Week 76 – Elder Jones

Many exchanges, Pete and P-Day

Tuesday:

Exchanges. It’s weird having my son leave for a couple days. They will come back tomorrow even though we exchanged last night. We saw a million miracles. We contacted a less active and he said he didn’t have time for us after we left and we’re doing something else, he texted us and wanted to take us out to lunch and he did.  We talked to him about the gospel and about him. It was a cool miracle. We had a lesson with a potential investigator and she isn’t really interested but said she would read from the Book of Mormon. Then later, while tracting we taught a quick doorstep lesson and that was great. He didn’t want to set up a time but that’s ok.

This is what happens if you park for district meeting first. We call it getting “boxed in”. This is why you don’t come first.
Then we tracted another door and a Calvinist named *** answered and we talked and he let us share a message and after talking for awhile he had some questions like polygamy and stuff. We did our best with those and he was really understanding and interested. He is super busy getting the carpet redone and getting surgery right now, but we set up a time in a month. What miracles.
Then we helped a less active named ****** prepare for a lesson on Sunday. Surprisingly, him he took it seriously and did his best. I’ve never seen him so serious about anything. He’s always messing around. I think the Gospel is changing him, wow.
So yes, it was a day of miracles.
Also, tonight we found the study journal of the Princess of Samoa. Sister Puletua. That’s cool.
Friday:
Sorry I haven’t written for a few days. Been so tired when I got home. So, the cool stuff that happened was that we went on exchanges and I was with Elder Kite and that was a blast. We got some people that said we could come back.  After Book of Mormon class we stayed a little with **** and he has a question that he has been worrying about and it’s why he hasn’t been re-baptized. As we started explaining it again it clicked and he understood. What a miracle. Then last night we had a lesson with him and finished all the stuff he has to be taught to be baptized. He was supposed to drop to 8 ounces of coffee by today. But he dropped to 4! My mouth literally dropped and I couldn’t say anything. He is ready to get on with things. Never seen so much faith in an investigator.
Then today we tracted into a kid that totally wants to be taught and loved the video we showed him and wanted us to come back. So we met our goals in that aspect so far. So it’s all been good.
We got to watch President Monson’s funeral today and that was great. I’m going to miss him. What an amazing person.
Saturday:
It was kinda a long day but a lot of good happened. We tracted a super long street and had two people say we could come back. One of them seemed super open and really wanted it. That was great. We taught a less active family, mostly the kids, and they are starting to take things more seriously, at least it seems.
The mission is starting to let up on the new rules a little bit. Now we will sometimes be able to go to p-day with other missionaries. We got permission for this Monday so that’s a relief.
Sunday:
Great Sunday full of amazing talks. **** is doing well at church. Had some awesome questions that we were able to help with. He is doing amazing and takes great notes. He says he could progress faster (which I can almost not believe because of how fast he is already progressing) but doesn’t want to burn out because if going so fast. So he is staying at the rate of progression and taking it one step at a time. He’s awesome.
Had dinner with the Wagner’s. Such an awesome family. Love them. They are so awesome in their callings and they are amazing people too. It’s the perfect mix of both. Hard to describe. They just rock.
That’s pretty much my week. Right right now I’m at the Toyota dealership getting the car fixed.
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Week 75 – Elder Jones

Elder Pirir, Addresses and Miracles

Tuesday:

Yesterday Elder Pirir was back in the mission and he stopped by the house and we talked for like and hour. That made the day a lot better. It was so good to see him and it helped me see how much I have grown since my first and second areas where I served around him.

