July 17, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

We have been on the mooooo-ve 🐄
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We love Mustang and all the wonderful people here that have been helping us with the work. We are blessed. One of the days we were dying in the heat with not even a drop of water left.. and then! A lady asked us if we needed water and insisted we come in to get big baggies of watermelon! We’re going to go back this week to see them again. We also went on exchanges so I went to El Reno to be with Sister Sampson! I definitely had a love affair with El Reno, I love that area. The people were so down to earth and the moment we met someone they’d invite us in! We even had a cook out with a sweet family at the El Reno lake, it was gorgeous.
 I just love being a missionary and I LOVE the Sisters in this mission ❤ only the best of the best get sent to Oklahoma 😉 or as President says “the best missionaries in the world.” I think that’s why he lets us do so many fun things. But don’t get us wrong we are working our booty’s off! This week is BIKE WEEK, which is compared to shark week.. but more deadly. If you were here for a day in this Oklahoma heat you’d see why. We love biking though, Sister Nicoll and I are getting sweet tans.
Our investigators are awesome, we just need to get them to church. Eric is coming every week with his wife though 🙂 we can’t wait for him to get baptized. Expect pictures soon! He amazes me. This last lesson was a little emotional, especially when he tells us he’s been searching for the Gospel for over 20 years. Sister Nicoll and I feel strongly he’s going to be a Bishop, he has a testimony out of this world.
Helen from Chickasha is getting baptized this next week too!!! SHE’S 80 YEARS OLD! Goes to show you’re never too old to accept the Gospel. 🙂 Sister Oldroyd and I found her during a snow storm when our car was grounded. We went out knocking doors with our rosy red cheeks and after we couldn’t feel our hands anymore we said “we’ll knock just one more door. We need to knock one more door.” And we knocked on sweet Helens door! She invited us in and we instantly became the three “Sister Maries” we all have the same middle name. ❤ We all became best friends, especially when she made us sing Karaoke with her LOL. Well I don’t have much time left and I’m missing a whole lot of details… but to sum it up I’ll used the word BLESSED. Heavenly Father is blessing me more than I could have ever asked for, I love my mission and all the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet. They’re changing my life and the Gospel is changing theirs. I feel closer to my Savior and Father in Heaven than ever before. ❤ I love y’all!! See ya soon.
Love Always and Forever,
Sister Jessica Long

July 10, 2017

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Dear Friends and Family,

This has been a week I’ll never forget! For the 4th of July we drove to Bethany, Oklahoma to meet up with some Sisters to watch a parade. We had a blast laughing at all the silly floats and people. Afterwards Sister Nicoll and I went to the Penn Square Mall to look at all the fun stores. About an hour into shopping we saw a giant flood starting to attack the mall! It was funny because we dramatically ran into Bath and Body Works before it got hit to smell all the yummy smells. We got the giggles pretty hard when we assumed that somebody clogged a toilet that wiped out the whole mall, can you imagine being that person?
After the mall we drove to a famous hole in the wall pizza shop called Empire to meet up with a lot of other missionaries. Then we all followed each other to Bricktown!! President Masnell approved for us to go to a Dodgers baseball game!! IT WAS THE BEST 4TH OF JULY EVER.
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Anyhow, we have been seeing a lot of miracles too! 🙂 The other day we went tracting and saw a father and his son working on a 1965 Dodge car, so of course we asked them if they needed help (we know nothing about cars). We talked to them a little but they were pretty guarded.. until the next door neighbor came out smelling like weed and asked us a ton of questions!! It was super cool because we started teaching this high guy in his swim trunks the Plan of Salvation right next to this father and son while they worked on their car. The father was listening because after the neighbor showed us his gold dragon rings and we bore testimony hahah Charlie, asked us a question!! We told him about the Book of Mormon and he said he’d love to read it. We had his son, David read Moronis promise, where if you read The Book of Mormon and ask Heavenly Father if it’s true, He’ll let you know by the power of the Holy Ghost. Charlie started getting choked up and tears were forming in his eyes as his son read it!!! We can’t wait to go back this next week to see them!
This week I also bore my departing testimony at zone conference… I can’t believe I’ll be home in 3 weeks. My brother gave me awesome advice to read the end of the Saviors Ministry because even up until the end He stayed strong. I pray I’ll stay strong and work hard till the end with His help. ❤ I love y’all and I’ll see y’all soon. 🙂
Love Always,
Sister Long

July 3, 2017

Mission leadership council – amazing elders and sisters!

