Week 51 – Elder Jones

Auburn, Statues and A New Comp………Again

Yeah, so sorry I wasn’t able to email it off this morning. It’ll be this way while I’m in Auburn. We only have wifi if we go to Starbucks or somewhere like that or the church.

First things first, we are stuck at the Toyota dealership right now because the car needs to be fixed. It’s not even our car, we are on bikes but we are using other Elder’s car right now because they are being punished and got it taken away. But they didn’t tell the mission office it needed to be fixed so we are cleaning up their mess. There is wifi here so I can email for a little bit.

So, it’s been a very, very crazy, busy week. I got Hilcrest ready for the Sisters to take over and got them all the info they needed. We got to Auburn at 6:45 pm and had dinner, while we left our stuff in Auburn 3rd’s truck. Then they dropped us off at dinner. Not even a half hour into dinner we get a call from the APs. An Emergency Transfer was happening. Earlier that day Elder Nettleton had gotten in an accident and they took his driving privileges away. His new comp, Elder Kerby, is from Panama and doesn’t have an American license. So Elder Nettleton needed a comp that could drive. So they should have sent me over there to be his comp but they have been wanting to shotgun (put two brand new Elders in) this area for a while so they sent my companion over there and gave me Elder Kerby. So we don’t know anyone here and our info on our iPads didn’t update until last night. We don’t have connection up here except for at the church and at Starbucks. So we went in blind for an entire day. It was so hard. It’s almost exactly like being up in the hills of Washougal except replace some of the pine trees with redwoods and the hills are steeper and closer together. Actually, Auburn feels more like the Oregon coast except there is no Ocean and it’s hot.

The view from Corbin’s apartment. 🙂

So we couldn’t see where anything is in civilization or anything because of trees and hills.  We had to drive to the only member we could find and ask how to get to the store to get food. That was hard. Then we had to figure out where home was. It was an adventurous day. But I’m so glad that it happened because I’ve heard about Elder Kerby. He has a reputation for being the most obedient and hard working missionary in the mission. And I am so thankful!!!! We can work our butts off now. And wake up on time and be obedient. It’s been amazing. I can finally do all the work I want without someone holding me back. In fact, he pushes me up and if I were to shotgun an area, which I am, he’s the guy to do it with. He’s been our for three more months than me and is from Panama 🇵🇦 so he’s awesome.

It is really cold here in the mornings but by the time we leave the apartment it’s hot like everywhere else. We have a beautiful view of our part of the valley from our back porch. I do studies out there every morning. It’s so cool.

Elder Kirby is a lot like my trainer. His mannerisms the way he talks, the things he likes, it’s so weird. Its like being with my trainer again except without the stress of being green.

Right outside of our apartment complex is this dentist place. And for some reason this dentist had someone carve these 50 foot stone statues of female Amazon Warriors. And they are totally naked and not shy about it. It’s super weird.

I learned how to solve a Rubix cube this week.

We have a Chick-fil-A here! And even better, a member is giving us coupons today! I was so mad when they finished the one in Vancouver right after I left. But I get it now.

I only got to be with my original companion for 30 minutes, but I love Elder Kerby so much. We get along so great and have so much fun. It’s been a blast. We laugh and work so hard together.  It’s super crazy right now and it’s been even more so trying to meet the people we need to.

Well, I’ll send a few pictures if I have any.

Luva!

Week 49 and 50 – Elder Jones

Week 49

New Misson President, Emus and Basketball

Hey y’all!

Good week this week. Felt kinda slow but it was still good.  So I have kinda been slacking this transfer when it comes to improving. Of course, I’m always making progress and the work has been getting better, but I’ve just been going along and doing what I was supposed to. My studies have not been as in depth as they should and I haven’t been critiquing myself and focusing on how I can improve each part of being a missionary. I realized that this week and I have flipped it around. The way I talk to people is different, my quote wall has doubled, my studies have so much more of a purpose and are more effective, I find myself studying articles throughout the day any spare minute I can and my desire to work has even increased. I have been going to missionary issues of the New Era because they have a lot of good advice for people preparing to serve and those already serving. Those articles lead to some really awesome talks. I started with the May 2013 New Era and took it really slowly. A cool article from that is called “Mission life”. It explains a lot of the aspects and the things we do Day to day. It’s been awesome. I kinda have lost some of my fire while being with Elder Gardner, but I don’t want to let that happen anymore. I won’t let it happen anymore.

I did something on my missionary bucket list. We were tracting and came around a street to start. There was this Dad and his two sons playing basketball. Before we even knocked on the first door I heard the Dad say to his kids “I bet they would want to play” so I turned around and said you know what, we will. Elder Gardner was covering his eyes and saying “oh no” at this point because we both suck at basketball even though he is tall. But we emptied our pockets and untucked our shirts and played.  We creamed them. It was like that video that went around a few years back. We wrecked them and had an awesome conversation and got all their info and they said we could come and play again and so we are going to bring some more missionaries and play, and if we win, they have to listen to one of the lessons.  It was awesome.