Today was good because we had a lot of good things to do. We started cleaning up the areabook because when people put down addresses wrong, it chooses some random place in the world to make their address. So we have to go find them, with almost no information. Half the time we can’t do it. But Facebook helps a lot for searching out those people. I feel like such a stalker. I’m FB stalking for the first time and it’s weird.
Wednesday:
I was really, I don’t know what the right word is for this, bummed? Angry? Super sad? All of the above maybe? When I heard about President Monson dying. It kinda ruined my studies. It must be a relief for him because if his condition and he gets to be with his wife, but it’s still very sad. The death of a prophet is huge. Especially my first full prophet that I have been able to understand the gospel with. He was kinda “my” prophet. And man, the stories about him. He does not mess around. How much of his life he dedicated to the gospel. It’s amazing. I have a lot of love for him. He has always been very direct which is the best way I learn so I’ve learned a lot from him. I’m really sad. But happy for him. It’s crazy because I’m able to be on this spiritual high of being a missionary while this happens, I connect well and it’s real to me. So grateful for a living prophet.
Thursday:
We had a good day. We did some finding, we went out to East Biggs for a service project. That was fun and we got it done super fast and stayed on schedule. Then we drove way out to the top of our area and saw ******. We actually made a little progress with her this time and she said she would read the Book of Mormon a little. Nobody really came in to the gas station that we could talk to so we didn’t really have that part.
We had an awesome lesson with **** tonight. He is down to 12 cups of coffee tomorrow. That’s great. We taught the Ten Commandments and with the law of chastity. He’s fine with all of that except the 3rd of the Ten Commandments. But he has been working on it and is doing great. He already knows what he has to change before we talk about it and talks about how he has to change it before we even bring it up. It’s so awesome. We moved his baptismal date to February 3rd so he can be off coffee for long enough. So that’s great and I’m exited.
Friday:
Interviews. It took forever as usual. We got there and President Ward had to take a long phone call so he told us all to go get lunch so we got to stay out of our area and eat at the local burger place in town. I miss that place.  So that was a relief. Then we waited for our turn. My interview was good. He asked me about training. We talked a little bit about the whole rules change and it is mostly still the same. He did talk about how I had changed from that time he ridiculed me and stuff and that I have really changed and matured. That was nice if him. Maybe because I was just feeling quiet today. But it was nice to hear him say that. I’ll keep working on it. I’ve been quieter lately.
Elder Kelson is doing a great job in the area. He’s talking more and even asking for more responsibility today. Man am I lucky to have him.
Tonight we went and did some stuff at the *****’s house and afterwards, because Brother ****** was home and he isn’t at home way too often and is quiet, we talked with him and had a jam session with him. Elder Kelson played a telecaster and I got on the piano and brother closer brought out a mandolin and we played some hymns and bonded with them. It was great to get to know them better. And instruments were fun. They are the family that is holding my guitar right now. I played some guitar too.
Saturday:
Miracle! So before the miracle, we went to Mary’s this morning which was great. Except they made some more rules and now only us and Spanish elders can do the service for now. But the sisters can come for the lunch part at least.
Then that creeper guy showed up at the sisters baptism and started blaspheming to everyone and said he was God. So we had to go help take care of that.
Later, we were tracting and we have been trying super hard to get people to teach. Every spare minute we go finding. So we knock one house and as we were walking to the door we notice an U-haul and some people moving in. So we knock the door and even though we saw them there, they didn’t answer. So we went over to the other house where the family was moving in and offered to help. And they said yes! Their electricity to the house wasn’t turned on yet and it was getting dark fast. We got it done just in time. We talked with the dad, afterwards and gave him our number if he needed more help. We wrote it on a pass along card and he looked at it and said “is this a card from your church? Because we had talked about being missionaries while unloading. We said yes and then said that we share an awesome message about Christ and asked if we could share it sometime. He said “yes, we will have to set something up sometime”! So we told him that he should call us to move the heavy furniture upstairs when they do that and said if we didn’t get a call we would stop by soon and he said we could. So that’s great! What a miracle! Tracting isn’t that effective but if you show the Lord that you will be obedient and that you’ll put the work forth and overcome fears, he will give you someone to teach.
Sunday:
Had an awesome experience with *****.   ***** was acting weird and in the end we ended up just talking to ****.  It was an awesome lesson with him. Which is a massive step for him. And even more, twice he bore testimony of Christ and also said the believes and still reads the Book of Mormon. What a miracle. He is truly changing.
So I had an awesome spiritual moment. I’m pretty sure I white about it, it back I’m Citrus Heights I listened to a lot of Hank Smith and he has this one story of a girl that just glowed with the spirit because she was kind to everyone and loved everyone unconditionally and tried to make everyone her friend. Then he told about how he tried to be like that later and was able to basically change another girls high school years because if how he befriended her. I’m pretty sure I wrote about it but I made a resolve to try to take that challenge and be that kind of person. Such a touching and motivating story. I haven’t listened to that talk since Citrus Heights so when we listened to it today, I remembered how I wanted to be like that and how much love has played a factor in my mission. But I had a thought. Did I do the challenge? Had I been that person that was nice and loved and befriended the person who was an outcast and as included? And I thought about it and realized I hadn’t. I wasn’t quite there yet. Then I dawned on me. I had. There is a sister in our district, who is almost 30 years old, pretty different from most of us, very quiet and had a hard life and sacrificed a lot to come out on a mission. When she came into the district, she was kinda not as included because she isn’t that social and quiet and different. Looking back now I realized that I made a resolve after meeting her the first time to make her my friend, include her as much as possible and love her as Christ would. After almost two months, we are very good friends and she is very included and is very loved. I have loved her as Christ does (to the most of my ability) and(I’m the least prideful and most humble way) I have seen how I have helped her and really been able to make her feel that love and changed her experience here. I did it! I did to the challenge that I challenged myself a year ago. I’m changing! It was so cool to have that realization of how I set a goal and I accomplished it, especially one like that. It wasn’t something I would do if I was at the beginning if my mission, but I realized that it’s more a part of who I am now. I don’t consciously think about it. What a cool experience.
Luva!