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Dear Friends and Family,

This week has gone by way too fast! All I can say is Mustang is seeing soo many miracles!! Rumor in the mission was that Mustang was a slow area to be in and that the work just wasn’t rolling here.. but that’s RIDICULOUS because we’ve gotten over 20 new people to teach in two weeks. And the Elders are seeing just as many miracles too, if not more! Mustang is the place to be. 🙂
One of the days we decided to go tracting and knocked on Terry Payne’s door! He was a little guarded at first but then opened up as we started talking about his kids and grand kids and their plans for the 4th. They’re heading up to their houseboat for the weekend.. jealous. 🙂 We ended up sharing The Book of Mormon with him and he told us he’ll read it with his whole family! And that we can come back anytime, that we’re always welcome. We’re so excited to go back this next week.
We shared the gospel with a lady named Rebecca and her mom. Rebecca has her own business as a horse trainer and told us all about it 🙂 We offered to come help out on her ranch for an hour and she told us to come today! I’m kind of bummed I sent home my cowgirl hat.. but I’ll still pretend I’m a cowgirl. 😉 We’re bringing one of the young woman in our ward too so that’ll be fun for her to see what service on the mission is like haha we told her to get ready to get dirty.
We helped one of our investigators move this week and he is so solid! His name is Eric and he’s planning on getting baptized July 20th! His wife is the sweetest member, so we’re beyond happy for them. 🙂 I just have so many miracles to share.. but not enough time! The girls I talked about in my last letter are still meeting with us! We met their dads and both dads said they’re more than ok with us teaching them BUT want to come to church with them for the first time. #jawdrops I guess if they really want to 😉 MIRACLES!!
Okay okay last miracle.. on Sunday a guy named Scott randomly walked into sacrament and told us throughout his life he’s had a lot of Mormon friends and looks up to them. He loves how much we focus on families and wants his family to be closer. We answered a lot of his questions in the foyer and then he told us he’ll come back for the 11:00 ward because he needed to run some errands. Anyhow, come to find out he’s in the Elders area anyways so the Elders had their first lesson with him and he already wants to be baptized!! He knows it’s true!!
I just love being a missionary and being able to be apart of this sweet work. ❤ We have been having way to much fun being the Lords servants. Oh and how could I forget! We got to go to a 4th of July festival with 20+ missionaries and we were in charge of the fake tattoo station for little kids, we laughed a lot.. especially when the Elders took over our station. I am so happy I get to spend the 4th here in Oklahoma. Apparently Mustang is the only place legal to shoot of fireworks within miles so everyone comes from all over to be here. IT’S GOING TO BE A WAR ZONE. WAHOO! Have a Happy 4th everyone! Thanks to everyone who has and who is fighting for our country.󾓦
Love Always,
Sister Long

June 26, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Mustang is wonderful, and so is my new companion Sister Nicoll! We are having way too much fun shotgunning a new area. We didn’t have a GPS for the first few days so we got the giggles quite a bit roaming the streets with a map. Oh and we have a truck so we feel pretty cool.. and our apartment is super fancy! The pool is just outside our window so it’s funny because every morning we look out at it longing to swim.. it’s way too hot in Oklahoma. Mustang really is one of the best areas though, especially when the members keep throwing referrals at us. 🙂 We have seen so many miracles already, one in itself is that we gained 8 new people to teach in just a few days. Hard work is paying off!
One of the miracles was a highlight of my mission! ❤ We were trying to find a part members house when we stopped in front of a house with three twelve year old girls sitting in the driveway. We told them we’re missionaries and they looked at us in awe haha they kept saying how crazy it was we came because they were looking up at the clouds and asking each other questions about Heaven. We told them Heavenly Father sent us and the Spirit was so strong! They all had the biggest grins. We proceeded to tell them about the Plan of Salvation and they kept saying how cool it was haha we have a return appointment with the girls on Thursday. We are SO excited.
We really have seen so many miracles already and I can’t wait to tell y’all all about them. I don’t have much time left but I truly love y’all with all my heart! And I love Mustang, I’m happy! Sister Nicoll and I are going to bring more love to Mustang than ever before. ❤ Have a sweet week!
Love Always,
Sister Long
(P.S. President changed our pday to July 4th and gave us the whole day off again! He is the BEST! And we will get one hour to email on the 3rd! Talk to y’all then!!)

June 19, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,
We got T-Doc! We met up with President in Tulsa to take a recent convert and his niece to dinner so right then he told us the news.. he gave us his Credit Card and said we might want to buy a milkshake too haha! He told me I’ll be going to Mustang, Oklahoma and opening up a new area with Sister Nichol!! Sister Hermana Medeiros and I were happy and sad all at the same time.. I will miss her and all of Bartlesville dearly but I have this strong feeling that there’s still a few Okies I’m supposed to meet. 🙂