We were tracting this week, as we have to because that’s the best way to find right now, and we were in a neighborhood with a lot of Punjabis in it. Knocked on lots of doors and one of the doors, another Punjabi family answered.  They wanted to watch the video about Christ. We were so surprised because none of the Punjabis ever listen to missionaries. We showed it to them and they loved it and said we could come back. We came back on Saturday and taught them a lesson and a half.  They want us to come back. There are a lot of people in the house and only the younger two generations listen to us. But it is amazing that they want to listen to us. And they are progressing investigators. There are almost never Punjabi investigators that actually progress. So this is amazing. We will go back this week and teach them more. Its hard to teach complex subjects to them, but they are the most promising people yet.

The area is great. We found three new investigators this week with more to come.  It’s awesome.

Elder Gardner and I have gotten really good at silent communication.  In meetings, lessons, even just talking to members, we can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking its cool.

I was in ward council yesterday when it hit me, its fast Sunday! I had already eaten breakfast when got up and it was too late. I was kind of mad at myself. I couldn’t believe I had completely forgotten and not remembered until then. Well, I found out why later. When I got your email about Addy and Baby Salsa, I realized I had actually forgotten for a reason, so that I could fast for Addy and Charlotte. Makes perfect sense right? Cool tender mercies. I know I’m not in the midst of it, but I feel really close to y’all, all the way out here. Its weird. A good weird. I feel like I am there in a way. I have the same feelings as I have as if I were there even though I’m not and haven’t seen her or Addy or David or anyone.

It’s been really tough out here this last few weeks because there has been some things gong on in the zone ad I’ve been super stressed out and there is so much that I’m trying to work with and I’m caught in the aftermath and I’m super stressed about it.  When I woke up this morning, the second I opened my eyes the wave of stress slapped me again and I was back to worrying and stressing and having that occupy my thoughts constantly. When I found out about Charlotte, one of the first thoughts I had was “You can quit your worrying and stressing. There are worse things that other people have to go through. You are stressed yes, but your sister and family are stressed too and they now have more than emotional stress, they also have physical problems to deal with. That’s something to stress about. Yes, take your job seriously but don’t get blinded by it. God will make sure you’re taken care of. If you do all that you can, that’s enough.  That won’t be enough for your sister. She will probably be dealing with  this throughout the rest of her life. Suck it up.” So I felt comfort that my problems aren’t a big deal. I also felt like everything will be ok With Addy and that I don’t need to let it distract me either. So how is Addy? What condition is she in?  Is David handling it well? How about the kids?

We have a new mission president. President Ward. He was in Yuba city yesterday for Stake MCM.

The picture y’all got this week was from the Bests. They took us to dinner at a Mexico place and we were talking about how their son on a mission hardly writes them and they wanted our parents to have a picture of us. I’m glad y’all hopefully liked it.

Luva!

Week 50

4th, Frisbee and Transfers

Hey y’all!

I’ve been having these dreams again that I’ve finished my mission. Sometimes I tell people in my dream that I must be in a dream but they prove me otherwise. Then I wake up and restart my mission at the halfway point.  🙂

It’s so cool because somehow I have felt who Charlotte is.  Like her personality and stuff. I don’t know how because I haven’t even met her but I can tell who she is. I prayed for her and Addy and David.  It was even hard for me when I heard the news. It was actually really hard. I am so sad for all three of them. But I’ve received a lot of comfort. I’ve even had some people email me about it, trying to help. But in the end, it is actually bringing me closer to Christ.

I was thinking a last week last week about how I don’t really miss movies. Yea, if a tv is on it’s distracting but I don’t just sit there and think, man I really want to watch a movie right now. I just have not cared that much right now. Then I walked into the living room of a members house and her nonmember husband was starting to watch Star Wars. The music started playing and the words started going across the screen. Then I rethought about it. I have decided, I don’t really miss watching movies…..except Star Wars. I really miss that.

I randomly remembered this week how we used to have our “I love you more”  battles and I would always have to say: “I love you more no matter what you’re busted and not me no matter what haha.”

I Got the video of Charlotte you sent last week btw. It downloaded eventually.

We met president Ward this week. He is amazing. He is very energetic and he and his wife are so funny together. He is really straightforward and knows what needs to be done and makes sure it gets done. He is a really loving guy and he cares a lot about us personally.

I have learned a very good lesson this week. I learned that it better to choose the harder right than the easier wrong. I learned that it’s better to stand up against the wrong, even if it’s against your companion. The results are almost immediate. I was able to avoid so much trouble that I could have been in for not standing up for what is right. The spirit directed me and told me that I needed to say something and it was hard but I did. And I am in a much better place because of it. I’ve been working hard on listening to the spirit because it’s hard for me to know the promptings he gives me. But I have been able to feel subtle thoughts and whether or not it’s me I follow them because I can tell the slight difference. Usually a tiny little thought pops into my head to ask if it’s the spirit. As soon as I do, I get another feeling that just barely tells me it is and I go with it. It’s so worth listening to it.