Week 74 – Elder Jones

Getting Lost, Christmas and Spiritual Thoughts

Elder Kelson and Jones! So cute on Christmas! We’re extremely thankful for the phone calls and texts from the amazing members in Gridley. It truly makes the holidays so sweet and easier with our missionary gone.

Tuesday:

Elder Kelson did such a good job today. I used him like I would any other companion, maybe even more. Because I’m the driver, I had him put everything into the area book while I was driving and had him do a lot of things and take a lot of responsibility.  He gets it really well. He even caught things that I didn’t and he remembers a lot of tips and tricks. We went tracting today and he was nervous, but excited. He did such a great job and we got a return appointment. I had him put all the information down for the people we found. He is awkward at the door of course, but why would he not be? He hasn’t ever done this before. He remembers what has to be done at the door and does it. He learns very fast.

Christmas was awesome!

The boy loves barbecue sauce and I love his one raised eyebrow, what talent!!!
The Nativity

Thank you for all that you got me. It’s all going to help me a lot and already has. I was very surprised by it all. Y’all are the best. We made the call to you then went home and did nothing, then went to dinner early to play some games. It was a good day.

We couldn’t get a good picture of Elder Jones smiling and all of us squeezed in, but here is the best one. 🙂 Loved our FaceTime! He truly amazes us. 🙂

