Week 92 – Elder Jones

The Lost Keys, Almost Dying and Mother’s Day

Monday: We went fishing today! Borrowed some poles from a member and went! We also almost got hit by a car, we were going through a parking lot and a car came through several parking spots and didn’t stop. I swerved to get out of the way and he didn’t stop. He slowed down a little at the end but I got away. Almost died….. 😉

Tuesday: We had interviews with Pres. Ward today.  He complimented me on being “mellow”. He said I could take a lot of stress and craziness without freaking out, handling it calmly. He also complimented me on being a good teacher, he said he had heard I was anyways. Not sure how that came about but I am always willing to take a compliment. We talked about making prayers better because mine have been slacking. We talked about how I can be a good example to Elder Robinson and how I can help him. It was a pretty good experience overall. I liked it a lot. Great interview.
Wednesday: So we have been searching for some keys for the last 5 days. The church and mail keys. It was a learning experience. Sometimes God answers prayers in the way he wants, not how we do. We had been prayying forever to find the keys. We never ended up finding them. After 5 days, we decided to get a new mail key and see if we could get a new church key. We ended up having both of these in a matter of hours. It should have taken a lot longer than that. But God provided. Definitely a miracle.
Tonight we went to the park because they were having mutual there (and we were picking up the keys.) but they were playing Dragon ball. Basically kickball. so we hopped right in. I went and got to know all the youth better. We are never in the second or third hour of 3rd Ward church so I don’t know the youth hardly at all.  This was very good. We killed in in the kickball game.
Thursday: A member did a magic trick on us. After 5ish so minutes I figured it out and started playing along with it. Elder Robinson couldn’t figure it out. It was so funny. Then when we got home he was so disturbed by it that he couldn’t think about anything and he was almost acting schizophrenic in a way. It scared me. So I told him after he stressed out and almost had an anxiety attack. He felt dumb afterwards.
Friday:  We planned today. It took us an hour to figure out when and how to make our calls home.
We had a lesson with ******. It was mostly organizing her baptism. It was fun and I’m excited for her. Elder Green will be there and will even confirm her. Tonight we went to **** and ****’s and had a little lesson about repentance. Then we had our usual hours game. We played Clue. Fun fact: the way we played Clue growing up is very wrong. The way you actually play is much more organized and complicated. If you use yourly brain power, you can figure it out quick. It has a lot of adding and subtracting and manipulating. It’s fun.
Saturday: We went a planted some hedges this morning. Then we went and helped with a service project, demolishing some old Wells Fargo building so it could be turned into a community center or something.  Then we knocked random doors and ran into ***** and found a thing or two to help them with. For dinner, we had **** come to the ********’s.  He now has a family in the ward he likes! Yay! For studies at night, we watched this broadcast about using members for missionary work. It was so good. Some cool stuff it talked about it really getting to know the member so they trust you.  Also about involving them in the work. If you involve the members in the work, not only will they trust you, but they will be more missionary minded themselves because they will have the drive and hype for it. It was a great broadcast.
I loved talking to y’all yesterday. It got me more scared to leave and also more excited. Weird mix. It also showed me how much I’ve grown. It was cool because I still fit in the family. 🙂
Scripture of the week: Mosiah 5:2 ​”And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty ​​​change​ in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do ​​​evil​, but to do good continually.”
The Holy Ghost can guide us. If we turn to God, we can change ourselves to become who we want to be and be the best us we can be. We can be a help to others that we never could be.
Luva!
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Week 91 – Elder Jones

Transfers, Getting Fat and Goodbye Elder Green

Wednesday: Yesterday I was on Exchanges with Elder Brazier! It was a blast. We got so much done and we really learned a lot from each other. Both talking to each other a lot and taking what we can from each other. We visited some people that I already knew even! Kinda cool. Had a few great lessons. Oh yeah, on Monday we rode an 8 person bike for pday! It was cool.