Our car had some trouble this week and so we were on bikes for a few days that was fun. We will be getting a new car in the next two weeks.  Brand new.

Karen, the person that we had the baptism for in Citrus Heights when I just got there passed away. It was a few months ago but nobody every told me. That made me really sad.

Ok, I’m mad now. Transfer boards came in on Saturday night and we all knew Elder Gardner was leaving but when the transfer boards came out, it showed us that I’m leaving as well. And I don’t want to leave. This ward has been the best. I wanted to stay here for six months. Now I’m leaving at three months.  We are having sisters put in our ward and so I’m scrambling to write down everything that they need to know when they get here. The area book probably won’t be updated for a day or two so the will probably be going in blind. But at least I got the area I wanted. I’m going to the Auburn Zone.  Auburn, CA that is. Not Alabama thankfully. Regardless, it’s still Auburn and I will have to go in with my battle armor which consisted of my Alabama hat and shirts and keychain and everything else I have. But it’s the zone I want to go to because it’s a lot of country. Right now there are no sisters in the zone. All elders. I will live in the same complex as Elder Nettleton, the Elder that was in the MTC with me and got held back for six months. He’s out now and I’m so excited to be with him. My companion will be Elder Porter. Elder Gardner was his companion before I got to Yuba.  So another mutual companion thing going on. I’ve heard he is an awesome person. But I feel better about this one because from what I’ve heard, ElderPorter and I have the same interests and stuff. He’s a total redneck and loves Country stuff. So that makes me feel like we will get along.  I’m really excited to go there and even our apartment is supposed to be super nice.  If I’m leaving my dream ward, I’m going to an even better ward. I’m super sad and saying goodbye to people was hard, but I’m really excited to get a cool new place.

Luva!

 

Week 48 – Elder Jones

Heat, Goals and Luaus

Hey y’all!

I love y’alls emails, they make me happy.  It was hot this week.  110 degrees most of the day all week. Hard to tract in that and it kills your motivation. But I’m glad I like the heat.

It was a slowerish week I guess. We had Zone conference this week in

Gridley. It was President’s “funeral” or his last zone conference. He and the rest of the mission presidency bore their testimonies and it was really cool to see the powerful truths they shared. They had their families make a cool video in which they shared how having the Marston’s service on a mission blessed their lives. The Marston’s also made another video that was just a ton of pictures to music. It was pictures of missionaries throughout their three years of service. The video was almost a half hour but it covered every single missionary in the mission at least once. Usually more. So that was super cool. After that we sang the mission song and we all got to hug him and say goodbye because we won’t see him again. It was really sad. I’m going to miss him so much. I’m so grateful for the service he has done. He has taken this mission and turned it into a mission that is way better than it used to be. He really has changed it. He loves every single missionary and he is the best.

On Friday I was slightly frustrated with Elder Gardner on the inside, which is almost the norm but I’m working on that, for being lazy. He woke up at about 11:00 am that day and I wanted to work and it was weekly planning day.  So I tried to incorporate him in weekly planning and he would just say “whatever you think”. I had been trying to ask him what we can do to find people to teach and he would help so we skipped weekly planning and went tracting.  We found three new investigators. It was awesome.

On Saturday we ended up in Robbins and one of our new investigators that has been really hard to get ahold of had just ended up with the custody of his nephews and was looking for more of a support system and we told them about primary and stuff and they were all going to come to church but they didn’t end up showing up it was sad. But hopefully we can get ahold of them again his week and get them started again.

I got bit by Fancy again. She has been really weird around me lately. She latched into my arm this time. I’m going to have to stop holding her for a few visits.

We had a luau on Saturday too. It was the family reunion of a member of our ward for her birthday and they invited some members and the

Elder Goodman is a crossfire freak and tries to make us all eat healthy. He has been on this rant lately about how bread is poison for your body, or at least it’s just horrible. So I showed up to the church with a straight loaf of bread for lunch. This was his face when I opened the container.
We went and ate dinner at lumberjacks an they had a one pound pattie burger that elder Gardner got. The waitress got a box for him because she didnt think he would eat much of it. That hurt elder Gardners pride. He finished it all ad the fries.

missionaries to it. We helped set up and take down and took food home.

There are a lot of non members in the family and so we were talking all day with people about the church and what we do and it was really cool. Not necessarily work for our area but work for the whole country. But it was awesome. We had a thing of cookies and a small baggie of pork we were taking home, and we said goodbye to her and turned around and it had multiplied into a giant bag full of all kinds of food and at least a gallon of pulled pork and two trays of cake and more stuff like that. Wow.

