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19 July 2011

Goodbye for now!

Here is my final goodbye to this blog... for 18 months!

This Wednesday, July 20th, I am taking off to the Provo MTC to begin a new chapter in my life and serve the Lord as a full-time missionary. I could not be more thrilled, excited, and honored for this opportunity. I have been so blessed in my life and specifically in the past few months. I hear from many people it only gets better from here.

My family will be keeping up a blog while I'm gone with some of my letters and whatever else they feel like putting on it. Here is the link so you can follow along with my journey in Omaha, Nebraska!! (Don't let this blog stop you from writing me though!)

Also, my friend Siri Baxter took some pre-missionary pictures of me this past week. I won a contest she had so we did a fun photo shoot at the Mesa Temple! She is such a wonderful and nice girl! Here's a link to the pictures she posted on her blog! Check them out!

05 July 2011

Utah trip

Visiting family is the best! I was able to spend time with my  family from Cedar City, UT for the past week and I had a great time! Here's a recap of all of the fun places we visited and the memories that were created. 

Zion's Overlook:

 Bryce Canyon:
We went on a beautiful hike at Bryce Canyon and then went to some different outlooks where we saw some amazing views and took pictures!

We went to Grease the musical at Tuicon in St. George. The musical was good, but nothing can top the movie. I love Grease! I was singing those songs from probably 5 years old and up. When I was young I would love to sing along with all of the songs and my favorite line to quote was, "Tell me about it, stud." haha, good times!

I went through the temple for the 1st time last week and it was amazing. I was so happy to be with my family. I am so grateful for their love and support. It was a great experience and I am so grateful for temples. The St. George temple is my favorite so it was awesome being able to go through there for the first time with my family. 
St. George Temple. Isn't it gorgeous?!

 We took a visit to Salt lake City and Provo!
 We made a stop to the "This is the Place" Monument:

My dad made us pose by anything that had to do with Winter Quarters!
Here's a family that had traveled on the Mormon Trail and said a prayer
together when they finally made it to Utah. 
And also made a visit to the Salt Lake City Temple! It was way fun to talk to all of the Sister missionaries that are serving there. We stopped and talked to a bunch of the sisters and it was so cool to see how happy they all were and see their love for the gospel through their smiles and attitudes. My dad would randomly tell them I was reporting for my mission in a few weeks and they would get so excited and give me a big hug. What a fun group of girls! It made me really excited to be serving part of my mission in a visitors center/ historic site. 

Here's the Provo Temple! I'll be visiting this temple very soon while I'm in the MTC!

Things to do before leaving on my mission in 15 days:
-Finish preparing my "farewell" talk.
-Give my talk. (This Sunday)
-Spend time with family and friends.
-Keep studying scriptures and Preach My Gospel.
-Pack my entire apartment.
-Move out of my apartment.
-Finish shopping for missionary stuff.
-Pack for mission.
-Spend time with family.
-Then BAM... I'm gone!

This whole process has gone by WAY fast and I'm sure the next 15 days will do the same. I'm getting pretty excited! :)

10 June 2011

Nebraska, here I come!!!

Guess what?! My mission call arrived June 9, 2011!

Out of all of the guesses that were made I don't think anybody even came close to where I am going! haha!
(Nice try everybody!)

 Can I get a drum roll please...

I got called to the Nebraska Omaha Mission and am assigned to serve in the Mormon Trail at Historic Winter Quarters Site!! I report July 20th!


I could not be more excited!! Not only do I love the randomness of Nebraska but I especially love church history so I know that being at Winter Quarters will be an amazing experience. I have heard wonderful things about this historical sight and many people have told me it is one of their favorite church sites where they have felt the spirit so strong. I can't wait to be in such a wonderful environment teaching the gospel AND learning/ teaching church history!!

I opened my call with my amazing family and friends last night. I am so grateful for all of the love and support I have received! It was such an unreal experience opening the letter and finally knowing where I would be serving. I had a feeling I would be called to a state in the mid-U.S. and even told my mom that before everybody came over. It was thrilling reading the paper but honestly I wasn't very nervous beforehand. Maybe this was because it still didn't seem real but more than likely it was because I was fine with wherever I would go because that is where I'm supposed to be. Overall I think this is an awesome mission and I am pumped!!