Wednesday:
We had district meeting. It was good to see the others after not getting to be with them on Christmas. Then we gave a member in our ward a blessing, helped him get in the car and they rushed off to the hospital. We went and tracted half of a super long street. Not much came of it. Good practice and experience for Elder Kelson though.
To save miles, we rode our bikes around Gridley while contacting. But I got super lost because all of Gridley looks the same everywhere.  It was founded by Mormons, so it’s like Salt Lake City, it’s a grid. I hate gridded streets. It’s easier for someone trying to find something if they’ve never been there, but it all looks the same, so you can never tell where you are.
Then after dinner, we were able to go to the Book of Mormon class. Finally **** was there.  He is so smart and learning so fast. He has the best comments in the room.
I’m excited for tomorrow. The part that makes me happiest is that Elder Kelson is so excited for it. But it’s because we have a ton set up for tomorrow. We have a lesson with a guy we tracted into, a lesson set up with an investigator that we tracted into a few weeks ago and lost contact with and went back and her husband answered and was on board for it and is expecting us, and a lesson with ****. It’s going to be full. And there’s lots of potential. Yay!
Thursday:
So our perfect day turned into a not perfect day, as those days seem to do a lot. We got all our studies done early in the day so we could have time for all our lessons, then went and tracted a long street and go to our first lesson with a lot of hope, and he didn’t answer. So we tracted for another hour and tried to come up with stuff to fill in the time. Then we went to our other lesson that also has a lot of potential and nobody was home. Of course. So now we had to try to fill in the time for the rest if the day. And we had to save miles. So it was super hard to do anything.  Our perfect day turned out to be a hard day with having nothing to do but having to fill the time. It sucked. 
**** didn’t cancel though. We had a great lesson with him. Except that I got sick at the beginning and it was super hard to make it throughout all the lesson. I feel horrible now. I need to sleep.
I don’t mind too much that it was a bad day, it’s hard trying to get through it yeah, but I don’t mind it. I just hate for Elder Kelson to have a bad day. At least, this early. I’m sure he needs it though if it’s happening. He is handling it like a champ. He is a much better missionary than I was at the beginning of my mission. Oh man.
Friday:
Better today. We had Mary’s in the morning, then weekly planning.  It was the first time in over a month.  I actually was able to have weekly Planning because I finally have a companion assigned to the area. And last week we didn’t have time. So it took a while. We did have some time to contact though. I love the enthusiasm Elder Kelson has. He has a lot of faith and I love it. We prayed that we could contact somebody that would be willing to listen and we knocked on someone’s door that used to meet with the missionaries. He didn’t live there anymore but the lady there called him and got his address and the guy was super excited for missionaries to stop by! It isn’t in our ward but it’s great for the Liberty Sisters! So it really raised our spirits after yesterday.
Saturday:
Better day. We were able to go to some members for breakfast, then we went to fill out some reports and we contacted for a little and tried to go see Joanne. She isn’t doing well. But she didn’t answer the door and we heard her less active husband raking leaves and surprisingly he let us help. We knocked it out quickly and he was so grateful. Man what a blessing. We have been biking as much as possible for the last few days to stay under miles. It was because we had to park our bikes in the back that we heard him raking. What a cool miracle for doing everything we could to stay under miles.
******** cancelled our lesson because she was gone. Cmon! We were able to get Elder Kelson to meet a member though and it brightened his day.
Sunday:
We ended up inn early for New Year’s Eve, right after dinner.  Our dinner ended up super early. We got back at 6:00 pm. Haha. The only interesting thing that happened today was that I was giving an object lesson for a spiritual though and it involves pepper. As I was using the pepper grinder, the top broke off and my hand went flying into the water pitcher and water covered the whole table while whole peppercorns  covered the enitre table! So in an instance, there were peppercorns sitting in a pool of water.  It was very embarrassing.
Luva!

Week 72 – Elder Jones

Transfers, Marstons and Temple!

Thursday:
Wow. I’m a little behind. It’s been probably the craziest week of my mission. I headed toward the temple on Tuesday night to go stay with Elder Moon who also taught ***.   I stayed the night and President Kenny took us to the temple. He also gave us the news that President Marston (my first mission Pres.) was going to be there. I got out of getting changed and there he was! Since the temple is out of the boundaries President Marston was able to come. He went through the temple with *** and so did Sister Marston. It was awesome. I was afraid *** wouldn’t understand anything and be super overwhelmed and confused, but in the Celestial Room she was just so happy and it seemed like she comprehended a lot. She just said she was so happy. I got to see one of the temple videos I haven’t ever seen. It was so good to be able to go to the temple after so long. It’s a bigger temple than I thought it would be, so beautiful. I’m so happy for ***.  Then she got sealed to her parents. I’ve never seen a sealing, so that was amazing. The Marstons acted as her parents.  We saw a ton of members from Rush Park Ward. One of the temple workers was from my Yuba City Ward. It was great to see those people. So grateful! I needed that a lot. I would type more but I am so tired so I will move on.
Friday:
We went to Mary’s today. Since it’s the last week of the transfer she had the sewing stuff ready. She made ties for all the elders and aprons for the sisters. My tie is so cool. She always finds out what missionaries like and and makes tons off of it.
We did weekly planning too. After that we had a lesson in Biggs and it was great! It was a less active and he nonmember daughter and they are super positive and she’s been reading the Book of Mormon occasionally and want to become active in church and we will be doing family home evening with them. It looks like there’s a lot of potential there. They are awesome. Great personalities and a lot of fun. Our personalities really click well together.
Saturday: We had the Oroville Ward Christmas breakfast in the morning and that was a blast. Sat on Santa’s lap. I told him I want the Gospel to be spread to the whole earth for Christmas.
Then we did some work in Oroville. Then we made it to Gridley for the tail end of the light the world booth down there. It’s in the Zone leaders area and got someone for us to teach. So that’s great!
Then we had the Ward Christmas party for my Ward. It was a blast. We were able to show the light the world video on the projector. We had tri-tip for the dinner and it was great. I’m fat.
When we got home I was filling out the progress record and the phone started ringing in my pocket. Because my wonderful trainer had sent me an email a week and a half earlier, I knew what it was. President Ward told me I’m training and it means I’m almost sure to stay in Gridley. We will get the official transfer board tomorrow. I’m excited.
Sunday:
Today was good though. Lots of church.
Mom, a goat head is just a really thick thorn that punctures bike tires really easily because it doesn’t snap because of how it is built. It’s really sturdy. My foot got better after I got ahold of some hydrogen peroxide.
Merry Christmas, Luva!