This one is shorter because I didn’t start writing until yesterday. So I can’t remember much if the little things.  Oh, we got to do archery tag again. That was a blast. I’ll send the video. We won’t do it again because a lot of the zone doesn’t play and they want the gym. Even though they don’t even use the gym for anything. 

Our zone goals went well. Our goal for new investigators was 80 which think is he highest in the mission. In Citrus Heights our goal was 34 which we were proud if we could make that. So 80 is crazy. We busted that goal five days ago and made 90 instead.  We all just worked super hard. I’m so proud. So our zone leader is buying us all ice cream. He told us if we could make that goal he would buy it.

My MTC companion is coming down to Yuba because his comp needs to renew his military ID at the air force base here. So I will be able to see him while his comp is doing that.

Always it was an awesome week and I’m excited for another.

Luva!

Merritt turns 14, Failed Cookie Pizzas, Tosiah, Biting, Fabulous Friends and Beautiful Weather in the River!!!!

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Making two huge “Pizza Cookies” for dinner at someone’s home.  I had accidentally bought “Cook and Serve Pudding” without knowing it.  So we used it anyway (can’t let all those ingredients go to waste), made a huge mess and it didn’t taste very good.  I’ve been making this for 19 years and this has never happened!  Dixon got to play fun games at their house too.  His expressions were priceless.

Kids fighting in the car on a long ride home.  We started singing and they all joined in, thus helping the fighting end.

Josiah using his toes like a Jones (there is a long standing family joke about how the Jones can use their toes like hands, it’s pretty creepy/cool).  So the kids started calling him Tosiah.  😉

Dixon burning the palm of his hands on the monkey bars at the park.  He had full on blisters.  It was so sad and took over a week to heal.  It was on one of those 90 degree humid days.  

Trying to get a new “Contact Picture” on my phone of Kevin with hair.  The guy wouldn’t take a normal picture!  He did make me laugh though.  🙂

Getting off sweets again!  It worked (after four days of headaches) and I felt so good for three weeks, then it didn’t work.  So hard!

Tessa accidentally pushing my purse into the mirror pool at the temple.  NOT COOL!!!  I remained calm considering it was an accident and we were about to head in the temple.  I ended up walking into the temple with wet names.  Leave it to the Jones family to be the first people to come in with drenched names.

Dixon getting frustrated with Royce and biting him!!!!  Royce didn’t tell on him, but Hadley did later on.  I was shocked that Dixon would do that because he was mad.  I started to talk with him while he gave me puppy eyes and I couldn’t punish him.  It was the worst parenting moment!  I kept asking for Kevin to come help but then Dixon would get scared of him and cry.  You would think I could parent by now, but I was so weak!  I did finally punish him and hopefully he’ll behave better now.

Parenting or I guess you could call it “not parenting” adult kids that live in your house.  This is the hardest parenting we’ve done yet.  I wish I could document situations, but……

Tess and Bryson passing out on the church pew after a long weekend with late nights.  🙂

Accidentally running over the curb of a median with our car.  I normally turn right on that street, not left.  I was talking with the kids, which didn’t help.  It scared us all a bit and we thought the tire would be blown for sure (it was loud!).  Thankfully, we only lost the inside of our bumper and kept doing our errands.  😉

Our deck falling apart around us.  Kevin is doing such a great job fixing it as it falls apart.  It would be better to just replace all of it, but it’s huge!

Hayfever!!!  All of us have horrible allergies.  Thankfully, we are at the end of them.  It’s worth it for all the beauty around us.  🙂

Dixon made a doghouse fort for Bentley. 🙂

Bentley slicing her paw open.  There was lots of blood, but it’s healing.

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Bryson teaching Royce to play guitar.  There is nothing better than listening to your kids teach each other an instrument.  Especially when the age gap is 13 years.  So cute!

Jumping in the very cold Washougal River after my hot morning runs.  I’ve learned to bring my flip flops down to the bridge, so I can walk back in them.  It is so exhilarating!   It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen on earth, for me.  🙂

Merritt setting up Badminton outside.  My Fabulous Aunt Pat gave it to us for Christmas and we have been waiting to use it.  The kids played so much that the grass was turning brown.  We took it down to let it recover, but I’m sure we’ll have more fun soon.

Royce’s Pack meeting.  🙂 

Getting to see Addy and David’s Baby Salsa move in a video.  It’s so amazing to get to see all this growth take place.  Addisen is just adorable all pregnant like.  🙂

Meeting our fabulous Johansen’s at different parks.  Moms get to visit while our littles get to play.  We’ve had beautiful weather each visit, I love Spring in the Pacific NW.

Getting to visit Tess at work.  So cute and the ice cream was delicious!

Finally getting my running up to four miles.  It’s been a hard struggle to get back in shape after my injury.  I’m still dying as I run, but I’m glad I made it.

