Spiders, Zions Camp, General Conference, 6 months, Piano By Ear – Bryson on His Mission, Weeks 70, 71, 72, 73

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September 22, 2014

Hey! Not much this week. In a rush again. We live so far away! I got to see my dear family which was great. I had them meet a bunch of missionaries and we had a lot of fun! (His grandparents and aunt were able to visit and spend some good time with him.)

Spider season. I might have already said this, but the spiders get sooo bad. They are on every branch, and every door way. You seriously have to walk with your arm up because there are sooooooo many spiders. They are all lame garnder spiders, but if you look at the ground for a second you get one in the face. I feel like I am on Phantom of the Opera, Keep your hand at the level of your eye…….:)

We put ****** on date! We said we will work towards baptism in a month! Hopefully we can end the transfer with a baptism! Hoorah!

We laid more brick today, and moved a ton of stuff.   The other day we moved some people. I am  so exhausted.

I didn’t write anything down for this week so I am not getting much to say.  🙂

We had interviews!  Sister Blatter is so cool! I love her! Then we had Stake Conference and the Saturday night session was so great!  The spirit is always so strong there and it goes by so quickly!  Sunday went really well too. Lots of loud kids, but there were a lot of good talks.

We are struggling for new people to teach! We have a lot of people slowly progressing, but we need new people. 🙂

Life is good y’all!

Got to go! Love you lots!

fff

September 29, 2014

Hey! Good week!

I have been reading the D&C and studying church history a lot! It is very interesting.  I love learning all this. A lot of anti-people (he refers to those who are actively against the Church) use this history as one of the main reasons our religion is not true, but to me it is a huge testimony builder. So many things happened that had to be from God. Even with the organization of the church. It is from GOD!

We got to go to Zions camp this week! Just as good as last year. I road in a really cramped car with Elder Vorkink, Tugbe, Webber, and my comp. But it was fun to sing and talk! We got to see Meet the Mormons. It is really good! Go see it! We had all the fun activities, falling off a post into peoples arms, getting your group over a wall, getting people through a rope spider web. All of them were team building exercises and it worked! I am really good friends with most of the ZL’s that were there.  So they always thought it was funny to give me some kind of disability to make it harder for me to do the activity “Jones, you are unconscious”, or “Bama, your leg got bit off by a shark, you can’t use it.” That made things more interesting! It was a great day though. Lots of fun, it was great seeing people I love.

I realized since I almost never get in big groups of people my age, I don’t know how to handle myself. I am always a missionary, and always around other people. But when you get around a group of people your age and you can loosen up a little bit, I struggle, because that never happens for me.

We had the primary program this week (this is where the children 3-11 do a presentation in our main Sunday meeting, Sacrament Meeting). We didn’t break a record like last year, but we had a few people come that we have been hoping for! This week we will be using the prophet for all of our doorstep approaches. Since we have General Conference this weekend, we will invite everyone we can! I am so excited!

We have this guy who is a pretty solid potential. Every time we go over though, he has been busy and feels bad, so we set up for a few days later. Then on Saturday, we went over and someone, maybe his grandpa who lives there too, was siting outside and told us he wasn’t interested and not to come back. I don’t think he knows we are teaching someone there.

I got a text from Elder Seamons (I miss him) “I have that Rodney Atkins song Back Road stuck in my head and I am happy” haha the simple things that make us happy:)

The rain is back! The rainy season has made its return. We had a good Sunday and Saturday, but the rest of the week was hard in the rain. It is kind of cool because it brings back memories, and this is Washington so it makes you feel good to knock in the rain, but it is cold and wet. I am glad we have a car.

We had dinner at the *****’s last night. They are one of the coolest families. They are just so nice and funny. She sings and plays guitar and cooks. He is my twin. We could talk about marvel superheroes all day. He filled me in on all the new stuff I have missed. They both love Brad Paisley, and he is from Georgia. I thought it was cool though how I realized how little all that mattters to me now. I stil love music and superheroes, but I rarely even think about it.  🙂 We helped them do service and I saw the bigggest pig I have ever seen. The thing was like a horse.  HUUUGE!

My companion is a good guy!

I think Philippians is new favorite book in the New Testament. It is really good. In chapter 3 v. 2, he says beware of dogs. He must have knocked in Tacoma.  🙂 Chapter 2:5-10 is one of my favorite.

Have a great week! Love you lots. The Blog was awesome! Shout out to the Shanes.  🙂

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October 6, 2014

Hey there!!!

It was such a good week! Mostly because we got to listen to General Conference! It was so good! This was the first time that I didn’t even start to fall asleep or have a hard time. I was fully engaged the whole time. Learning and soaking it up!

The more I have learned in the scriptures, the more I come to appreciate that we have a real prophet. That’s huge! People all throughout history have asked God to send them a prophet. We are so blessed to have one! And 12 apostles. I wish I had my notes with me so I could talk about each individual talk, but its probably good that I don’t because this e-mail might never end! I really have come to love Elder Christofferson and Elder Bednar. He is such a great man, and gives incredible talks. Elder Eyring too. I love them all!!

It’s so cool that they are over missionary work. They, as apostles, are missionaries. They have the same title of Elder as I do. It’s neat to know that we are all working together!  I came away with a lot to think about and change, which I think is what’s supposed to happen! I like how Family Home Evening was stressed! That was cool. Do it! I think it is neat how many temples we have, and missionaries. Lets keep it up! I was sooo exhausted by the end of conference. Even though I sat for 10 hrs. all together, I was spiritually exhausted. That’s a good feeling!