Week 71 – Elder Jones

Hot Chocolate, Kay and Miracles!

Merry Christmas! 🎄
Tuesday:
Today was pretty good. We did a lot of service. We went to **** house and he was outside sweeping some leaves and since he is 88 we made him sit down and raked his entire lawn by hand, and some of the neighbors started to help and some of his grandkids stopped by and were really touched and took pictures and made us hot chocolate. We go and teach ***** a lot and we put it all into a physical example. It was awesome. #lighttheworld
We listened to this song today that talks about how Christmas isn’t Christmas without Christ. Then we all got all mad and started to get fed up with people saying happy holidays and not Christmas that every time we saw so one we would roll down the window and yell merry Christmas. They loved it! Most people aren’t offended. They actually want it. It’s weird to think that the world has to cater to the few people that might get offended. And since I’m a missionary, I can share Christ with everyone.
We are on Exchanges right now. Elder Owen and I went to Gridley with Spanish Elder Stevens. We will kinda work a little bit in my area too. But we got into the Spanish elders apartment because they left it open for us. But they made it look like someone was in the bed and they even had a manikin head so it looked super real. So we hid and shut all the lights off and when the other elders got home we had the head on a pole and when they opened the door the head popped out at them and they got real scared. We got it on video. It was great. I’ll send it.
Wednesday:
I have a lot of respect for missionaries speaking a foreign language. I’m glad I got called English because I am so far from perfect and make so many mistakes. But add another language to that?  Exchanges were good except I couldn’t understand anything anyone was saying half the day.
I got to have dinner with the Pratt’s. They are in our ward boundaries but are in the Spanish branch. But it’s Audrey Smith’s aunt and uncle. So that was cool!!!
We saw cats try to kill each other during a lesson. We were on the porch and they were chasing each other all around the street and mowing each other down and screaming and clawing. It was viscous. Kinda funny.
Elder Owen and I tried to practice teach in Spanish. Neither of us know Spanish and we fake tracted. It was bad. I’m sure none of it made sense to the Spanish sisters. Elder Stevens helped us, but man, I don’t know Spanish. Spanish at Clark Community College helped, but I don’t know how to teach the gospel in that language.
Also, Happy Birthday Dixon! I hope all was good today, which, by the time you will have read this, it’ll be way later. But happy birthday anyways!
Thursday:
Fun day with lots of lessons. We met with ****. He is having a hard time giving up coffee. Stopping cold turkey didn’t work. He talked to his doctor and his doctor said to wean off of it so he can get there more solidly. We talked about relying on the Lord and all the things with the gospel that will help him. He did a lot of research on coffee and thinks it’s the most horrible thing ever now and really wants to get off of it.  That’s a good change from not knowing why it’s bad.
We talked to some guy and his son outside their apartment. They were both smoking cigarettes. They kept talking to us and asking questions but were being stubborn. Then the son opened a wooden box. As soon as he touched the lid, I knew we needed to leave. Thank you Holy Ghost. He then proceeded to take out a ziplock with weed and started putting what he needed together. We left.
Friday:
It was a great day! We weren’t going to be able to go Mary’s. But a lesson rescheduled and we were able to go! We moved a ton of stuff in her yard and raked massive piles.
We weekly planned and went to our two lessons and neither were home.
We then went to Oroville and taught a lesson to a less active lady.  She brought her kids and they want to be baptized.  Man, their ward is crazy. So that was an amazing lesson, then we went back to my area to Biggs for dinner. Then we went to see *******. We started teaching the Plan of Salvation and they sucked it up. We ended up talking about church again.  It went really well.