This last week we had our Mission President’s Niece with us on a mini mission. We had a TON of fun with Ashley, we gave her the full mission experience, biking and all! 🙂 We saw a few miracles too, Erin was a member referral from the Thompson and when we went to see her she invited us right in and started to say “gosh, you’re giving me goosebumps!” aka the Spirit. Erin is planning on bringing her family to church this next week and is excited to learn more about The Book of Mormon. She kept saying how all the Mormons she knows are always so happy and their kids have such great standards, she said they’re different. I have no doubt Heavenly Father has been preparing Erin. ❤

Jessica got her temple recommend on Sunday!! Ben is working on getting his too after he receives the Priesthood. I’m hoping President will let me go because Mustang is close to the Oklahoma City Temple. 🙂 It’s breaking my heart to leave Bartlesville when so much is happening!! Hunter, one of our investigators, read 50 pages in The Book of Mormon within 2 days from the time he got it. He said “If any of the churches were to be true, it’d be the Mormons, it makes sense.” Haha Hunter is awesome, he came to church yesterday with the Jacobs with all new church clothes, he looked great! It’s sad to hear all the trials he gone through growing up, it’s such a blessing that the Jacobs took him in. Emily came to church too, she is still planning on getting baptized September 2 when she heads back to the college ward at OU. I love her so much, her sense of humor cracks me up.

I feel my testimony growing everyday, especially when I hear amazing conversion stories. Hannah, got baptized a few weeks ago and her story literally brought tears to my eyes. Her parents are completely against her being a Mormon but she knows with her whole heart that this is what God wants her to do, that The Book of Mormon is true and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lords Church. ❤ She is amazing! I would tell y’all her story but I wouldn’t do it justice. She’s incredible. 🙂

Well I love y’all so much!! 6 weeks ❤ but don’t worry you’ll hear plenty more miracles from me in Mustang. 🙂

Love Always,
Sister Long

(P.S. Huge shout out to my Papa Bear for being the best Dad a girl could ever ask for. He’s the hardest worker and most lovable Papa I’ve ever known. I think the world of him and miss him every single day. I also, of course love my Heavenly Father. He is always by my side and helping me along the way. He will forever be my Father and I’ll always be His daughter. Big thanks to all you other father figures too for being awesome. AND Happy Birthday to my brother Karl!! Thanks for being one of my best friends! LOVE Y’ALL!!)

June 12, 2017

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Dear Friends and Family,

This week we got to help out Camp Clintmatock with the cute little scouts. I was in charge of the marshmallow bug station! Somehow the bugs transformed into monsters and I just told them free game hahah it was so much fun. We only helped for two hours but those little boys stole my heart.. gosh I can’t wait to have kids!

We also went on exchanges this week so I got to spend the day in Verdigris with Sister White! She is such a sweet sister! 🙂 We saw a lot of miracles and met people who I will forever remember. It was funny because we got to help out at a little girls baptism and her last name was Long. So there’s all these Longs walking around asking if I’m related or telling me that I look like I have the same facial characteristics of their family hahah who knows… maybe I found long lost relatives. 😉

This week consisted of meetings.. and more meetings..  I think I’m all meeting’d out. We got to meet Elder Echohawk from the Area of the 70 though! He talked about Native Americans and how we need to bring the Gospel to the descendants of the Lamanites. 🙂 It was cool to hear him speak to our mission since Oklahoma is known for having lots of Natives. After one of the meetings I got asked to say the closing prayer so I got to talk with him and his wife and come to find out they were just in Kirtland New Mexico! Where I grew up! Sister Echohawk started naming all these people I know and telling me the latest scoop haha it was pretty funny. SMALL WORLD. I keep meeting people lately that know people I know.. 🙂 We’re all connected somehow right?

But we’re doing great and loving life! Sister Hermana Medeiros and I are following Presidents saying of “Work Hard. Be Obedient. And Have Fun.” 🙂 We’re even starting this next level plan for our area to get more member referrals.. I’ll keep y’all posted with the miracles we see. Our goal is to be those missionaries that everyone remembers.

Well, I love y’all so much and am truly thankful for all the encouragement and love I receive! I am growing and changing a lot on the mission to become more like my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is so very wonderful, someday I hope to be just like my Brother. ❤

Love Always,

Sister Jessica Long

June 5, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank y’all for the Birthday wishes!! It feels great to be 21 in Oklahoma. I woke up to see decorations all over our apartment, Sister  Medeiros is the best!  And Sister Wood took us out to a fancy lunch and insisted on buying me a lemon pie..🍋 BLESSED. Then the day was mostly spent doing missionary work, which I love. And to wrap it all up, Sister Lard took us to girls camp for dinner and all the cute girls sang to me! I am one lucky girl. 🙂
Life in Bartlesville is sweet, we’re working with a few new people like Emily and Kaitlyn. We went to lunch with them this last week and had fun getting to know one another. We’ve had a few lessons with Emily which have been great! One of the lessons we invited her to pray about Jospeh Smith and she texted us this the next day:
“Last night I was confused about Joseph Smith so I prayed to Heavenly Father to see if it was true. Again, I felt the Spirit so strongly just say “yes” and a sense of peace washed over me. Of course, I am annoying so I was like “uh are you sure” and I felt the peace become more powerful and I heard “yes, yes” even more loudly. So I guess that answers that question haha.”