Today we great. Kinda. Ok maybe it was a really off day. Elder Green woke up with a migraine and so he slept until we had to go help these non members move. We moves some of the heaviest furnitures in my life and then they got us In-N-Out. We met them up for other missionaries.
We had another lesson with ******. It was a spiritual one, she had a lot of questions about different things. We taught her about justice and mercy and how all that works. How Christ was able to pay for our sins. The she got us Baskin Robbins. 🍦 We went and saw people and went to dinner then we found out that like three of our investigators or less actives or members were sick or injured. So we went and bought a ton of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and some other stuff and spent the evening running it around to them. Those are the best nights.
Thursday: It’ll be a short one tonight. I’m so tired. Elder Green is on day 3 of his migraine. Horrible for him. We went and saw ***** again this morning and said goodbye for Elder Green. Then lunch and then we went to 7th ward. We stopped by *****, the lady that we met at the ward bbq. She invited us in and we ended up having s 2 hour discussion on a million things. Everything from temples to trials to Joseph smith, to polygamy to the Book of Mormon and everything in between. It was one of the best discussions I’ve ever been in just because she was so sincere and wanted to understand and had such good questions. She also was saying things that I learned a lot from. She made a super cool analogy that I’ll use for my scripture of the week. She just soaked everything in like nobody else has. It’s not like she is looking to change religions, but she wanted to know more about what we believe because she didn’t know before, except all the false rumors and such. Now she understands more. But we shared several scriptures from the Book of Mormon and she loved them. We gave her a copy and she is going to re-read the scriptures we used, read the introduction and start reading. She is amazing. She invited us to her bible study class and that’s great!
Friday: We taught seminary this morning. It was a blast. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and used the tea bag lesson as well. We taught it super Mario style, it’s a way of comparing it to Mario. It was great.
Friday:  We started out the morning running some errands and checking up on people. Then we went and gave ***** a blessing. That was a cool experience. The Lord really directed me to say things I wouldn’t have on my own.
Then we went and did a little weekly planning before having a lesson with the amazing *****.
Saturday: Awesome day! I had 5 meals before dinner.  We met up with the Baldridge’s for lunch, but we didn’t eat really eat, but I loved getting to see them. They made Elder green and I matching T-shirt’s from the picture they sent you last time. Then we went to *****’s place and she had a few other couples there, including the one that we helped move. They all just asked us about the gospel and about the church. Amazing questions again. And they had lunch as well. We ate more. That lesson lasted over two hours and and we see stayed longer because we were still talking and answering questions and arranging stuff. Then they prayed over Elder green. Then we went back home and Elder green packed. Until now. It’s been a long day. But great.
Sunday: Said goodbye to a few people and had church. I’m going to miss Elder Green so much. What an amazing friend. He really is one of my best friends.
Transfers; I’m keeping both of my wards thank goodness. Been praying for that. The mission is smaller now. I’m getting Elder Robinson. He is from San Tan City, Arizona. He has been out for 6 months now or so. Don’t know much about him but I’ve heard he is cool and that I’ll like him. I’m excited.
LUVA!
Scripture of the week: Alma 36:6 For I went about with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church of God; but behold, God sent his holy angel to stop us by the way.
Elder Green was telling his story of how he went from being a bad person and doing bad things to coming back to the church to someone. After he told his story she came up with an analogy. It’s kinda like(and it’s the same with Alma) when someone is really a bad person they are manure. Literally poop and anything bad. But, when they finally turn their life over to God, god uses those things to help people. They know where the vilest of sinners have been and can help them out of the holes they are in. It’s like fertilizer. They take the manure and mix it in with the dirt and use it to grow beautiful plants. So the bad is used for good. That’s how it went for both Elder Green and Alma. So I thought that was cool.