This is me reading my letter to my family who was together around the computer in Utah!  That was really neat to see my  close and extended family all together to support me, even if it was through skype. For a while afterwards Lex just sat on the computer talking to some of our friends who were there. She was sad she had to miss out on the fun!

I am so grateful for my mom and everything she has done to help me with my mission! She is amazing!

Les Miserables makes us super happy!!!
Ryan, thanks for such a fun night!
 Les Miserables!!

One Day More... 
That's what I was thinking as listened to my favorite song while watching my favorite musical, Les Miserables, at Gammage on Wednesday! It was beyond amazing!! I couldn't stop smiling during most of the musical but specifically as One Day More was being performed. During this song I had a huge grin and got really excited thinking that One Day More I could have my mission call!! This line in the song especially stood out to me and related perfectly to me receiving my lovely, white envelope in the mail the next day... couldn't have been better timing!

Tomorrow we'll discover 
What our God in Heaven has in store! 
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!

06 June 2011

Patience is a Virtue

My mission call should be here any day now!! So far in this process I have been pretty patient and have kept busy to distract myself from the wait. That was a lost cause after my Bishop told me yesterday (Sunday) that my call was sent on Friday! That's faster than I expected and it can seriously show up any day this week now!! Oh my goodness! :)

My mission call is being sent to my house in Peoria and I'm currently living in Tempe. It's probably a good thing or else this would be me all day, everyday until the big white envelope came... 
Instead this is going to be me waiting for my mom to call with the news that my letter has arrived! 
Exciting times! I can't wait!

Want to hear some other exciting news?!!

Family Update

1. Me hermana Alex is in Spain doing a study abroad program.
She is loving the new culture and enjoying her Spanish classes! I'm just a tid bit jealous! Spain is soo pretty!! But Alex is even better looking... what a babe! :)

2. My sister Lexi is in Cedar City, UT for the summer.
This isn't as exciting because my partner in crime ditched me for a while. But it's all good! She's having a fun time chillin' with the family and escaping the heat for a bit!

Lex at the South Jordan Temple.

3. My brother Addison has left to Iraq with the U.S. Army.
This is pretty sad but at the same time a new and exciting adventure for him. Our family will miss him a lot but we are so proud of his decision and sacrifice to serve our country. I really wish I could've been there to send him off with the rest of my family. I'm sure if I were there I would've been a cry baby, so maybe it was for the best. The picture below of both my brothers makes me tear up every time I look at it. 

Friend Update
Lots of life changing events are happening with my friends as well!

  • Marriage: I am so happy for all of my friends who have already been married or are planning on getting married this summer!  There have been so many marriages lately it almost hurts my head to try and count them all. I am especially excited for Riki and Elise's weddings. These are some of my best friends and I am so glad they have found awesome men to love them more than I already do. haha ;) 

  • Mission: Kailei is going on a mission to Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission!! And let me tell you, she is going to be AMAZING! She is definitely somebody I look up to and admire! She is a beautiful and vibrant woman, who is kind to everybody, and has a strong testimony of the gospel.  It doesn't get much better than that! 

  • Moving: Aprill is moving to Utah today! Sad! We will all miss her but am excited for her new adventure! Yesterday our group of girls got together for the last time before everybody parts ways for a little while. But in less than 2 years, when Kailei and I get back from our missions, we will be having a reunion! I am so grateful we all became "real friends" as we served on the Tempe Institute Council last year!  I love these girls!!

Me, Kailei, Lauren, Aprill, and Jessica!
That's a brief summary of what's been going on in my life and in the life of some of my closest friends and family! Change is in the air!

31 May 2011

Future Missionary

Can I start by saying how excited and happy I am!! I officially submitted my mission papers on Sunday! It almost feels unreal that it's all happening but I could not be more thrilled and yet so at peace with this decision. In about 2 weeks I will get to find out where I will be serving for 18 months. It feels great to not really have to worry about where I will be called because I know that wherever I am sent, it is where the Lord wants me. As I was filling out my paperwork it was fun to hear the reactions of my doctor, dentist, and school counselor as they ask where I'm going and I just have to say, "I don't know yet... in a few weeks I will find out!" Then they just look at me puzzled and I explain that I am going on a religious mission and that I can be sent to mostly anywhere in the world, wherever I am needed. That's a crazy thought but I am comforted to know that anywhere I go I will be watched over and given the help I need.