Royce asking me what the stone on the “Bob’s Red Mill” bag was.  I pulled up a company video to show him how the millstone worked.  It was so cool at the end when they were interviewing the Vice-Presidents and it was one of my parent’s friend, that I grew up with.

Hadley’s first time at the temple!  We actually all got to go to the temple grounds because Josiah came and took the little boys for us.  It was so special inside with our sweet Hadley. 

Love the storm clouds with the little break of blue sky over the temple. 🙂

We got to go to the temple a number of other times too.  One of them was with some of the YSA in our stake.  It was fabulous! 

Getting to go to the Gold’s house for an amazing dinner with the Hansen’s.  The kids had so much fun playing in the water and we loved getting to be in Hillsboro again.

Spontaneous dinner’s with friends.  I love Spring and Summer because we get to have time with other fabulous families.

Hamilton Mountain hike (we didn’t go all the way to the top, but we plan on doing it soon).  The Columbia River Gorge is incredibly gorgeous!  Loved our time with family and friends. 

Fort Vancouver with my parents.  There was a great park nearby that the kids played at for hours.  It was a perfect day. 

Getting to have Greg and Ben Johansen spend the night because their parents were doing Youth Conference food.  My boys were sooooo excited and they played so well. Loved it!

CamTown!  Camas has a great day of games and fun at the park.  We had so much fun doing all the activities, riding bulls and winning prizes.

Merritt helping Hadley with her Young Women’s Personal Progress.  Love it!

Sleepy Dixon on our way to Nana and Boppa’s house. 🙂

Merritt turning 14!!!!  I can’t believe it!  It feels like she has been 14 for awhile, but now it’s official.  She went to her first dance last night and had a great time!

Getting to go to Newport to celebrate Mo’s 70th Anniversary.  We had so much fun with our great friends the McEntee’s and their family.  Bryson and Josiah rode the 75 mile bike ride while Kevin videoed it with the girls helping him.  Then the next weekend the McEntee’s ended up visiting us here.  We loved our time with them.  Bryson and Carter played basketball until super late in the hot, humid weather and were dripping wet.

We ran into Kevin’s cousin’s at church in Newport!  It was so fun to see them and have the kids in Primary together.  🙂

A fabulous Father’s Day!  

Getting to attend Classical Conversations Practicum.  The three younger kids got to attend the kids camps while the two older girls helped run them.  I got to go to the adult classes.  It was great to get time to learn, but exhausting to go each day.  The kids loved it!

Good thing he has his cape and truck with him to help him pull weeds…..  Dixon “trying” to do yard work.  He gets very distracted at six years old.  😉

Our land full of incredible, beautiful sunrises and wild Foxglove flowers.

 

 

 

Week 46 and 47- Elder Jones

Week 46

Archery Tag, Members and The Ox in the Mire

Hey y’all.

Yeah, its super weird now that Washougal is graduating and this was when things started to wrap up. I had a blast in those last few months before I left to come here.  I wanted it to last longer but now I think it was about the right time. I needed to just move on. But I miss y’all like crazy and I miss my Washougal. I can’t wait to get back to it but I still have over half of my time left and that’s fine by me.  I have so much more that I haven’t done here that I still have to do.

So archery tag was a blast. We are doing it again today in fact. It doesn’t hurt at all when you get hit. Yeah, you notice it does hurt at all. He brought those big pain all floats and we played outside in he grass on the side of the church. We actually helped him a lot. We were his guinea pigs and he found out what he needs to do to make he business work. For example he had two different kinds of bows, they we’re supposed to have the same draw weight but half of the didn’t.  

I got you package by the way. Thank you! I liked the talk in it. Even though it’s been hard, there is still a way to see Gods hand in it all.

I love this ward. The members here are the best. I can joke with them and have really built such an awesome relationship already. I just want to take them and move them all to my home ward. We asked someone if they could feed us dinner one night we didn’t have dinner, and they made us ten sandwiches and two bags if chips. We fed half of the district that night. That’s just one awesome example.

During PEC yesterday we were told about a family, the only member family in Robbins, that had started tearing his roof off to get a new one and had some members helping him but it’s isn’t go fast enough.  They are going to pick up the dumpster tonight. The dumpster cited to be $500. So in Priesthood they called for an ox in the mire. They told everyone that after church, all the people in that room needed to be at their house after church and tear his roof off. Well, it was Fast Sunday. So the Bishop added on that if you ate and went to the service, that God would see their fast as valid. So that was awesome.  On the way to Robbins we could see a big rain cloud coming from the other side of the town. Impending doom.  We showed up to Robbins and I think every single priesthood holder was there and then some. At least 40 people. So we had like 15 people on the roof tearing it off and the rest hauling it to the dumpster. Then it started to rain. I got up in the roof at that point and we all started covering it with plastic. There was thunder and lightning and it was raining really hard for California. Big raindrops. We were all soaked. Then the house started leaking we were trying to cover it all up still and it was raining inside he house. So we kept working and got it all covered. Then the rain pretty much stopped and we uncovered the parts that we hadn’t finished and tore all that off. We had to tear a little bit if the roof apart to replace some of it and we did that and right as we finished, it started raining again. So we covered it all back up and we were done. Just in time. But we were all soaked. It was so much fun. Best fast Sunday ever.