Week 86 – Elder Jones

Conference, Love and Easter Miracles

Love this picture of these missionaries. 🙂

Wednesday:
Yesterday we met with the second counselor’s family, the Wrights. Funny connection again. The Bischoffs gave them their dog. They knew the Bischoff when they lived in Spokane. They were talking about their dog and said someone gave it to them and happened to mention the name Bischoff. I asked if it was Sharon and Brent. It was. So cool!
Today we had district meeting and had worked on organizing some lists and saw a ton of people. It was a good day and we got in some doors that haven’t been the friendliest to us. I would say more but I’m exhausted.
Friday:
I’m sorry. I’ve been horrible about writing this week. We have been able to meet with a lot of people. We teach a lot of lessons here. We seem to be able to fill time very easily. We just start doing one thing and get led to doing very meaningful work. Today we met with ******, an investigator of ours. She is awesome. She has some amazing questions and understands things well. She prays and that’s key. We were about to go home for comp study tonight but we wanted to contact a little bit first. After we knocked on somebody’s house, we were walking back to the car and saw an open garage with a 50s Rolls Royce in it. We told the guy it was cool as we walked by and he said that a cooler one was coming in 5 minutes and invited us in for water and soda and wanted to talk to us. It was amazing.  Then the car got there. It was a newly restored 1965 Cobra. It had a brand new engine, brand new everything and was very fast. So beautiful. So we all marveled at it and stuff. He said to come back another time (we had been there for almost an hour) because he had to buy it. So we will go back later. Wow. Miracles and an amazing car.
Saturday:
Well, General Conference was amazing.  We went with Elder Pugmire and Brazier to a lesson after the priesthood session then to ice cream at McDonald’s. We talked about it and it was cool. President Nelson is definitely the prophet. He came in and changed some stuff and it was smart. We talked about how his talk in the priesthood was him kinda throwing down a little, basically laying down what our responsibilities are, then ending it amazingly. He made everyone feel the worth that they have by Priesthood office when everyone stood up and then said that we would all sing together a hymn he wanted to. Then he said amen and sat down and we sang the closing song. I have never felt such a personal connection with a prophet or apostle in this way. In that moment, I could really feel his love and I could feel the unity of the Priesthood and the church. More importantly, I could feel Gods love, through him.
The other sessions were amazing!  The talk about fathers was amazing. I’m sure Dad loved that. My favorite so far besides the talk by President Nelson in the priesthood session was by Elder Bednar about meekness. He said some things about meekness that I didn’t get but could see how they could be true with more study. Like how he said that meekness is active, not passive. What? What does that really mean? There was so much depth to that statement. Holy cow 🐄. I need to do some serious study about that. He also said that meekness is strong, not weak. That was cool. So many amazing talks, can’t wait for more tomorrow.
Sunday:
There should be enough for today to make up for the lack of writing this week.
1. Conference was amazing. I will send you my notes as a separate email. It was so good. Elder Green and I have been on a “rant” for lack of a better term, about LOVE and how it’s integrated to missionary work. Of course, I’ve been in this “love” spree forever, but Elder Green is right there with me and we have been figuring it out and applying it in so many amazing ways. I heard the word “love” in today’s sessions more than I ever have in a conference. Then when Elder De Feo gave his talk about love, it was perfect! That was my favorite talk in all of conference. Here are my notes from that talk.

“Pure love is a requirement of every true disciple of Jesus Christ.  Love indeed is the true sign of every true disciple of Jesus Christ.  True disciples love to forgive.  True disciples know that blessings aren’t always what they want, but what the Lord wants.  Wherever they go they bring the love of the Lord and peace to the people.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of love.”

Best talk ever!  Loved that talk. We realized that we had kinda been set up the past few weeks to implement these principles in our missionary work. Not only that, but the new changes are set on loving the people and serving and taking care of them, rather than rules or numbers. Man, it truly has been a revelatory conference.

2. So we have our investigator, who is the super amazing.  She will be baptized in May.  She came to conference at the stake center where we watched and she came for the last session. You know you have a solid investigator when she comes to the stake center for conference and brings her missionaries cheez-its. 😊 We had another miracle happen with her family too.
3. We were in a lesson with a part member family and we were talking with them about gospel stuff. As Elder Green was talking, this was right at the beginning of the visit, I got this subtle but clear prompting that I needed to challenge the husband (who is the less active member) to read the scriptures. His wife is reading almost a chapter a day. But I knew he didn’t read the scriptures almost ever, and it seemed like he wouldn’t want to. Anyways, the moment to challenge him to do that want right then so we kept visiting and at 8:45 he says that they needed to be off to bed soon and asked if we had a message. Elder Green looks at me and I pull out 2 Nephi 32:3 and talk about how the scriptures lead us and how it shows is what to do and how to come closer to Christ and testify of him. Elder Green tells a story and testify. Then I challenged them both to read at least one verse every single day. (At this moment the spirit reaffirms to me that that’s what he needs). They both accept the challenge and are on track for that. So that’s all great. I followed the prompting and knew that I did what needed to be done. But when we get in the car, I tell Elder Green that I had the prompting to do that. His eyes got a little wide and he tells me that when we started to talk about the gospel stuff, he started to think about what we should say to them. He got a prompting that told him “Elder Jones has got this. Leave it to him.” What!? Wow. We are definitely unified as a companionship. We listen to the Spirit well together.
So yeah, it was a good day.
Luva!

