Teaching, Funerals, Weddings, and the Gingerbread Man – Bryson on His Mission, Weeks 61, 62, 63, 64

(I apologize for being a slacker.  This post contains 4 weeks! I promise, I will be better.  Kelly does the initial post and then it is up to me to add the picture, reread and edit and post.  And I have put it off.  Repenting now…. – Kevin)

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July 21st, 2014 

Hey! Only have a few minutes.

I forgot to actually find out what pant size I am. I can’t really read it cause the ink on the tags are worn off. I’ll try when I get home and email you next week.  🙂

Well, my companion got a parking ticket because there is this brand new parking lot that is by the beach that is run the by government, and we found out that you need a Discovery Pass to park there. We got $100 ticket. And then today, my companion was speeding, and a plane tracked him, and he got another $100 ticket. haha He will be without food for a while. $200 out of his pocket!

Transfer calls. We are staying together. I am glad, because I love this area!

We got to teach Gospel Principles again (a class during Sunday School). We have a great group in there. It’s a little crazy, but everyone is involved and they like the class! There is a returning less active woman who we help every once in a while with fixing things and answering doctrine questions. Six months ago she was sort of anti, but missionaries helped her get back into church and she is trying so hard! She is a single mom with 3 cute little boys.  She is doing her best and I admire that!

We are actually going over to the Whitworth’s in a few minutes…… so maybe you will be on the phone with her? Haha:) I love you mom. You are so cute.

Pretty much everyone in the mission is staying where they are. Sister Cassell is coming up here. We are not surprised, because she has followed me around my entire mission and we joked about her coming up here.

We had dinner at the Carlson’s. He owns a business, and they have a cool young family. We ate there last night, and he quoted Maverick, and I about spit all my food out. “That was fast. I thought that was fast. Well was it?”

Our Eternal Sheila, came to church! We got a text during the Sacrament Hymn “We are outside and scared. Get your butts out here”. They stayed for the rest of Sacrament. She is great!

I love you. I am really excited to actually tell you all this in person because e-mail isn’t great. Time is so short. I hate it! I have been feeling that I reached a cool point this last transfer. I feel experienced , and it all is coming together. All of my studying is paying off and connecting in my brain. It is cool to jump from scripture to scripture and just keep going. I am loving it!

This week I studied the gifts of the spirit and actually learned a lot. We all have them, and I realized I should have been praying for them this whole time. I have been told in my Patriarchal Blessing that I have some, and I need to get on that!

Love, love, love you.

Elder Jonesy!

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July 28th, 2014 – (This one is short because we had to take a lot out…..)

Don’t have a lot of time.  😦

***  is on date for baptism! in 3 weeks. Pray for her please! She is excited .   🙂

While knocking down in the million dollar homes on the water, I found a snake on the road and stepped on its tail so I could pick it up. When I pick it up, it tried to bite me, so I throw it off a little ways. It slithers off just fine.

I have been praying to see a whale in every prayer. I have talked to a few people who have seen whales out their windows. I want to see one so bad!!! I pray for it a lot. I want to see a killer whale really badly.

Life is good!  Today we are playing “Pickle ball” which is kinda like mini tennis.

I love you!

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August 4th, 2014

Sorry that my e-mails are so rushed!  We live so far away from everything that we don’t have a lot of time on P-day for anything. I love reading your e-mails though!

Scripture of the day: 2 Timothy 2:10- “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” We search for the elect. We do everything that we can to help everyone, but only those who are prepared and ready will receive it. Its kind of sad, because that means not everyone will accept it, but we need to find the ones who will! (Just as a point of understanding: we believe that “elect” does not mean predestined.  Rather, they have prepared themselves and are ready to hear, understand, and receive more of God’s truth.)

I got to give Doug the Aaronic Priesthood, and ordain him to the office of Priest. It is so cool that I got to do that. We watch him progress and it is incredible! Pres. Blatter (new mission president) just made a rule that we can go back for baptisms for the dead with our recent converts, if its their first time. I have probably four people that will be going soon! Can’t wait!

