Monday, September 15, 2014

Poor, sad woman.....and a little pictorial treat for those who read far enough

Here is a picture of the beautiful girls from the family whose home we share:

Here are their they are spelled and then how they are pronounced:

from left to right
Aotea' - Ow-tay-ah
Kalia - Kah-lee-ahh
baby Ani - Ah-nee
Raiha - Rye-ha

I mentioned earlier that I have had some great difficulty in learning the correct pronunciation. Hawaiian vowels sounds are different than mainland vowel sounds.  Unfortunately, my brain, once it sees something goes with what it already knows.  Like an old dog, I can't seem to learn new tricks.

So I have worked hard to NOT even think about the spelling, but rather form mental pictures based on the pronunciation.  For instance, my mental picture for Raiha is "Rye bread - isn't it funny?"  I know, but it's how I work.

I have worked especially hard on Aotea' because I have had a real block on that one.  I finally figured out  the thought "Ow - I'm going to say it wrong if I don't remember Audra's friend".  With that mental clue, I have been doing really well.

Keni Kalama spraying down the
Ninja Turtles during a game in the hot, hot Oahu sun
Unfortunately, yesterday I was looking at the girl's soccer schedule.  We've wanted to try to go to some of the soccer games.  The girls were showing me where and when they play.  There are 3 sheets posted in the kitchen, one for each girl.  So here's the problem.  I saw the names written out.  I turned around, looked at Aotea' and immediately said it wrong....again.  She is very patient, but the look on her face speaks volumes.  It looks to me like she is trying really hard to forgive me.

I can imagine the lovely conversation she must have with her dad once I leave.

"Dad, Sister Jones STILL can't get my name right."

"Shhhhh," he replies.  "We must be respectful of our elders.  Especially when they are old and crazy like she is".


A couple of weeks ago I came into work, walked over to my desk and was placing my laptop bag on the floor.  As I did, I became entangled in the feet of my chair and abruptly fell into my windowsill – sending my blinds in all different directions.

Wouldn't you figure that was the exact moment that Jeff (my supervisor) walked thru the door. "Oh my goodness Sister Jones," he said.  Are you alright?"

I just sighed, and replied “get used to it”.

I’m a mess.  I can’t deny it and I can’t hide it.  I am the product of some very strong genes - I had a day last week that was one of my ‘humbling days’.  I did just about everything wrong in front of God and everybody. Truth is, I have a lot of them.  It causes my husband no small amount of concern and I have been praying for my desk mate, Sister Bisson, who is exposed to my antics all day, and Sunday too.

Luckily, the Lord finds ways to bring me hope.  I was studying the "Preach My Gospel" manual this morning, which led me to some wonderful verses in Moroni:

Moroni 10  Verses 8 - 18

8 And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them.

9 For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom;

10 And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

11 And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;

13 And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;

14 And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;

15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;

16 And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.

17 and again, to another, the gift of clumsiness and a mouth that speaketh before she thinketh, for she shall entertain the masses, teach patience to her colleagues, provide purpose to the preachers and bring the poor in spirit to the knowledge that there is another lowlier than even themselves.

Okay, that last one I put in there.  Let's get back on track:

17 And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will.

18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.

So, we have different talents and different ways to contribute.  I may want to be an elegant and inspiring breath of fresh air that floats gracefully thru the hallways, but the Lord made gave me exuberance and volume.  I can fight it, or I can use it to His advantage. 

Me, looking "elegant" - because of a
wonderful fellow sister missionary seamstress
named Sister Anderson
who has had mercy on me and has
found aloha wear to alter for me.
And here is Elder Jones - this is your special
treat for this blog installment - something none
of us thought we would EVER see!
Ron in a sulu!  Yes, it's THAT hot here.
Even he became inspired to go sulu!

My favorite apostle of old is Peter.  I can identify with Peter.  In his great exuberance and love for the Lord, he was willing to lop off ears, try to walk on water, jump into the fray, declare his great love and say and do just about anything that came to mind.  I think, maybe I’m a bit like him. and his example gives me hope.

Not long after the death and ascension of Jesus Christ, Peter and John were out preaching the gospel to the masses.  The High Priests were not pleased, so they arrested them and threw them into prison trying to devise a way to have them put to death.  One of the priests wisely counseled against it.  So instead, they ordered Peter and John to preach no more, and then they beat them.

Here, in the next verse is where I truly fell in love with Peter :

Acts 4:41 - 42

41 ¶And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Peter was human, and Jesus loved him for it.  He knew that this man of great passion and drive would become the rock He needed to lead the Church once he was gone.  He knew that Peter's great heart and sincere faith would be survive the trials and burden of leadership.

Peter gives me hope that I, too will be molded into a solid servant of the Lord.


Today's Relief Society (Women's Meeting) was especially inspirational.  Here's a quote that gave me great thought from Joseph Fielding Smith:

"It is necessary for us to walk in the full light of the truth, not in part of the truth only. I haven’t the privilege of discarding some of the principles of the gospel and believing others, and then feel that I am entitled to the full blessings of salvation and exaltation in the kingdom of God.

If we want exaltation, if we want the place which the Lord has prepared for those who are just and true, then we must be willing to walk in the full light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and keep all the commandments. We cannot say that some of them are small and insignificant and therefore the Lord will not care if we violate them. We are commanded to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God [see Deuteronomy 8:3; D&C 98:11]. “Why call ye me Lord, Lord,” he says, “and do not the things that I say?” [See Luke 6:46.]

Keep the commandments. Walk in the light. Endure to the end. Be true to every covenant and obligation, and the Lord will bless you beyond your fondest dreams."

Working with university students - and attending church services with them is extremely lovely yet also such a concern.  Our students are expected to live up to high standards.  Many want to, but the beach starts calling to them, or the pressure of finances and schooling - especially when it's not in your native language, weighs heavily on them.  But everyone of them have been advised from day one that they are attending a private university and that their attendance here is based on their willingness to work hard, live according to the standards set forth and their ability to be frugal and wise.  These expectations are meant to help students prepare for a successful career, find and maintain loving family relationships and help them to become strong leaders in their culture and community.

The question is, how do we missionaries as leaders, examples, and their elders support, encourage and advise them?  The above quote is the way I want to live, and the advice I feel best to share.  How grateful I am for loving leadership who inspire me and beautiful students who I can love and serve.


  1. Thanks for your beautiful thoughts, Sister Jones. And fun stories, too! Incidentally, I have never noticed your clumsiness. It is not a big part of who you are. You have so many gifts and are such a lovely person, that those things are inconsequential. Love you! Keep up the good work! <3

  2. I agree with Theresa, I have NEVER had the thought that you are a clumsy person. I dont recall thinking you are anything else other than amazing! You are gracious beyond compare with a beauty clearly gifted from God. Since the day i met you, I have understood that you are the only person on this earth that has the makeup that is compatible with that of my father and I am so Grateful to God for that. Im not trying to encourage you, I really just think that way about you. Be careful and be graceful WITH YOURSELF. Love ya!