Week 84 – Elder Jones

Two Years, Transfers and Goodbyes

It’s a missionary tradition to catch trump the duck at the Clower’s. So I did, then we said goodbye. So sad. Love them

🦅🦑🦐🦖
Tuesday:

We met with *** this morning. Since we met at 12:00 we were
going to have lunch after. We didn’t get home till last 2:00. Haha. But
the lesson was great. We watched the movie about Joseph Smith because
we wanted him to actually have a clear idea of what it meant for the
Gospel to be restored and how it happened. Afterwards he said that it
all made a lot more sense.
But the coolest thing was that when we asked how he feels now
that he has been baptized and has the Holy Ghost. His response was
that he felt enlightened. He probably didn’t even know how to use that
word in a sentence a month ago. So we asked what he meant and he said
that everything is much clearer and that there’s an aura about him. He
said he felt that everything is good and that there’s always a reason
to be happy. This man is converted. He knows what the Spirit feels
like. What a guy.
We had a great visit with ****. He is off graveyard shift and back on
a normal schedule. So we can see him twice a week again. He is trying
to get Sundays off. So that’s great. Going back on Tuesday.
I still think it’s funny the Elder Kelson uses the word ‘Eh?’ In
regular conversation. He is from northern Minnesota, and really close
to Canada. I asked him in his first few days if he said ‘Eh’ a lot,
like a Canadian. He said no. But he does. It’s funny.

Wednesday:

District meeting in the morning. I led part of the
discussion. I put the same amount of work into it as I did the talk I
have last week in Zone conference. And it turned out pretty much the
same. I prepared since Saturday and I’ve been praying and following
the Spirit and studying and taking notes and it helped a lot of people. Kinda had the same effect as it did on people at zone conference. I’ve really been trying to put into action the spiritual thought from last week in developing talents and using them for good. And I realized that I am really good at things like this, if I put the sufficient time into it and follow the spirit.  Anyone can be good at it, if they try.   Now, it wasn’t really me, it was what the Spirit told me to do, so the only part I had, was being the messenger. But it was because I chose to listen. I’m scared again that I will become prideful
because I can actually do a good job at this. I’ve never been
outstanding in much, but it’s starting to happen and I’m scared it’ll go to my head. I talked to some of the other missionaries about it
and they helped and said I need to make sure I attribute the success
to God. Which it is all because of him. So that’s a good way to do it.
Cause it’s true.
It was stormy today. I saw lightning once. Heard lots of thunder. Got
caught tracting in a hailstorm. Not that big though. Just the size of
pebbles. Little guys. But cool nonetheless.
I got 4 more bags of kiwi at dinner. They gave me the idea to put it
in a smoothie. Oooooohhh yea. Healthy kiwi smoothie. And delicious.

Thursday:

We had a great lesson with ****. We talked about the Book of
Mormon twice as long as usual, because he just kept having more
questions and more to say. He has definitely been listening to the
Spirit. So cool.
Lesson with **** tonight. Talked about the Spirit and how that all
works. Great lesson. He bought Elder Kelson and I the giant metal
shoehorns from Amazon. Like the ones where you don’t have to bend over
at all. He heard several month ago that I needed one (before
Christmas) and just bought us some. How nice of him. Love him.