Ok, so super exciting thing! On Exchanges, I got a Facebook message from Brad Clinton from Citrus Heights. He is the son of Kay Clinton, the lady we taught with president Marston that was in a nursing home outside the mission boundaries. She is receiving her endowments on Wednesday and Brad got permission from President Ward to invite two missionaries.  They picked me and Elder Moon! I was able to get ahold of President today and  Elder Moon and it’s all set. I have permission and everything! I haven’t been to the temple since the MTC and I’m so excited for Kay! It’s been rough for her and so I’m stoked! All I need to do is get a member to take me and pick me up from Lincoln. So excited! What a great Christmas gift. The temple will even be decorated for Christmas! 😆
Saturday:
Spent part of the day in Oroville. But we spent the afternoon in Gridley with the #LightTheWorld event. You saw it on Facebook. We had trays and a tree and hot chocolate and a video stand and cards and chairs and Santa hats and gift wrapped copies of the Book of Mormon and everything. We went all out. It was awesome. We talked to a lot of people and gave away a ton of stuff. It was a blast and we were able to do so much! It was great. We are planning to do it again on Thursday.
Yesterday morning I was walking through the apartment and I stepped on a random goat head. It was huge.  So the thorn went up my foot and hurt for a second and it was ok. But randomly tonight it just started hurting and I have to walk on my tip toes on that foot. It sucks.
Sunday: Oh happy day! It was a good day. I’ll save the best for last.
The bad part was that yesterday there was this YSA investigator that we all knew was creepy, but yesterday he was getting kinda touchy and creepy and verbally inappropriate with one of the sisters and we all had to protect her be making it so he couldn’t talk to her or sit by her or even see her. She ended up crying after he finally left. It was bad. Today we had to sit by the other set of sisters, like really close, because he tried sitting next to them and we almost had to squish up to them so that he couldn’t sit by them. He tried squeezing in and in the process almost sat on one of the sisters lap. Through all of church we had to sit by the sisters and get people to sit in the other side of them as well. Thank goodness this was the ward where we could stay the whole time. So that was pretty bad. I’m sure it’ll get worse. The YSA Ward knows and is on high alert. A lot of them saw some of it today. So that was an adventure.
The great part was dinner with the Gibson’s. They are pretty much my favorite family in Gridley. Then again, I say that about a lot of families. But especially them.
Then there was the community Christmas concert. Our stake put together a concert and different churches put songs together and different stuff. It was at the stake center. It was really, really good. The whole time I was just thinking to myself how could you not be happy at all right now? It was so amazing. They did some good songs and there was a lot of talent.
Now the good stuff. On the way though the church parking lot we saw **** and talked to him and he said that his daughter saw such a change in him in such a short time that she is kinda interested and wants to come to the Book of Mormon class on Wednesday! Wow! How cool is that! What a good example Mike is. The Lord is blessing us a lot.
The other best part was that ********* made it to church! She and ***** made it and loved it! We could only be there for one hour but she messaged me saying how much she loved it and how many people she met and was amazed by church! ***** knows some of the kids in church too! Now that she knows more people and absolutely loved church, they will be able to progress. It was an absolute miracle.
Luva!

Old Ornaments, Wind, Dixon Turns 7, Kindling and Nana’s Birthday!

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Royce:  “Some people have trees that have three kinds of ornaments that all match, that’s boring.  Our tree has meaning with all the ooooold ornaments that don’t match.”;)

Huge wind storms for the last week.  I love the wind on the same level that I love rivers.  None the less, I found our recycling and trash in the bushes, thankfully in time to be dumped still.  Then our new trampoline scooted across the grass toward the house.  We laughed when we woke up with it in a different spot.  We have successfully tied it down to the lawnmower.  😉

Post Office leaving packages on our deck in the yard.  The wind blew them all over and an animal even got into one.  I think the front porch (I’ll give them that it’s on the back of the house) or by the garage would probably be a better choice.