We were knocking, and a lady turned us down, but then this guy in his 30’s came to the door and asked if we could give blessings. His attitude is one I have seen a few times in people in bad situations. Very humble, scared, and looking for God. We come in and there is this guy who looks like he is near death. He was in the last stages of liver failure. That is not a pretty sight. He could barely talk. His friend asked him if he would like a blessing, and he said no. He tried to convince him for a few minutes, pleaded with him to accept it, so he can get better. But the guy was stubborn. The faithful friend, turns to us with tears in his eyes, and thanked us for being willing. We left and I thought about the different places those men were coming from. The friend reminded me of those men who lowered their friend in through the roof to Jesus. In that story, it says, “And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” Luke 5:20. The friend’s faith was so great. The look in his eyes was full of despair, but a glimmer of hope. That hope was his faith in us and in God. It was heart wrenching to see the man turn him down. God bless both of them.

Two weeks ago, we went to another funeral. This man had lost his wife. He had tons of non-member friends there. Lots of biker guys that looked like they belonged on a ZZ TOP album cover. Lots of leather and pony tails. It was great to have them there.  The widowers testimony was so incredible. Solid, and he always brought everything back to Christ. It was so good to hear. I felt the Spirit a lot.

We went and saw a less active member of the ward in our apartment complex. She is on her second, and last round of cancer. It isn’t going well. Life around you looks different when you are in a room with a person who has less than a year to live. Death sucks. I hate being around so much of it lately. But knowing the whole plan, it gives us peace. Even though death can be rough for people, what is it really!? We are eternal beings, and that’s why death is so hard!

My companion hates my driving. I am still a little skittish and brake all the time, and keep right at the speed limit.  He seriously is slowly dying in his seat from my driving.  We enjoy  each other and joke around a lot and have fun. There’s a few things we don’t always agree on, but we are getting used to that.

Knocking is a big part of my life. I don’t know what I will do with my life when I don’t have to knock from 5-7 everyday. Up here, knocking is unproductive. It can be two hours of walking and knocking, and nobody will answer the door. I have been getting discouraged with knocking, and prayed that I would have a good knocking session, where my testimony of knocking can get strengthened.  That I will be boosted in my attitude.

Then our knocking was so good! We knocked on the Reservation. Everyone we talked to was drunk, (seriously) but we had some good conversations and a lot of solid potential investigators. We knocked into a guy who went on a mission, and came home early cause of the huuuge lack of obedience in his mission. He should have stayed, but he let stupid reasons get in his way. He was a good guy. He told us he was not ready for church, and didn’t really like it. You could tell he still kind of had a testimony, but he really pushed all that kind of stuff away. Then, I got the prompting to ask him to come teach lessons  with us. In my head I was like, are you crazy? This guy just spent a long time telling us his problems with all that kind of stuff, but the feeling persisted. HERE GOES NOTHING!  I asked him, and braced for a harsh rejection. But he surprisingly said he would really like to do that and gave us his number. You could see a change in him, as he realized he still believed and wanted to help. I thought that was so cool!!!

I got a huge hug from Mikki Witworth. Haha, Love you Mom.

We have a saying. You know the song, its 5 o’clock somewhere? We say, its always 5 o’clock on the rez! #itsalways5ontherez

Doing service for *****. We helped ****** lay brick and fill in the space with mortar. It was so hard. My hands got dry, and I lost all grip in my hands because I was squeezing the bag like I was decorating a giant cake made of bricks. Now I know how the muffin man that lives on Drury Lane felt when he made that huge gingerbread man on Shrek 2. BEEEE GOOOOOOOOD. One of the recovering families has two little girls that are seriously the cutest ever. They see us, and yell, hi boy!!! They call us each boy. Love you boy! They are the best little kids.

I sent you a talk in the mail that Brother Jacob gave to me. It is so good! We ate over there last night. They have a son and daughter on a mission. They are an awesome family.

We went to the farmers market, and the family that lives with ***** was there and gave us money for food. So we got to eat and talk to a bunch of people there. That was fun!

I have been having a lot of awesome thoughts lately about being a better missionary! I am trying really hard to teach by the Spirit rather than rely on myself. I think we get too used to teaching the same lesson over and over. Which shouldn’t happen. You can spout off all the stuff you’ve learned at someone, but all it takes is one good question or statement told to you by the Spirit and that can be the difference between conversion and no conversion. It isn’t the knowledge. It is the Spirit. I need to listen better to them and the Spirit. 🙂 I love being on a mission. The level at which I worry about things is sooooo different then the stuff I worried about before.