Friday:

Last time doing service at Mary’s probably. We stayed a little
longer and talked and took pictures. Good stuff. I’m probably going to
leave on Tuesday. But if I don’t, oh well. So Mary’s was good. Then we
gave a blessing and did comp study. Weekly planning. Had dinner with
the Spanish elders at our apartment. Then we finished with a game of
dinosaur. Love that game. Elder Marsh loves it a lot.
We had a lesson with ********. She is just launching herself and wants
to be baptized. We set a date for her. It will happen is she does what
she needs to. She has a history of not doing what we ask, so if she
does, thing can go forward. But until she does, she can’t really
progress.
You want to cry, Mom? Oh well, I’m going to make you cry. There’s a song that I found. It’s called Two Years. It’s by Carli Barlow. It’s amazing.
You’ll cry, Mom. It’s so good. Hehe.

Saturday:

We did some finding for most of the day. Ran around to
people and did what we could.

Sunday:

I’m writing this just after lunch because I need to pack
tonight. I’ll spend most of the afternoon studying and saying goodbye
to people.  
Transfers are here. Got the transfer board this morning. Elder Kelson
is with the district leader here. So many things happened this
transfer. The Zone here just got really amazing. I can’t explain it because there no way you could understand why. But anyways, I’m getting transferred to Lincoln. Really weird because I’ve been having dreams over the past few weeks about serving there. I don’t want to
say it was revelation, but for some reason I just was thinking because
if the dreams “I’m going there”. I just kinda knew that I probably
would go to Lincoln. I didn’t really want to because it’s in the city,
but it’s not bad because it’s also pretty set apart from the city. I’m
happy with it. I had been telling the other missionaries I thought I
would go there because I have been having dreams about it. And I did.
Not surprised at all.
My companion will be Elder Green. He was in my first district when I
got into the mission in Chico. I’m pretty sure this is his last
transfer. I like him. He’s cool. I think we will get along well.  He has been a zone leader before so I think he will be great. I’m excited and not too
worried.
But to add to that, my new Zone is amazing. In every single companionship
there is some one that I love. Elder Goodman from Yuba City, Elder Brazier
from Citrus Heights and Auburn, Elder Pugmire from Chico, Elder green
from Chico, Elder Jones from Gridley, Sister Smith from Gridley, and
get this, Elder Kirby too! He is going Spanish again so I will serve
with him for his last transfer. And even more! JT(Elder Tumanavao) is
in the Zone too! Amazing! I’m close with all of these people and it’s
so cool to have a zone where I am close with most everyone! Wow. So
excited!

It was hard today to say goodbye to all the members and investigators
today. That’s mostly what we did. Say goodbye to people. I love them.
Just got off of the phone with Elder Green. I’m excited to be with him.

Reading the blog and looking at the pictures and realizing that Royce
has bigger pecks than I do.  He’s so ripped.

Scripture of the week: D&C 121:7 “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine
adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou
shalt triumph over all thy foes.”

The part that I want to focus on is at the beginning of the second
verse. We can endure trials. We can suffer through things. We can hold
out until it’s over. But that’s not what it’s about. It says that if
we endure it well that we can have the blessings. It really is about
attitude. If we endure with love, trust and willingness, then we will
receive all the blessings that God can give us. We all have trials, we
can apply thus and receive the most blessings possible.

Luva!

Week 83 – Elder Jones

Funerals for Rocks, The Person I Need to Become and the Baptism

Tuesday:

We taught ***. We taught him about
Christ and read scriptures about his life and watched the Bible videos
for those scriptures. It was kinda cool. We were planning on teaching
something else but the Spirit said to change it so we decided to do
the Jesus thing as we were walking up to the house.
Then we talked to the Rubicks cube guy there again.
Elder kite didn’t like the happy rock I made him because it wasn’t
what he was expecting. A little rough around the edges. So we went to
the back yard and had a funeral. We dug a hole with a hammer, buried
it with “this land is your land” by Motab playing In the background
then we covered it and we found a piece of white marble or granite or
something and made a headstone for it. It was beautiful. Missions do
things to ya. I just had a funeral for a rock.

