(Also, if you want to email Bryson, you can: kjones at my lds mail dot com)
Well hey everyone!!!!! I’m here at the library in Tacoma! Been two weeks since I have been able to email you. So here is everything!
So first. My guitar calluses (spelling?) are fading quicly. I feel like the ends of my fingers are turning into woman fingers:( In the MTC, Elder Waring, from England, was showing me this form of martial arts that is meant to not only save yourself from harm whe you are jumped on the street, but to also pretty much kill them in a bunch of ways. It is intense. He was showing me some moves, and he said to punch him in the chest. Instead I did a right hook to his face and instantly his training took over and he punched my side really hard, karate chopped my neck, and then ran his elbow into me, sending me flying across the room. All in one second, one quick move. It was so scary. Afterwards he was like I am sooooo sorry I didnt even realize what I was doing. But when it happened his eyes were those of a trained killer. I thought I would be the first person to die at the MTC from karate.
Pranks got out of hand, and it ended with a stupid elder putting icyhot in my facewash. it was horrible. Must have been a chemical reaction cause I thought I was gonna die. The food was too much. Gained 5 pounds. Sooooooooo much food then sitting all day. I played my piano song for my zone and they loved it. I loved the MTC, and I will miss it, but I am glad to be gone. I woulda gone crazy being there much longer. haha That sister was always saying I remind her of John Groberg, but then I realized, I dont have Anne Hathaway waiting for me at home. Unfortunately.
SO we flew out, and our Mission president and his wife were there waiting for us! We had a huge group, and it was a ton of fun! The president and his wife are incredible. They took us to this place overlooking the sound, and introduced us to the mission. Love it! So pretty there!
So our mission does a few unique things. First, every transfer, which is every 6 weeks, the entire mission meets together for a fireside type thing (which is a Mormon term for a devotional) to meet the new missionarys, and the departing ones all give a talk. This time, there were about 12 leaving missionarys, and 3 of them were the ones that went thru the MTC with Pres. and Sis. Weaver. Lost 2 zone leaders and their AP. So it was emotional. There were like 4 musical numbers, and then we sang this incredible song. It is called “Amazing Grace (my chains are gone)” By Chris Tomlin. I knew this song before I left cause it is a Christian rock song, so I was able to sing along. It was amazing. We had about 150 missionarys there, all singing this song, and some of the most amazing missionarys were leaving, so it was just soooo good. Look it up.
So then we dropped our stuff off and went tracting. (Tracting is going from door-to-door, home-to-home and preaching the Gospel.) I am in Tacoma! There are two Tacoma areas, Tacoma east and west. I am in East. We are the stuff directly south of downtown, and the Tacoma Dome is right across the street from our area. We are over the Lincoln Ward. Our mission is one of the highest baptizing missions:) Lincoln ward also now has sister missionarys for the first time. They are so excited!
We have a great ward. We have an amazing ward mission leader, and the ward is getting pumped for missionary work. Tacoma is about to be baptized. Like the entire city.:) hahaha. We get fed about half the nights, and people bring us food sometimes too. My compamnion is Elder Muirbrook. He is from North Ogden, Utah. He is 19 and our District Leader. He is a bunch of fun, and we work really hard together. Love him. Awesome trainer. We stay at a members house. His name is Coker. He is a very active 76 yr old. He is so funny. Everynight, when we get back and Muirbrook is doing paperwork, we each sit in on of the 10 couches or loungers and talk. its great. We ate at a Mexican familys house last night. We had flower juice. It was like homemade grapejuice. 🙂
We bike every where. I won’t tell you much about some of the stuff we see or the area, but it is defininately more ghetto than anywhere I have seen in Huntsville. Haha Its kinda scary. And everyone here is high on weed. Haha stupid people. It was funny though. MY first night, a guy we talked to pulls out a box of blunts (weed cigar things) and said oh sorry, I was gonna light up a joint, but I wont. I, having forgotten weed was legal, starting panicking, thinking this guy was about to break the law in front of us and that he is a horrible criminal. But then my companion asks if he rolls his own and then I remember. Everyone we talk to laughs at me for that hahaha.