I am SO very happy for Emily, she is going to get baptized on September 2 at the OU college YSA ward by one of her friends. 🙂 she’s going to be traveling quite a bit this summer but will be in Bartlesville off and on so when she is here we’ll have lessons. She’s hoping there’ll be English wards in the different countries she’ll be in.. She’s seriously amazing!! I have no doubt she’ll be a friend I keep in touch with forever, she is just waaaay too much fun to be around! I love her!

Well I love y’all and I pray you have a happy week. ❤️
Love Always,

Sister Long

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May 29, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

First off.. this is the text our mission President sent all of us missionaries today “To the best missionaries in the world: please enjoy a full day pday today. You will not need to be proselyting tonight. Enjoy the day and recharge. Please be in at 9:00 pm. We love you all!!”

Literally this is the first full day I’ve had off in almost a year and a half!! 😀 President and Sister Mansell are the best. The Allreds took us to this amazing zoo today where we got to feed baboons and tigers and hold giant snakes and hedgehogs and bottle feed camels.. we did basically everything because we got a V.I.P. pass. No biggie. 😉 It’s the zoo that became famous because of the Tiger Pups. We had the time of our lives, I can’t wait to send pictures. Now we just have to decide what to do with the rest of our day.. maybe fishing! 🙂

This past week we saw lots of miracles, the members must really love us because we’ve gotten tons of referrals. We also got word that a recent convert from the OU campus will be in our ward for the summer. Kaitlyn looks like Taylor Swift and has such a powerful testimony, so much so that she was sharing it with her little sister Logan. Logan is pretty busy with softball competitions but she wants to make time to learn more, so we are now teaching her. We were bummed that Kaitlyn had to work on Sunday but to our surprise a new face showed up with a member that also moved home from college for the summer. Her name is Emily and she is so excited to continue to meet with the missionaries. Emily is leaving for a study abroad to Germany in the next month or two and told us that she prays there will be an LDS church there that speaks english haha she is awesome. Just wait it gets better.. come to find out Emily was Kaitlyn’s roommate at college!! SMALL WORLD.

Jessica got confirmed on Sunday! Her and her family are beyond happy. 🙂 We will be attending the temple with her and Kaitlyn here soon! Ben is also doing well and is working towards getting the Priesthood. He is nervous to get it so we’ve been teaching him and bringing Priesthood holders over to explain the Priesthood and how great it is. 🙂 The members here are so willing to help with the work, Heavenly Father is truly blessing Bartlesville because of it.

We have another new investigator named Jada that we spotted playing in the driveway with her kids one day. Jada wants to have set lessons with us every Tuesday and seems to love The Book of Mormon. 🙂 We’re way excited to be teaching her.. and maybe her mom too! Her mom was watching the kids when we went over there one day, she was pretty guarded at first.. but when she opened up she asked us a bunch of questions about missionary work. After one question she looked at us and said “this is so crazy.” we asked why and she said “This morning I was studying the Bible and I read about how the Lords servants travel two by two!” Hermana Medeiros and I looked at eachother and smiled real big and said “Yup, we’re the Lords servants.” 🙂 So we’re going to start teaching the mom as well! MIRACLES.

On the hottest day of the week Hermana M and I were out biking and found a poor little turtle in the middle of the road. We decided to save it and try to find it a home. So we started biking with Harvey in a little sack and took him around to different members. It was way funny to see their reactions. Nobody wanted him so we figured we’d take him to a little river.. on our way there we decided to make a last minute stop at the Shumperts. Our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Shumpert, got excited and ran to grab his two little boys, Matthew and Simon. Matthew came running out with his hands in the air and screamed “TUUURTLE!” It was the cutest as Simon came wobbling behind. Brother Shumpert asked what we were going to do with him and we told him we were going to let him go. And he then asked if they could just keep it!! We all went around to their backyard where they released it into a little kiddie pool full of rocks and Matthew renamed Harvey, Charlin. We literally found this cute little family a new pet turtle. ❤ The next day at church little Matthew ran in dramatically and said Charlin escaped.. it was pretty funny but hey we at least we made a memory we’ll all never forget.  🙂

The mission is wonderful and we are just having way too much fun, I feel strongly this is the best place Heavenly Father could have ever sent me to serve. I love the people and I love feeling my Savior walking with me everyday. ❤ I am waay to blessed to be stressed. I pray y’all have a Happy Memorial Day and know that we will see all our loved ones again thanks to our loving Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love y’all.

Love Always and Forever,

Sister Jessica Long