Well, last week I was really really discouraged. It was really hard while I was in training, but this was different. It had been 7 weeks and I as doing all I could. Thinking of any possible idea I could to find people to teach, going finding as much as I could, contacting, every possible thing. And absolutely noting was happening. I was so discouraged. I was thinking about giving up. I was close. No support from my comp, nobody being there when they said they would, nobody to teach, just rejection after rejection. My whole mission I’ve always been able to find somebody to teach, but I couldn’t. It was taking a toll. I was coming close. Just giving up at the beginning of the week, because the day before my last email we had dinner with two four ward missionaries. They were being buttheads. For our spiritual thought I shared quotes and scriptures and at the end of it asked them to give a Book of Mormon away. Their response: “It’s impossible in this area.”  So, our ward missionaries just think that our are is a dead that we might as well not and my comp thinks the same, I’m trying to have an optimistic outlook and people are just tearing me down. I was trying to have hope and trust in God, but it was only me and I couldn’t do it anymore, the entire week had been horrible and then this happened.  I was already ready to give up and they tear me down. I was seriously considering giving up before this and it just about finished me off.  I was just so done, nothing was happening and it looked like it was going to stay that way. Then Tuesday morning came and as it is every morning, at 9:30 and my comp is still asleep, so I went to wake him up as usual and he doesn’t get up so I gave up and wasn’t going to baby him any more. I let him sleep. He woke up at 11:30 and I just studied and got just enough motivation to make myself go out and work.  After I ate some lunch I pushed myself out the door. I only had a sliver of faith left and had almost no motivation or will power left.  But I knew I was supposed to do it. It’s why I came out.  So I walked out the door. And we went tracting. We usually show the Prince of Peace video….or at least offer. We tracted along street when we had just four houses left, some teenager answers the door and when we asked if he would watch the video he said yes, it caught me off guard.  So we showed it to him and explained a little and asked if we could teach him more. He said yes. That really caught me off guard. We taught him the whole restoration. We got his number and all. It was an absolute miracle. Sp we were super pumped and so we tracted the last few houses.  Then we tracted the very last house.  The one we parked in front of. And he wanted to see the video too! We showed it to him and he wanted to learn more as well!  We started to teach the Plan of Salvation and we set a return appointment. It was just what I needed to get back on my feet. It was one of those miracles that came in at the very last moment. I was so close to giving up right then an I was rescued. It it didn’t stop there. The next day we went out to the guy that lives in the middle of nowhere and we made a really good connection with him.  It was amazing and it’ll make it possible to teach the rest of his non-member family. Right after that we drove to Robbins, population 100 (or so the sign says. It’s probably accurate) to meet with a potential investigator and he was there! He was busy and on a time crunch but that was just because he thought we would come earlier so it wasn’t anyone’s fault. We were able to teach him a little about the Restoration and he was stoked! We picked him up as a new investigator too!  Then yesterday we had someone come to Sacrament Meeting. Two people in the ward have been working on her forever and she came to Stake Conference last week, then she came yesterday and she really felt the spirit. She is pretty golden. We don’t know where it will go but it looks very promising and I’m excited. So there’s a lot to go off of in the ward as of right now. Then a lot of little miracles kept following through the rest of the week. The work is finally getting going and its amazing.

God has answered my prayers and it has strengthened my testimony that God will come to the rescue, whether late or early, he will come, but only if you trust him even when all he light disappears. He will come. Something that helped me make it through that last hard week is a quote from Elder Holland from the Mormon Message: “Good things to come.  Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. And some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. Trust in God and believe in good things to come.” It is true. I needed to know that God wanted to see how far I was willing to go to help others. Another quote that goes with that is from the Mormon message Courage:  “You don’t ever realize how strong you are until strong is all you have left.” I did all I could.  Was able to make it as far as God wanted me to go. I passed the test. I am so much stronger. Now my question for you: “How far will you go for Him?”

Luva

Week 47

Goals, Fathers Day and Animal Attacks

Hey y’all!  Was a good week this week. And an ok amount of success but not outstanding.

So we were at the Chilson’s and Fancy, their bird,  jumped from something behind me and landed on my shoulder but fell off balance and grabbed onto my face with her beak to steady herself. More like he latched on. It hurt. A lot.  Pictures will come.  