Wednesday:

Ok. What a day. Probably one if the most spiritual days on
my mission. I’ve been thinking a lot about the person I want to
become and how I want to actively change to become that person. I had
the motivation today during zone conference, I got more than that. I
was thinking about it, and seeing examples of what not to be and what
to be, and the Spirit suddenly gave me the feeling of this “You need
to change to be that person. Not because you want to, but because you
need to. Because God needs you to. You only have three transfers left.
You need to be that person by the time you go home.” Well, ok. I never
thought about whether I needed to or not, but the Spirit said to. It’s
serious now. What I am aiming for is being a sincere spiritual giant. All day I have actually done a really good job with it.
It’s been an amazing experience.
One example, we have to prepare a five minute talk for every Zone conference. I basically compiled a lot of the stuff from this past week or two,
everything from the moonlight analogy to the how much do you love
Jesus Christ thing. I put it into a talk and it was all Spirit led. So
much. For the first time ever I actually wanted to be called upon to
have the opportunity to give the 5 minute talk, as they are selected
by direction of the Spirit. Sure enough, I got called up. At the
beginning if it I told everyone that I timed myself previously and it
came out to 12 minutes and so I would try to shorten it. Then
President called out from behind me and told me to take as much time
as I needed. Yes! So I threw the stuff I had taken off back in to
have the full talk.  I had so many people come up
and compliment and comment on the things I said. I am so glad I was
able to help people with it. That the Spirit guided me as to how to
prepare so I could touch their hearts.
I can be that guy. That spiritual giant. I want to. I need to. I’m ready to.

Friday:

We went and worked real hard. We were on exchanges and I
was in the Spanish Branch with Elder Kite. It was fun. We went to a
town they had never been to and tried to find Hispanics. Found a cool
mountain top. Had some good gospel conversations with
Elder Kite. Lots of good stuff. We had some really deep awesome
conversations about the gospel with all the Spanish missionaries in
Gridley. So great. I got started on being the person that I was
talking earlier and so I got to talking about the gospel at dinner and
man, it was cool. We all kinda ended up talking about what we all knew
and sharing our testimonies in a personal way.
Today was mostly weekly planning. Did Mary’s of course. Love her. We
also mowed her sisters lawn next door. Taught Elder Kelson to do a
backflip on a swing.
Got ahold of an investigator we have been trying to reach forever and
we had a great doorstep lesson with her.

Sunday:

Anyways, over the past two days *** was baptized and confirmed!
I’m just so happy that he could progress and that we had a hand in that.
We didn’t even do much. We just kind of taught him what he needed to
know and the Rudd’s all helped him along. He was just so prepared. So
I attribute it all to the Spirit and to ***. The whole time the spirit
was there.  He and his girlfriend, were crying and the Spirit
was strong. So great. Good job ***. It really helped me realize that a
mission isn’t just about baptisms. Some people are meant to do
different things. I’ve just had a different job in my mission. We came
up with a parable, almost. It’s that we have the Lords field. Some people are the people who gather the crops, reapers. Some people plant seeds and help harvest, and some plow. Most people kinda do all of the jobs. But what I found was that I was sent out to plow. A lot. It’s reminds me of when I was on trek in Alabama.  The hardest place was behind the hand cart bar. There was only a half mile stretch that I wasn’t in that position because I wanted to help the most I could. Everyone else switched off. I wouldn’t.
So I am kinda like that out here. I got sent to areas that were at a
rock bottom and I just plowed the field and got it all ready to be
harvested. Then one day the Lord called over to me and pointed out this one
plant that stood alone. He told me to go grab it. And it came out of
the ground willingly. Then he smiled and sent me back to work. I got a
second of harvesting. And that’s great. But, it’s not about that. It’s
about serving him where he wants me. And I’ll go back out there and do
the hard stuff.
I don’t know if that made any sense but there it is.

Scripture of the week: Matthew 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 
We are all given gifts by God. He expects us to use the gifts we have to do good, and to develop our our talents. The more we do this, the more the Lord will bless us with with even more gifts. And the cycle goes on. I have been studying this week about gifts. Spiritual gifts and talents and such. Mostly because I realized that I have many gifts and talents. But I realized as well I haven’t been using them the best I could. I realized that I can really have a big impact on people when I speak. I realized that I can earn people’s trust. I can use these things to help others. So we need to do that. Give back to the Lord.

Week 82 – Elder Jones

Jesus Wept, Happy Rocks and How Much Do You Love Jesus Christ?

I made the 7 layer cookies and they were amazing. I ate a couple and we took the entire platter to district meeting and they were gone by the time we left. The recipe never fails.