Dixon moping around because he couldn’t open one of his presents early.  He tried really hard to convince me, but I held my ground (for once).

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Merritt getting swimming awards and a varsity letter!  We weren’t expecting that, so it was fun.  🙂

Hadley’s fun basketball games!  It’s so enchanting to watch her quick feet and hands this season.  It’s her first year and she did really well figuring out all the rules.  During Thanksgiving Break, our entire family (little kids), Nana, Boppa, Dihana, Bryson, Addisen and David went to her game.  We were obnoxiously loud while we cheered her on.  Anytime she did something good, we cheered so loudly that the entire gym would turn and look at us (I think they were scared).  It wasn’t planned, we just couldn’t help ourselves. I’m sad to see the season end.

Merritt and Dihana braiding their hair together! 🙂

An empty house while the kids were randomly all at friends houses or working.  Wow, I love silence (not permanently) and I got so much done.

Ainsworth Christmas Home Tours.  Hadley and I met up with my Mom for it.  It was so beautiful in each home and we had a great time.  Hadley now knows what kind of house she plans on having, the one with a huge swing set in the attic!

Dixon turning 7!!!  He and Royce got to go on a special outing and get their first haircuts at a real barber (Kevin usually cuts their hair but he was going to be gone for two weeks, only home on Sunday).  They were so cute sitting up high on the barber’s chair.  We did all our traditions and had dinner at Red Robin with my parents.  Dixon fell into bed and let out a big sigh saying “That was a really good day!”.  Mission accomplished!  🙂 We are all having a hard time watching our baby turn seven (and we are probably messing him up a lot by babying him), but we love his fun personality and love.  He can almost always work a room and get what he wants.  We also did birthday animal masks (facila cream masks).

Getting to go to the temple alone.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and the drive was simple and fast.  My time at the temple brought so much clarity, peace and joy.  I’m truly thankful for the House of the Lord.  

My Mom’s birthday!  I love celebrating my Mom.  She is such a blessing in my life and I’m thankful for all her love and support.   The years I get to live this life with her fill my heart.  Happy Birthday Mom!

Hadley chopping kindling for me.  When Momma needs to start the wood stove to heat the freezing house up, Hadley is the girl to call.

My not so little boy’s crossed feet while eating their breakfast.

Christmas Hallmark movies.  Merritt and I have a real weakness… We don’t seem to be able to overcome watching multiple movies, despite the waste of time.  It does fill us up and make us smile though….. 🙂

Kevin getting the great Dad award!  The kids woke up to this vinyl saying on their mirror.  So funny!

Dixon making his own arrows.  He randomly got the hairdryer to dry the glue faster.  Later that day, he was so sad because the arrow disappeared before he could use it on the bow.

 

 

 

Week 70 – Elder Jones

Elder Dube, Zone Conference and the Trio

Monday was so crazy. I can’t even describe. Just trying to get all my stuff and a bed and everything in a small apartment. Crazy.

Tuesday:
It was a good day. I’m homesick for Gridley again. Oroville is cool but I just want to be back again. Back in Gridley with my members and my missionaries. The Zone Leaders are in the other district so I’m separated from my wonderful district.
It was a good day. Lots of good lessons. Having a car again is great. So far being in a trio is fun. Even with the zone leader that I went on Exchanges with and didn’t go so well, it’s been good so far.
We had an awesome lesson tonight with ***. He is in Oroville, but I’ve met him a few times. He got baptized a week ago and we went to share the Christmas initiative with him. We wanted his granddaughter to watch it too. But we got three other family members to watch it! And two of them said that they would sit in for the next few discussions at least! It was awesome. The Spirit was really strong.
Wednesday: Oh sweet relief! It felt so good to be back in Gridley most of the day. Even if I was inside. We went to district meeting and I was able to see everyone. All the missionaries. Felt so good to be back. But we had to leave half way through. We had to set up tables and chairs for MLC. That’s the monthly meeting for Zone leaders and Sister training leaders. I had to go to it because of my temporary companions being ZL’s.  The meeting was good. A member of the 70 is going through the mission and he led the meeting. It’s Elder Dube. He is from Zimbabwe and it’s hard to understand him. But he is really cool and likes to laugh at everything. So much energy. I loved it! Such a cool guy.
There was a lot happening in my ward tonight that I had to miss because we had a lesson up in Oroville. I’m trying to handle this and it’s really, really hard. I just want things to be normal again. So much stress.