I had dinner with the Riersen’s and they had Harry Jones, your uncle Dad, over and his wife. It was really cool to have dinner with them and I could see a lot of Steve in him. Or more like the fact that they are brothers. But it was cool to get to know them and I learned a lot about how they grew up so I got some info about how my own grandpa grew up. It was an awesome dinner and it’s still so weird that I have relatives out here.

Exchanges were awesome this week. I was able to have Elder Haddock come to my area and we did so much. We worked all day long and it was nice to get a break from my regular situation. Some of the other missionaries wanted us to have lunch with them and I told them no because this was the one day I would be able to work all day. We tracted and found a few potential investigators. We went to some appointments and taught people and it was awesome. We took it a little far because we were on such a roll we had to keep going. We went out into the middle of nowhere and to see the Gambles. It was amazing. It usually takes about 25 minutes, but his wife was there and his son was there with his girlfriend. We talked with everyone as they came in and out for a few minutes. I launched into the lesson, which was reading scriptures. And of course I invited them to join and everyone did. Including Wyatt’s girlfriend! It was awesome. All of them participated, his girlfriend probably hadn’t ever met anyone LDS besides Brother Gamble who is less active. She kept the Book of Mormon and said she would read it. We were there for over an hour. It was awesome how they all were willing to just join in. I’m so glad.

So at this point we should have headed home because Elder Haddock was going on exchanges the next day and it was 8:45 and we were a half hour away from town. But we had to talk to somebody in Robbin’s. So, we just went for it. We were able to get ahold of him and schedule an appointment that worked for both of us. By then it was 9. We made it to the Yuba Mansion at 9:30. Then we still had to make it back home. So that was fun and we did a lot of good. Awesome day.

On Tuesday we had district meeting and our zone leaders always tell us how far away the zone is from our monthly goals. And we weren’t close.  So one of them said he would buy everyone ice cream if we could make the goal. He is really trying hard to keep our zone at the top of the mission so he wanted this bad. We calculated how much we needed. It is almost impossible. We would need 23 new investigators for this past week and this week. Our monthly goal in Citrus Heights was 35 and we barley made that. So this is almost impossible. And for two weeks straight. Come Saturday we had 25 new investigators. That’s not even counting yesterday. But I don’t know the numbers from yesterday. Elder Robbins didn’t think we could do it which is why he said he would buy ice cream. Now he is in trouble. I have no idea how we have done this much yet.  Gardner and I got two new investigators this week which as I’ve said in the past is a lot for this ward compared to the past.

On Saturday we didn’t have anything scheduled.  So we contacted for an hour. And we tracted for 6 hours. It was crazy. And it was hot. We only got one potential out of it though. But we have been trying as hard as we can.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! A day late but I couldn’t send it yesterday. I am so grateful for all the things you’ve taught me. I still remember making my first pinewood derby car and how you knew so much about it and you helped me and we did pretty well. There are so many stupid things that I’ve done and you were always dragging me around as a teenager trying to get me to take responsibility. I remember that one time you took me out to the driveway to teach me how to walk correctly because I would slouch and drag my feet. I was super grumpy and hated that. But that just shows how much you actually care.  With all the things you’ve taught me from how to use tools and how to act for myself, I have really been able to be an influence on other people. I love you!

It got a little hotter this week. About a hundred and ten yesterday.  It should be like that all week. Yeah, it’s actually really hot. The thermostat can’t keep up with it. Its bad.  Anyways, it was a good week and we are going to do archery tag again today so I’m excited. 

Luva!

Week 44 and 45, Elder Jones

Week 44

Hey y’all!

The temp here was awesome this week. A little hot to be tracting in but we did it anyways. It was in the hundreds all week. At night it would be pitch black out and 85 degrees. It felt so good to be out there during that. Man am I glad I like the heat. It’s going to be tough to come back home to the cold.

Is Haley Dewey serving a mission? I was looking up names for Camas and Washougal on Mormon.org and she popped up and her bio said she is going to Bismark North Dakota. I had no idea. Good for her.

So we were having lunch after district meeting like we do every week and two missionaries had gone out to the parking lot to get something and they came back in saying there was a guy in the parking lot that was asking for me. It was really weird of them because they were saying something about Steve Jones and Kevin Jones and so I didn’t believe that there was anyone out there and though it was a joke. Finally they got me to go out there and I saw a Silverado and there was a lot of glare from the sun on the windshield but it looked like Steve Jones but I knew it couldn’t have been. Turns out it’s Dad’s Uncle Harry Jones. So my great uncle. Or uncle once removed. Whoever you want to call it. Apparently he caught wind that I was coming to the mission and heard that I ended up in Chico and has been kinda trying to track me down for a while. He knew I was in Citrus Heights last but he finally actually found me in Yuba City because he lives up in Loma Rica, which is not far from here. It’s in our zone or stake. So it was really cool to see him and I couldn’t believe it.  Especially since he took the time to find me. So he knows people in our ward and stuff. I gave him my number and hopefully we will do something soon. Then I found out yesterday that his son is Dad’s cousin and is married the daughter of the high priest group leader in my ward. On the 16th I am going over to their house and Harry will be there. After sacrament, I met your cousin, Ryan. I’m sure you saw the pictures in Facebook. They aren’t in my ward but were visiting.  But still, I’m related to some people in my ward.  

