all the best Memorial Day and I hope you all the chance to serve and be the answer to someones prayer!

Hermana Stone

1 Nephi 4:1-2
"Let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord"
"Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses"
we love la familia SantaMaria!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Transfer 5 Week 5

Hi friends!
Holmdel = Heaven
I just want to start off by saying Holmdel, NJ is the most gorgeous city I've ever seen and I will live there someday.
Also, we explored the northern part of our area this week in Union Beach and Keyport and even 40 some miles away we have a view of Manhattan! It's incredible! I will never get tired of looking at that skyline!

Manhattan Skyline
Well the highlight of the week was definitely going to the Manhattan Temple!!!!!! We worked so hard with our recent convert _____ doing Family History and preparing family names and at the very last minute (literally 9 hours before) we pulled everything together and went to the temple!!! She loved it and it was such a special day. I know that Temples are the house of the Lord. There is so much I could say about it but not enough time or space. This website says it better than me anyway.
Other miracles of the week include
* The most spiritual Family Home Evening ever! Our investigator ____ came to our Elders Quorum President's house and we had a lesson on the Holy Ghost. It strengthened my testimony to hear the experiences of the children and the parents and even our investigator! At the end of the lesson, ____ turned to us and asked when he could be baptized because he knows he NEEDS the gift of the Holy Ghost. We put him on date for June 7! He has a lot to straighten out in his life but his desires to keep the commandments are so strong and he has true intention. I know he will see so many miracles as he shows his faith by keeping commitments and repenting!
*We had the coolest lesson with ____ and _____

and their kids about the Plan of Salvation using seashells that the girls brought back from their field trip to the beach. They understood really well! They are starting to make plans to get married (possibly on the beach!), prepare for baptism and be an eternal family! THE GOSPEL BLESSES FAMILIES!
*The gift of tongues is real! I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday about how we can be cleansed from sin through Jesus Christ, and I emphasized repentance. I prepared well in advance but I was still nervous for some reason that my Spanish would fail me. When I got up to speak everything just flowed out of my mouth perfectly and everybody was reverent and listened! Afterwards, one of the members in our area came up to me and told me que hablo con el lengua de Moroni haha. Miracles do happen, especially during those 3 hours every Sunday in church :) 
There is no greater joy in this world than actively living the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
I love you all! LQM,
Hermana Stone

Monday, May 11, 2015

Transfer 5 Week 4

Hi friends!
I could just write "Miracles" and my email would be complete, but I'll include a couple more things :)
This week we had a lesson with our recent convert ____ about family history work. It was the most spiritual lesson we've had with her yet! Ever since her grandpa passed away and she didn't have the opportunity to say goodbye or see him she has felt a heavy sadness. She shared with us that her knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and temple work and eternal families has brought her peace and joy and gives her hope every day. I know that this is true! One day they can be reunited and be an eternal family! We helped her start her family tree on and she has been collecting information to take names to the temple! The Gospel Blesses Families!
The most exciting miracle of the week was that for the first time since I've been here we had investigators come to church and not just one but 4!!!!!! All of these people who we've grown to love so much invited us over because they have family or friends who are members of the church! They are all making changes for the better in their lives and establishing relationships with Heavenly Father through diligent prayer, scripture study, and coming to church. I am so excited to see their faith and testimonies grow as they continue to keep these simple commandments!
I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true! It was lost, but it has been Restored en plenitud! There is nothing that brings more happiness, and I invite you all to share what truly makes you happy with others as well!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Transfer 5 Week 3

Hi friends!

Jersey is learning more about Jesus Christ and His true and simple teachings every day! 

I know that nothing blesses our lives more than learning and applying the principles of the Gospel of our Savior. 
Quote from Boyd K. Packer
"Teaching doctrine will improve behavior quicker and more permanently than teaching about behavior will improve behavior"

I testify that this is true! I hope you all have a wonderful week and learn and apply doctrine in your own lives!

NO more time this week just pics from along the path we ran on this morning!

Hermana Stone