Thursday:

Today was much better. I think I can do this. We got up really early this morning so we could be in Yuba City for zone conference.

Hey look! It’s Sister Thorum! Kylie Thorum from Alabama. She is friends with Addy.

It was half of the mission, twice as many as normal. Because if Christmas and Elder Dube. He taught a lot of awesome things and I got to see a lot of people. Cool quote: “Never give away a closed Book of Mormon.”  He said to always share a scripture or personal experience or give them an assignment as you even give away a Book of Mormon. He is very smart and very funny. What a cool guy. It was kinda cool being in Yuba again as usual. Felt more normal now that I end up there more often.

Then we went to dinner in my ward. Felt so good to see my members. Felt like home. Then we had a few minutes to see **** and the kids. They are doing well. Her daughter went back to her home for a while which is good and they seemed like they had been doing better. But the daughter comes back on Saturday😬
Then we had an awesome lesson with *****. We taught the word of wisdom. Everyone there taught by the spirit. The spirit led and guided a lot. **** loves his coffee and is definitely going to miss it. He knows it’s going to be hard. He is having a lot of faith though and he knows the Book of Mormon is true and is holding to that. He knows it’s a commandment of God even though he doesn’t see why it’s bad. Especially decaf coffee. But he has a testimony and sticks to it. Out of everyone I’ve ever met that is not a member, even within members, I’ve never seen anyone that acts so immediately and wholeheartedly upon promptings of the Holy Ghost. He is amazing.
So that was great. And spending the night in Gridley with people I love really got me re-centered. I went back to Oroville smiling and with a happy heart. It gave me hope.  We will be there tomorrow.  The Zone Leaders are making it so when they do their exchanges, I end up in Gridley for my district stuff and for my ward to be accessible to me. It’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be but I think I’ll make it now. As of right now, I’m happy because I’m starting to get some of it back. So I can do it.
Friday:
Not much today. Got to go down and do service at ****’s. That was great. All the district was there, at least most.  Some were sick. But it was great. Then weekly planning, which was great with three wards and dinners and all. Then contacting. Then dinner with the Wagner’s. Then ******* cancelled on us, we tracted then went home. Pretty uneventful day. But good because it was in Gridley.
Saturday:
Great day today! We had a lesson in the morning with some guy in Oroville that they’ve met with a few times. In the beginning if the lesson he told us he appreciated us but didn’t think he wanted to continue. By the end of it, he had tears in his eyes and said he would study the Book of Mormon and pray about it because he wanted to know if it’s true. He also said he would get baptized in he got a positive answer to that question. The Spirit was so strong and we were on the same page for all of it.
We had several other appointments and the rest of the day was good. Lots of fun. Tiring.
We also did today’s #lighttheworld advent day. I’m sure you saw it on Facebook.  The Zone elders said that President Ward overruled a little bit of what the Salt Lake City guy said and said we can post a little bit more than that. So I posted the Light the World video (which I was going to do anyways) and Elder Chatwin posted the water bottle thing. So that was fun.
Sunday:
Today was packed. We went to Oroville Sacrament Meeting at 9 am then went straight to my sacrament, then to YSA sacrament, then stake missionary correlation meeting, then to a YSA break the fast and the Christmas Devotional.  We talked to an investigator there. So we didn’t get out if church till 7:00 pm. Crazy.
The Christmas devotional was awesome! Loved the music so much. The talks were so good. I finally realized Christmas. I’ve always wondered why we celebrate Christmas more than Easter. Because Easter is when the Atonement happened which is the best part. Today I realized Christmas isn’t about the Atonement, it’s about God giving us the gift of the Atonement, and Christmas was when it was made possible and official. So that was a cool realization. Especially when you love Christmas as much as I do.
That awkward moment when a member asks you to have the missionaries live with him because his super less active 19 year old niece, that is super immoral is going to be living there and he wants you to turn her life around. 😬