We watched the first session with ****** and *******  .   It was ****’s first one. We were going to watch the next session with an investigator, but it didn’t end up happening.  😦   So we ended up watching with the *****.  We watched Priesthood session at the Poulsbo building, and we all went to DQ.  Elder Goodwine and I talked about WWII the entire time. It was cool. Sunday we watched both sessions with the ***** family. They have two missionaries out. It was cool and we got to play a little bit of ping pong and piano.   It felt good!

There are a few families, members and non members, who just don’t progress very quickly. It is hard to watch.  😦   But, we do good things while we are there.   We bear our testimonies, conduct family home evenings, help them do family prayer. I have a huge testimony of family prayer!!  It is a big help. We are doing our best!  Strengthening families is great! We are always visiting part member families and less active families who we find on the list. Knocking isn’t great here.  😦  We use past teaching records though, hoping to find someone receptive. Pray for us to find new people please!

We were in Hansville, and we pulled into a long dirt driveway. Someone was coming our direction, so we had to back up all the way to the street. We had to be careful, and kinda got stuck because there was a guy on a horse, who was just cruis’in around Hansville, that we were trying not to hit. After the people pulled out, we start talking to the guy on the horse.  He laughed and said “Yup. That’s a traffic jam in Hansville. Two cars and a horse”    I died laughing.  SO TRUE!!

I love you all so much! Have a great week!

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October 14th, 2014

Howdy Partners.

Crazy  week! We got our calls, and we are staying together for another one.  Six months is Kingston. My first six months in one area. Nobody has done six months here in years. I like it here.  Though we try, not a lot is happening here. I have been kind of disappointed in the work.   4 1/2 months and only one baptism. That happened in Brookdale, but in the few weeks after I left three of my investigators got baptized. Here, we still don’t have anyone on date.  😦   It’s pretty rough. I know I shouldn’t focus on that, but it has been forever since I have baptized!! We have been doing awesome stuff, changing a lot of lives, but not through baptism.  Oh well. I was praying for motivation and the desire to keep working hard even without baptisms this next transfer, and I got the answer that there is a reason I am staying.  It might not be baptisms, but I have something to do here!

This week, as a mission, we focused on getting people to church, and were trying to get as many people as we could to be at church!!! We worked hard at it. We asked everyone, even if we have asked 100 times already. If someone turns us down on our door approach, we invite them to church. Sunday came, and we didn’t have any investigators planning on coming. I was bummed. Then, right before church, S**** texted us and told us that her and L**** were coming to church! I was in a meeting and I jumped up and kinda was loud cause I was so happy! I felt bad about interrupting afterward, but I was just so excited!!! And a non-member husband showed up also, and he had some incredible comments in elders quorum. I don’t know why he isn’t already a member. We keep working on him though! Shelia and Lucy came, and we were just so excited. We had run around and asked everyone to say hello to them when they came. The ward did well, and many people introduced themselves.

The  first time ever, we had a perfect Fast and Testimony meeting. The Speakers were all wonderful. They covered every subject. Every point in every lesson was covered really well, and it was all brought back to Christ. Perfect! S**** and L**** both said that they almost cried during each testimony. It was an incredible day at church! And we had 3 at church!!!!!

Yesterday, Sister Brady (another missionary) came by the stake center to say goodbye, cause she leaves today. It had already been a rough day cause we got called at 10 and I was asked to play piano in Bremerton at 11. I get there, and I am playing for an 8 piece choir. I not good at sight reading, and don’t have much experience working with a choir from behind a piano. I didn’t do so great, and got Demoed from the piano and the guy who knew it but wanted to sing played from me. Haha My pride jumped out the window. Not really:) I was allowed back on to play now that they had all practiced. He told me to just sightread the best I can.

I started, and wasn’t doing so good. So, I turned to my brain. Haha I stopped looking at the sheet music and did it totally in my head. I looked up at the music everyone in a while to make sure I played certain notes in there that they needed, but other than that it all came from my head. Isn’t that sad, that I am more comfortable playing a song for the first time by ear rather than sheet music? After, everyone was like wow you played that really well for your first time. I just said thanks, and didn’t want to tell anyone that I cheated. But the guy who knows this music, was smiling huge and told everyone that none of that was the actual music and that I made it all up, but that it worked perfect. 🙂 Is it a curse? I think not. Actually, I don’t remember if I told you, but the other day I played prelude before sacrament on the piano, and played for a half hour from my head without ever repeating the songs. Anyway, now I have to learn the actual music so I can play for the fireside this weekend.

Elder Pedersen leaves today. My first comp to DIE!!! (*Missionary slang for end his mission.) I will miss him. One of my favorite comps. We had some good times. I talked to him last night and we talked about Brookdale. He is a funny guy!

Being a missionary is awesome. Sometimes, you think about something you can do at home and wish you could just go do it. Then, you think about doing something for Jesus, and you realize now is the time, and you can just go do it. I can just go preach at anytime I was. At any second I can have someone to bear my testimony to. They might shoot me after, but still, I can just go do the important things that will be hard to do anywhere else. I am grateful to have a pure message that is true! During church on Sunday, I really thought a lot about how it all comes back to Christ. Studying it is cool, and I love seeing how Christ is our pathway back to God. We know we have God there for us, but we go through Christ to get to him.

On Pday I got to lay next to the ocean and it was really windy and cold, but my jacket kept me warm. It felt so good. 🙂 I skipped rocks and talked with another elder for a long time. I love it up here!

Have a great week. My ear is plugged. I hate it. I am going to the doctors. I feel like my telecaster when you put the selector switch in the middle, which makes it use both pickups. One is bright and has clean crisp tones. But the neck pickup is the deeper dull tones. One of my ears works, and the other doesnt. It makes playing piano hard. ANd I talk softly all the time cause I am a lot louder in my head.

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