Week 46 and 47- Elder Jones

Week 46

Archery Tag, Members and The Ox in the Mire

Hey y’all.

Yeah, its super weird now that Washougal is graduating and this was when things started to wrap up. I had a blast in those last few months before I left to come here.  I wanted it to last longer but now I think it was about the right time. I needed to just move on. But I miss y’all like crazy and I miss my Washougal. I can’t wait to get back to it but I still have over half of my time left and that’s fine by me.  I have so much more that I haven’t done here that I still have to do.

So archery tag was a blast. We are doing it again today in fact. It doesn’t hurt at all when you get hit. Yeah, you notice it does hurt at all. He brought those big pain all floats and we played outside in he grass on the side of the church. We actually helped him a lot. We were his guinea pigs and he found out what he needs to do to make he business work. For example he had two different kinds of bows, they we’re supposed to have the same draw weight but half of the didn’t.  

I got you package by the way. Thank you! I liked the talk in it. Even though it’s been hard, there is still a way to see Gods hand in it all.

I love this ward. The members here are the best. I can joke with them and have really built such an awesome relationship already. I just want to take them and move them all to my home ward. We asked someone if they could feed us dinner one night we didn’t have dinner, and they made us ten sandwiches and two bags if chips. We fed half of the district that night. That’s just one awesome example.

During PEC yesterday we were told about a family, the only member family in Robbins, that had started tearing his roof off to get a new one and had some members helping him but it’s isn’t go fast enough.  They are going to pick up the dumpster tonight. The dumpster cited to be $500. So in Priesthood they called for an ox in the mire. They told everyone that after church, all the people in that room needed to be at their house after church and tear his roof off. Well, it was Fast Sunday. So the Bishop added on that if you ate and went to the service, that God would see their fast as valid. So that was awesome.  On the way to Robbins we could see a big rain cloud coming from the other side of the town. Impending doom.  We showed up to Robbins and I think every single priesthood holder was there and then some. At least 40 people. So we had like 15 people on the roof tearing it off and the rest hauling it to the dumpster. Then it started to rain. I got up in the roof at that point and we all started covering it with plastic. There was thunder and lightning and it was raining really hard for California. Big raindrops. We were all soaked. Then the house started leaking we were trying to cover it all up still and it was raining inside he house. So we kept working and got it all covered. Then the rain pretty much stopped and we uncovered the parts that we hadn’t finished and tore all that off. We had to tear a little bit if the roof apart to replace some of it and we did that and right as we finished, it started raining again. So we covered it all back up and we were done. Just in time. But we were all soaked. It was so much fun. Best fast Sunday ever.

Well, last week I was really really discouraged. It was really hard while I was in training, but this was different. It had been 7 weeks and I as doing all I could. Thinking of any possible idea I could to find people to teach, going finding as much as I could, contacting, every possible thing. And absolutely noting was happening. I was so discouraged. I was thinking about giving up. I was close. No support from my comp, nobody being there when they said they would, nobody to teach, just rejection after rejection. My whole mission I’ve always been able to find somebody to teach, but I couldn’t. It was taking a toll. I was coming close. Just giving up at the beginning of the week, because the day before my last email we had dinner with two four ward missionaries. They were being buttheads. For our spiritual thought I shared quotes and scriptures and at the end of it asked them to give a Book of Mormon away. Their response: “It’s impossible in this area.”  So, our ward missionaries just think that our are is a dead that we might as well not and my comp thinks the same, I’m trying to have an optimistic outlook and people are just tearing me down. I was trying to have hope and trust in God, but it was only me and I couldn’t do it anymore, the entire week had been horrible and then this happened.  I was already ready to give up and they tear me down. I was seriously considering giving up before this and it just about finished me off.  I was just so done, nothing was happening and it looked like it was going to stay that way. Then Tuesday morning came and as it is every morning, at 9:30 and my comp is still asleep, so I went to wake him up as usual and he doesn’t get up so I gave up and wasn’t going to baby him any more. I let him sleep. He woke up at 11:30 and I just studied and got just enough motivation to make myself go out and work.  After I ate some lunch I pushed myself out the door. I only had a sliver of faith left and had almost no motivation or will power left.  But I knew I was supposed to do it. It’s why I came out.  So I walked out the door. And we went tracting. We usually show the Prince of Peace video….or at least offer. We tracted along street when we had just four houses left, some teenager answers the door and when we asked if he would watch the video he said yes, it caught me off guard.  So we showed it to him and explained a little and asked if we could teach him more. He said yes. That really caught me off guard. We taught him the whole restoration. We got his number and all. It was an absolute miracle. Sp we were super pumped and so we tracted the last few houses.  Then we tracted the very last house.  The one we parked in front of. And he wanted to see the video too! We showed it to him and he wanted to learn more as well!  We started to teach the Plan of Salvation and we set a return appointment. It was just what I needed to get back on my feet. It was one of those miracles that came in at the very last moment. I was so close to giving up right then an I was rescued. It it didn’t stop there. The next day we went out to the guy that lives in the middle of nowhere and we made a really good connection with him.  It was amazing and it’ll make it possible to teach the rest of his non-member family. Right after that we drove to Robbins, population 100 (or so the sign says. It’s probably accurate) to meet with a potential investigator and he was there! He was busy and on a time crunch but that was just because he thought we would come earlier so it wasn’t anyone’s fault. We were able to teach him a little about the Restoration and he was stoked! We picked him up as a new investigator too!  Then yesterday we had someone come to Sacrament Meeting. Two people in the ward have been working on her forever and she came to Stake Conference last week, then she came yesterday and she really felt the spirit. She is pretty golden. We don’t know where it will go but it looks very promising and I’m excited. So there’s a lot to go off of in the ward as of right now. Then a lot of little miracles kept following through the rest of the week. The work is finally getting going and its amazing.