So on that note... Here's a question for you:
Where in the world is Sister Jones going on her mission??
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know your guess!  
The winner might just get a prize!

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission and teach people the simple truth that we have a Heavenly Father who loves each of us and that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins. I know that as we are obedient, keep the commandments, and repent of our sins we will truly be happy in this life and in the next. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an incredible blessing and is my foundation. Living the gospel brings so much joy and peace into my life and I cannot wait to share that with others!

10 May 2011

A little about me

Hello there!!
Ok, totally random side note: Guess what movie...
Stan: What is the one most important thing our society needs?
Gracie Hart:  That would be harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.
(Long silence)
Gracie Hart: And world peace!
{Oh man, I love that movie. This picture just reminded me of that quote and I couldn't resist sharing.}
So anyways, back to the main purpose of this post...

 Here are 25 random things about me:
  1. I love picnics.
  2. I've been eating lots and lots of yogurt and granola lately.
  3. I am going to serve a mission.
  4. I loved my calling on institute council. I learned and grew so much this past year!
  5. I prefer tennis shoes over flip flops. 
  6. I just took a typing test and got 75 WPM (adjusted speed). BAM! Try and beat that!
  7. I sing "Kumbaya My Lord" when I get stressed. 
  8. When I get super anxious/ stressed I sing, "I Think I'm Turning Japanese." Don't ask why, I have no idea. 
  9. Someday soon I am going to crochet an entire afghan. My amazing Grandma sent me a ton of yarn to finish a blanket I started with her... so I can't let her down!
  10. After this school year I think I'm starting to become a morning person. (Thank you 6am meetings and 7:30am classes!)
  11. I have a very random movie collection because most of the movies I own cost me $5 or less. Beggars can't be choosers!
  12. I'm a social person, but sometimes I enjoy doing things by myself. Let's just say I'm not the kind of girl who takes a flock of friends with them to the bathroom and needs people with them constantly to feel comfortable in life. 
  13. I won 1st place in a singles tennis tournament last week in Sedona. 
  14. The only things I've collected in life are stickers and smashed pennies.
  15. I hate cats. They are yucky animals that this world could do without.
  16. I can play a few songs on the harmonica and am working on building my repertoire.
  17. I am definitely a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.
  18. The only thing that truly grosses me out are dead pet fish. It seriously makes me gag!
  19. Lucky for me, Jeevan and I are really good at killing our fish without even trying. We seriously give them all the food, love, and attention fish could ask for and they just go and die on us. So inconsiderate!
  20. I have asthma. Which makes running super fun! (totally kidding.)
  21. I can have a pretty good conversation in sign language now. Just finished my 2nd semester of ASL and am calling it good. 
  22. I can lick my elbow.
  23. Country western dancing is so much fun! In that class I was able to learn a very valuable skill while being with some great friends! (A big thanks to Lex, Jon, Ryan, Kasey, Brittney, Sarah, and Melissa for making it a great time! I'm sure only Lex and Jon will read this, but oh well. lol)
  24. I love learning about my family history.
  25. I have the best family and friends EVER.
Back in the day I did a another post that said 25 things about me... if you want to check it out click HERE. Just be careful, knowing 50 random things about me could be a bit overwhelming!
Tennis Tournament:
So did I mention I played in a tennis tournament in Sedona a little over a week ago? Well I did and it was a blast. Me, Lex, and my step-dad all participated and all went home with trophies! Lex and I played doubles and fought hard but lost with some super-duper close games. BUT we both did well in singles and met each other in the women's singles, 3.5 division finals! We hadn't played each other competitively in a very long time and knowing how consistent she is, I was a bit nervous. We played an intense and close game and I beat her in a tie-breaker. It was an awesome and fun match! Dave, my step-dad, won first in his division too! It was a fun weekend with the family doing what we all love! Unfortunately my mom has a shoulder injury so she didn't get to play and had the wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with Anna, my little trouble-making sister. 

This is one of my favorite pictures. Dave has a KILLER serve. ACE!
P.S. So if you've read this far then I'll let you in on a little secret... I plan on serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and have started my mission papers!! I couldn't be happier and more excited about it. Everything is lining up beautifully and it simply feels right. I know that the Lord is looking out for me and I can't wait to see what He has in store for me. :)