This area is great, but the work can be harder. Not as many people, not as many things to do in our open time. It can get pretty  rough sometimes. But I was reading about Aaron. His brother goes and converts a king and his people, cuts a bunch of arms off, gets offered the kings daughters, and falls into a spiritual trance.  Meanwhile, poor Aaron is not having such luck. He has what some missionaries would call “A dead Area”. He actually has three of them. He goes from town to town, more like is run out, and has almost no success. Then he gets thrown into prison with two of his brothers. I would say that that area is not the best area in the world. I would be pretty discouraged. But then they are delivered from prison, and they get to teach and convert King Lamoni’s father, who is king of all the Lamanites. That is cooler than cutting arms off I would say. Anyways, my point is, that even the best missionaries have tough areas, but they keep at it. It took Aaron getting to his 4th “area” before he had any big success.

I look at the missionaries from the scriptures, Ammon, Paul, Alma. They go and cry repentance and then baptize. It works pretty well back then. I wonder, why can’t I be like that!?  I have the same calling as them! Well, I can be like that.

Yesterday, we talked about work in class. WORK IS AN ETERNAL PRINCIPLE. I always wondered why when Dad made us go work when we had bad attitudes, we came away with good ones. Maybe because God hates idleness, and if work is an eternal thing, then it will make us happy. We worked before we came here, we are here to work, and have lots more work to do when we leave this earth. It doesn’t end.

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August 11th, 2014

Hey there!!

Good week! We are having a hard time finding new people to teach.  😦 But we are doing what we can!  There just aren’t very many people out here. We are still working hard though!   I have been trying to work out in the morning, so hopefully I won’t be so fat. I wake up just fine in the morning, and I walk out ready to work out, and then remember how hard Insanity is, and usually give up. If I can make it past that, I turn it on, and as soon as I hear Shawn-T’s voice, my body knows it is about to hurt, so I walk to the shower in defeat, not wanting to be so hurt. 🙂 As you can tell, I have a solid determination to workout……..

During Study today, my companion was reading about the wicked priests and how they stole the Lamanite women, and how that pretty much started a world war. A minute later he starts yelling, “We have some wicked priests, in Shemlon.  They snatching you daughters up, so hide your daughters, hide your wife, and hide your husband, because they steal’in everybody out here.”  I was laughing pretty hard.

I got a call this morning about singing in zone conference tomorrow. There are two problems though. I can’t really sing well unless I’m in a shower, and I don’t even know the song. Oh well! Wish me luck. I am singing with two other missionaries.  This should be fun. I am so glad that I play piano, because usually, I am never the one asked to sing. 🙂

The Book of Mormon play came to Seattle, and a lot of people saw it!  It has been a great conversations starter. It’s interesting as Christians tell us about how good the play was, and how its not bad at all. Which is totally not true, in my opinion. There is some pretty crude stuff in there.  I think back to Paul….. Phillipians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  It ended up being a good missionary tool though.

 We have some people that read the BoM and visited temple square and have studied it all very thoroughly. We taught them once a long time ago, before they left on vacation.  They want to hear all the lessons, and they read the pamphlets before we teach them. They write down all the questions they have. We taught them the Plan of Salvation this week. It went alright!  We are having a hard time helping them to feel the spirit strongly. They have tons of questions, and aren’t mean about it, but they want to know more for the education of it all. They do everything we say. They are solid, but not believing. We taught them, and answered all the questions. Some they don’t believe, and some of our supporting scriptures they interpret differently.  It’s been a great experience.

We helped lay down more brick and mortar. We have to be professionals by now. It went a lot faster this time. After we finished, they made us a special dinner. Country Fried Steak with mashed potatoes. YUMMMM!

WEDDING! Our Recent convert got married to his fellowship! It was awesome!  The wedding was up at Port Gamble, which is the cutest little town on the water by the Hood Canal Bridge. The church they got was old and cute!  **** doesn’t have any family at all.  It was cool to be there for him.  Her side of the family has 8 kids 16 and under, they all sing and play lots of instruments. The 6 oldest, all girls, sang a bunch of songs and it sounded so good!!   Then there was a dinner reception thing out under the tent, and a dance party! We cleaned up during that, and laughed!  Sis. *****’s sons all have big awesome families, and they reminded me a lot of you, Mom and Dad! Goofy, but a lot of Bishops or Stake Presidents. A lot of the cousins are girls and they leave on their missions this next week. It was tons of fun! Lots of laughing and funny things that happened. I had a hard time keeping a straight face.

I loved the thing you sent me last week! Those book marks are so cool. Y’all are funny!  Thanks a bunch.  🙂    I like knowing you thought of me!

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