Southern Mentality, Miracles, Zone Conference – Bryson On His Mission – Week 4

(Click HERE for recent pictures of Bryson.)

So this week went well!!! I survived another week! It flew by. I am getting the hang of things pretty good. We played basketball for like 4 hours on P day (P-Day = Preparation Day. The missionaries work 6 days a week The 7th day – usually Monday – they have the day off to shop, do laundry, relax. But they are back to work in the evening.) Haha

I am known as the southern boy. I didn’t think of myself as that southern, but compared to everyone else I am. Everything is so different. I am kinda used to everyone thinking one way and there are certain things you can and can’t say. Here those rules are completely different. The Utah people (which we believe he means other missionaries from Utah) catch on real quick cause Utah is kinda the same, but its not the case with me. haha I am learning the hard way. But it makes people laugh. And I am realizing that people out here think in a whole different way. I am used to you either think this, that, or that. But people here think kinda one way, kinda another way. Hard to explain, but its hard for me. Cause they are all wrong. (At least he is confident, right?)

I say stuff, and then people ask me to tell them about the culture in Alabama, and how people think, so they can understand where I am coming from. But I must say it wrong, cause some people have gotten offended cause they think so different and can’t even see where I am coming from. So I just say “The south will rise again” That way they just judge me right there and are done with it. hahaha

I went on splits with Elder Muir. (Splits is when one missionary companionship split up and go out with either two other missionaries or with two members of the ward they are in.) He was fun!

We taught this one guy, Jay, who is in his 50s. I have been teaching him since I have been here. He listens and talks, but won’t keep commitments, and loves to talk. He listens to a tiny bit of what we say, then doesn’t listen. So I finally got really firm with him. I was like, “Jay, stop and think. Just for a minute. Don’t say anything.” Then went on about the importance of our message and how it will change his life and what it would mean to him if he knows its true. It was the first and only time he has ever stopped talking and thought. It worked!!! But then after he kept talking.

I am getting really good at doing tricks on my breaking down mountain bike I am using. I havn’t got my bike yet, but we will run by the office and see if it is there yet. I have wiped out and racked myself a few times trying some things. Since we bike all the time, I am getting pretty strong. Especially since I am in highest gear everywhere. My legs are getting strong. Enough that my pants are getting kinda tight around my thighs. haha Its hard too. We bike all the way across our area, just to be turned down or stood up. Some times we will go like 6 miles to visit a few people, and none of them work out.:( But it is all made up by the people who are awesome. I am so glad I got the awesome backpack. It is well used. 🙂

We had Zone Conference and we learned about planning. (Each missionary companionship is in a District along with maybe 4 other companionships. Then maybe 4 Districts are in a Zone. A Zone Conference is when the Zone comes together for a ½ or full day for a conference led by the mission president.) That night we decided to do exactly what he (the mission president) said, even went as far as buying pencils, cause he said we should use em. The next day we had our weekly planning, and realized we had at least 6 possible baptisms in the next few weeks. So we got really pumped and were real excited.

The next night, still kinda pumped, but humbled after a disappointing day, we started our 5-7 knocking. I prayed for us before we started, and felt like I should ask for miracles. So I prayed as hard as I ever have, using every ounce of missionary power that I could, asking for every blessing ever promised to missionaries. I was ready for miracles. Well we got em. From that point on till 9:30 we were teaching lessons.

We went to a house and got turned down, then next house we gave him a Book of Mormon and got a return date. Next house we gave him a book, talked forever, taught most of a lesson, and got a return date. He was real interested. Next house, We taught the lady the entire first lesson, and tons more. Invited her to church, to a church tour, and gave her a BoM and lots more. For some reason, anything Elder Muirbrook said she didn’t understand what what he said. So I taught the whole thing! It was great! Then we went home, and outside our house, we met a guy and talked to him. He was walking to the store instead of driving to clear his mind after a long day. We walked there and then back to his house with him. Gave him a BoM and he will come to church and lessons and more! Then we realize he is living with his girlfriend and her son, who both are past investigators. We are now teaching the entire family! It was an amazing night. Miracles happened. That might not seem like much to yall, but for us its a big deal!

I love my companion. We got a groove down. We teach pretty good together. Both speaking, and making up for each other where we forget or make mistakes. But we have a bunch of fun. Laugh a bunch. Love that guy.

The sun has been out a bunch! About 75 (degrees) everyday! I sat in the sun for an hour during a lesson so that I could get a tan. It worked. I got burnt! Who woulda thought.

Our ward mission leader is incredible. He works so hard for us. The ward is gearing up to focus on missionary work and with the new Sisters and me here, everyone is excited!! (“Sisters” refer to the female missionaries. “Elders” are the male missionaries.) The bishop makes it sound like Muirbrook and I are the chosen missionaries foretold by some ancient prophet to gather Isreal in to the Lincoln Ward. haha They love us, and think we are the best missionarys ever! We have a lot to live up to. Hopefully we meet their expectations. Love the ward. 🙂

Every once in awhile I have a few minutes while we wait for food or our ride, and I’ve been reading Cleon Scousens “The Third Thousand Years”. Learning a lot!

Love you all, I don’t need anything other than a bike and the stuff I asked for last time. Loving it here! Lots of hard work and fun. I learn so much during study time. I am so grateful for it. I miss the kids so much. Little kids here make me miss the boys:( I miss you, my parents! I miss my friends! My work people. My church people.:( As long as I dont’ think about it I am fine.:) Glad trek was fun. I am so jealous! Have a good week!

Love, Elder Jones!


3 thoughts on “Southern Mentality, Miracles, Zone Conference – Bryson On His Mission – Week 4”

  1. Funny that he thinks of himself as a “Southerner”… given how the majority of his life he was a NW boy.

    Missions are amazing things! EVERY DAY something happens to strengthen my testimony about missions and how God places each person EXACTLY where they fit and are needed!

    It’s fun sharing our boys adventures together.

    1. I agree! Weird huh? He did join the Southern band wagon pretty quickly though. 🙂
      I love Daniel’s e-mails. Thanks for posting them. Still can’t believe they are serving during the same time….

      We are heading up there next week, I’ll be having a girls night and let you know when. Hopefully, you’ll be in town? First two weeks of July?

  2. I find his account really interesting! The totally different reactions of different people to what he and his partner missionary have to say. And how one listens a long time, and another for a short time. (I am the latter, I admit.) But admire his spirit and tenacity. Good going Bryson!!! Hugs, Aunt Peggy

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