I loved the video y’all sent me for my birthday that I got this week of the girls and boys singing happy birthday. Thank you!

Cherries are blooming and we have raided so many cherry trees we have red fingers. I’ve had so many cherries I’m going to bulge.

So we had a ton of stuff scheduled for this week. Our week was pretty much full with things to do, a lot of them teaching appointments. We had a ton of lessons planned but, only two of them didn’t cancel. They are recent converts. Dang it. Yea, lots of potential investigators that we had planned to meet with.  Well, they aren’t going to get rid of me that easily.

Yesterday was cool. Last Sunday I told all the Priesthood that I would bring pass along cards the next day so they needed to start praying who to give it to. I brought them yesterday and half of the people asked for two cards. Yes! Then I gave a spontaneous lesson in Priest’s Quorum in missionary work and how the boys can be missionaries. I loved it. I’m glad teaching has become really easy for me now that I will randomly volunteer without people asking.

At someone else’s baptism this week, Elder Dean, my last zone leader, was there for his comp. I talked with him and he told me who to visit and gave me enough info in them that we might be able to get somewhere. So that’s good.

Transfers are tomorrow. Elder Gardner is staying as expected. We are able to get along pretty well.

I wish I could have been there for Hadley’s first temple trip. But, I give up some things like that to be out here. Congrats Hadley. Sounds like y’all had a good time and that it was very spiritual.

Anyways, that’s my week. We will keep working hard whether or not people listen.

Luva!

Week 45 -Stake Conference, Transfers and That’s About It

Hey y’all!

An friend of Kevin’s saw Corbin singing in the choir at Stake Conference. So cool!

Dad, I loved that little email about Royce and fasting. Thanks Royce!

I need it!

Wow, so I really don’t have much to talk about this week. Transfers were good. It’s awesome to have Elder Haddock in my district again.  Now p-days might not be so boring for me. But the zone is a whole lot different because half the people in the zone left. We have a new zone leader. The one that left was so awesome. But the knew that came in………not so much.  But I’ll support them because I should. 

We had a lot of appointments set up again this week.  Same thing happened, the people wouldn’t answer or said to come back another time etc. So lots and lots of that.  We did have a little success. I guess. The little success we had is short term. We knocked on a less actives door and got in and at first he was very hostile towards us but when Gardner and him started talking about video games he became very comfortable and opened up and it went great from then on out. Everything before that was not going very well because if a lot of reasons but that changed things and his son is not a member and so we picked up a new investigator from it. But, they are moving soon. Of course. The other thing that happened is that this guy that we have been knocking on his door for he entire time I’ve been here, finally opened his door last week and said that his Spanish was better than English. He had been avoiding us for a while but we got that info and sent his investigator records over to the Spanish sisters. They stopped by a few nights ago and of course (because why would anything good happen to us) they had a great lesson with him and it went really well and they are teaching him. I’m glad that he is investigating but man, can’t we get a little bit of success?

Saturday was crazy. We went to an appointment that cancelled on us then went to a baptism. The sisters and another set of elders were hungry and wanted to eat some food somewhere so we drove them to Costa Vida because they are on bikes and elders and sisters can’t eat together just them(double dates). So we were their chaperones. We weren’t going to get anything encaustic we spent too much money on food last month. So they get their food. Then a worker came up and said that we needed to get in line because someone was going to pay for our lunch. That was an awesome blessing. So we got a nice big Costa Vida lunch. Then our dinner appointment changed our dinner to a lunch so about a half hour later we went to In-N-Out, and I stuffed myself even more. I was about to pop. Then we went to the Chilson’s and he wanted to get us drinks and my body wouldn’t handle that, but I had to, so I did. I skipped three meals straight because I didn’t want dinner and fast Sunday was the next day. I was going to just start my fast before dinner but the elders at the Yuba mansion had ice cream. Great. I felt so fat that day.

So a member that we love is starting up a business for archery tag. I remember seeing a cool Devin Supertramp video or something similar on it. It’s basso ally mixing paintball and dodgeball together but using bows and arrows.  He is bringing it to the stake center for us to play today. I’m so excited. It’ll be great.

Stake conference was this week. Sister Marston gave the most amazing talk in the adult session. My favorite quote: “If 18-21 year old boys and girls can talk to complete strangers about the gospel, how much easier should it be for members with much more experience to talk to their friends about the gospel.” That was awesome and I have used it since then. I got to sing in the stake choir so that was cool as well.

Well, thats about it for my week. Luva!