It is so cold here. Im in a jacket all the time, and they are all in short sleeves. And it rains everyday all day. I get soaked while riding my bike. But it is starting to get sunny every few days:)
In our mission, every single missionary knocks on doors for two hours. Every single day. From 5-7. But it works. Our mission is known for the success we have from knocking. We have whats called, the 6:58 miricle. By that time, you are soooo wiped out and want to end early. but if you keep going till 7, miracles happpen. Like the last two days, these elders got cheeseburgers. at 6:58.:) I bore my testimony in church yesterday. We had 2 families with us who we found this week.
I have never been so exausted in my life. I go to bed wiped out, and dont know how I get up everymorning. I am gonna have tree trunk legs here in a few weeks. I made a goal to stay in the highest gears my whole mission. Its going well so far. Loving people is so important. They really can tell, and if they know you love them more than anyone else on earth, its almost impossible for them to deny you.
My second day, we knocked into this huuuuge tall fat guy, all sweaty and hairy. There was only room enough on the porch for me, so when he stepped out he was like an inch away from me, screaming at me about how he knows the Bible so well and how wrong and crazy we are. I wanted to just run back to Alabama I was so scared. But I thought, what would Captain Moroni do, or Ammon, or Peter James and John (Captain Moroni and Ammon were both prophets who lived in the Americas before Christ and their stories are told in the Book of Mormon). My companion was down at the bottom of the stairs. So even though it took everything I had, I stood up tall and strait, looked him in the eyes and told him I am not crazy, and that what he said isnt true. Kinda threw him for a loop. It ended up being an awesome discussion on Mormons and what we actually are.
Anotherr time, this guy comes out and tells me all the swearwords he wants to call me, and how much he hates us, but wont do it cause I said the name Jesus Christ, cause he doesnt want to go to hell. At first, I just didnt like him, and wanted him to go rot in some alleyway. But then, I thought, ya know, I am going to try to make him feel so loved, that he feels like he is talking to Jesus. So I did that. Instead of him swearing and slamming the door shut, he ended up talking to us for 30 min, and he said he will come to church. He even gave me a hug.
I love reading the scriptures, It is like readingLois Lamour. I could do it all day. I learn so much, and am enjoying piecing things together. I wish I had studied more, and come to love to read the scriptures more.
Everything that anybody got me I use all the time. Seriously. There isnt one thing I have that I dont use regularly. Thanks, love yall so much! (Yes, thank you!)
Thats about it! I love yall soooooo much. I Really wish yall could see what I am doing. I really have changed so much just in this week. I have been so selfish my whole life. Now doing nothing for myself, even completely abandoning my safety to go from door to door in this area. I don’t do this for me. And when I get to see someone find Christ, it is all worht it. The only thing I really do for myself is eat, but it is so I can go do more work. I See poverty everywhere. It humbles me, and makes me grateful for what I have at home. That we could buy all this nice stuff for my mission. Im glad I didnt make life changing mistakes that would put me in this place. We went to a homeless place where they feed people. It was so sad. We will get to preach the old school way to them. Standing on a bench. haha I want to help them all change, and know Christ, so they wont be so miserable. I love you and I can feel your prayers helping me and keeping me safe. Yall are the best.:)
We have really relaxed music rules. Most companionships have cars, so CDs are used all the time. We can listen to any music that is by an LDS musician, that has LDS topics. (Bryson then goes on and begs us to send him CDs 😉 Mom, right now, go buy Nashville Tribute to Missionarys. I think it is track 14. That is my song to ya momma. I love you so much. Imagine thats me playing and singing to you. Its a country type song about missing home, then missing your mission. Buy that cd and send it to. Youy will love that song. Think of me when you play it and cry:) cause you will. I would looove it if you could send that all soon!
Thanks so much for the package, I needed that stuff! I pretty much have everything I need. I am set! Except the bike. If you could send me two new frisbees with the cds, I would love you. We can play frisbee in the summer while its warmer. We bike across our area, which is probably 2 or 3 miles by 3 or 4. not very big at all. Havnt been feeling well, and it turned into a caough, but I fasted yesterday so I couldnt drink water, which made it worse:)
Can you get me some way to contact Josiah Andrew and Matt? Maybe have em send emails to me or gimme thier addresses? and The indoor pool? I can write letters so the pools address and anybody elses would be great. (OK all you – time to reply with your addresses!)
Thats about it! I love yall soooooo much. I Really wish yall could see what I am doing. I really have changed so much just in this week.