God has answered my prayers and it has strengthened my testimony that God will come to the rescue, whether late or early, he will come, but only if you trust him even when all he light disappears. He will come. Something that helped me make it through that last hard week is a quote from Elder Holland from the Mormon Message: “Good things to come.  Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. And some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. Trust in God and believe in good things to come.” It is true. I needed to know that God wanted to see how far I was willing to go to help others. Another quote that goes with that is from the Mormon message Courage:  “You don’t ever realize how strong you are until strong is all you have left.” I did all I could.  Was able to make it as far as God wanted me to go. I passed the test. I am so much stronger. Now my question for you: “How far will you go for Him?”

Luva

Week 47

Goals, Fathers Day and Animal Attacks

Hey y’all!  Was a good week this week. And an ok amount of success but not outstanding.

So we were at the Chilson’s and Fancy, their bird,  jumped from something behind me and landed on my shoulder but fell off balance and grabbed onto my face with her beak to steady herself. More like he latched on. It hurt. A lot.  Pictures will come.  

I had dinner with the Riersen’s and they had Harry Jones, your uncle Dad, over and his wife. It was really cool to have dinner with them and I could see a lot of Steve in him. Or more like the fact that they are brothers. But it was cool to get to know them and I learned a lot about how they grew up so I got some info about how my own grandpa grew up. It was an awesome dinner and it’s still so weird that I have relatives out here.

Exchanges were awesome this week. I was able to have Elder Haddock come to my area and we did so much. We worked all day long and it was nice to get a break from my regular situation. Some of the other missionaries wanted us to have lunch with them and I told them no because this was the one day I would be able to work all day. We tracted and found a few potential investigators. We went to some appointments and taught people and it was awesome. We took it a little far because we were on such a roll we had to keep going. We went out into the middle of nowhere and to see the Gambles. It was amazing. It usually takes about 25 minutes, but his wife was there and his son was there with his girlfriend. We talked with everyone as they came in and out for a few minutes. I launched into the lesson, which was reading scriptures. And of course I invited them to join and everyone did. Including Wyatt’s girlfriend! It was awesome. All of them participated, his girlfriend probably hadn’t ever met anyone LDS besides Brother Gamble who is less active. She kept the Book of Mormon and said she would read it. We were there for over an hour. It was awesome how they all were willing to just join in. I’m so glad.

So at this point we should have headed home because Elder Haddock was going on exchanges the next day and it was 8:45 and we were a half hour away from town. But we had to talk to somebody in Robbin’s. So, we just went for it. We were able to get ahold of him and schedule an appointment that worked for both of us. By then it was 9. We made it to the Yuba Mansion at 9:30. Then we still had to make it back home. So that was fun and we did a lot of good. Awesome day.

On Tuesday we had district meeting and our zone leaders always tell us how far away the zone is from our monthly goals. And we weren’t close.  So one of them said he would buy everyone ice cream if we could make the goal. He is really trying hard to keep our zone at the top of the mission so he wanted this bad. We calculated how much we needed. It is almost impossible. We would need 23 new investigators for this past week and this week. Our monthly goal in Citrus Heights was 35 and we barley made that. So this is almost impossible. And for two weeks straight. Come Saturday we had 25 new investigators. That’s not even counting yesterday. But I don’t know the numbers from yesterday. Elder Robbins didn’t think we could do it which is why he said he would buy ice cream. Now he is in trouble. I have no idea how we have done this much yet.  Gardner and I got two new investigators this week which as I’ve said in the past is a lot for this ward compared to the past.

On Saturday we didn’t have anything scheduled.  So we contacted for an hour. And we tracted for 6 hours. It was crazy. And it was hot. We only got one potential out of it though. But we have been trying as hard as we can.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! A day late but I couldn’t send it yesterday. I am so grateful for all the things you’ve taught me. I still remember making my first pinewood derby car and how you knew so much about it and you helped me and we did pretty well. There are so many stupid things that I’ve done and you were always dragging me around as a teenager trying to get me to take responsibility. I remember that one time you took me out to the driveway to teach me how to walk correctly because I would slouch and drag my feet. I was super grumpy and hated that. But that just shows how much you actually care.  With all the things you’ve taught me from how to use tools and how to act for myself, I have really been able to be an influence on other people. I love you!

It got a little hotter this week. About a hundred and ten yesterday.  It should be like that all week. Yeah, it’s actually really hot. The thermostat can’t keep up with it. Its bad.  Anyways, it was a good week and we are going to do archery tag again today so I’m excited. 

Luva!

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