Tuesday:
We had a great lesson with *** today. We need to do his baptismal interview very soon so we just went ahead and finished teaching all the lessons to him. We have taught most of it already, we just needed to finish the loose ends and tithing. He seemed worried about it a little at first but because he trusts God, it made logical sense to him and he was all for it. Then we set up a time for tomorrow to interview him and went over the questions. He answered them great.
Lots of contacting because all our lessons fell through. We got a text from **** and she said he has to move her baptism back a week because she will be out of town. Sad because I won’t be there for it. But I don’t care that much because I just really want her baptized because she needs to be. That’s what is important. So please pray for her that it will go through.
Wednesday:
So I got an email today from the Elders I’m your ward Mom and Dad, Elder Bryan and Elder Kirby, and they basically asked me some questions. Wow. What awesome elders. That’s probably a good enough reason to trust them. They obviously care about the ward.
So I’ll keep today short because I’m writing up a ton of stuff to give to them.
The major thing today was that *** had his baptismal interview today and it went great. He passed and is set for baptism. So awesome.
We had dinner with a less active family and they were awesome and so easy to talk to. Lots of things we can help with. They like us so that’s good. Gave their son a blessing.
Thursday:
Lots of finding today. It was very, very cold today. Mostly because the wind was blowing really, really hard and it rained a lot. Abnormal for here.
Had a great lesson with ****, went over the Articles of Faith. Everything makes sense to him. It all just clicks.
Friday:
I’m making happy rocks for everyone in the district. They are just smooth stones that I pick up from gravel roads and put a smiley face on. They can go in a pocket or on a desk. They are just a reminder to be happy and any time you’re sad you can look at it and it makes you happy. It’s a reminder that there’s always so much to be happy about. For some reason I love them and everyone else in the district loves them too.
I’ll tell you the moonlight analogy I thought of on Monday. We can be like the moon. It’s always night out and we can see the sun. The sun warms us and lights up our world. But people here on earth can’t see the sun. It’s dark out. But we can be like the moon and reflect the light of the Son and make it so that the people in earth at night can see perfectly well enough to walk and do what they need to. And it’s beautiful. We reflect this light by asking ourselves this questions posed in Alma 5:14: “Have you received His image in your countenance?” So once we ask ourselves this and do our best to be like him, the more we reflect His light and the more people can see and have their world lit up.
I killed a bird today. It flew down in front of our car on the way to Butte City. Whoops.
Saturday:
Really rainy, and very very cold. Like gets into your bones cold.
We did lots of fun work. Got in contact with a person or two. Tracted. Lessons fell through. The most crazy thing that happened was during tracting in Biggs.  We knocked on our first door and there’s a tv on and it’s pretty loud and the toddler struggles but eventually gets the door open. And he is naked. Well ok. He’s just a toddler. He doesn’t know better. But he runs off and yells in toddler talk “Mom people are here” We hear the mom coming around the corner without much on.  We saw a lot!!!! She looked up and jumped behind the door and said loudly to her son “You can’t open the door like that!” So it was obvious that she didn’t know the door was open, but she was walking around without clothes. We just walked away and preached the gospel to more fully clothed people. 🙂
Spiritual thought for the day, I was watching the two brothers II video and he said something in there that I thought was awesome. He was talking about loving people on a mission. I related to it perfectly. Then he came up with the solution. He started by describing how it is before the mission. He said that loving people is amazing but there’s a lot of hurt that comes with it. He said he learned to put up barriers so that he wouldn’t get attached to people because when he did he just got hurt. (I’m watching this thinking “That was me!”). Then he said that on the mission he found that it’s more important to love people and you have to do that. And he did. (And that’s what I found too. The beginning of my mission was hard because I had that barrier up so I wouldn’t get attached to people because I didn’t want to get hurt. It’s easier that way. Eventually I learned that I needed to let that barrier down. Because you can help others a lot more if you love them.) But the guy said that the problem with loving people is that it kinda hurts. He says how it is a toss up between saving yourself the hurt, or helping other people in their hurt. You want to have self control but sometimes with love you can’t. Then he says this “John 11:35: Jesus wept. The perfect human, the perfect example of manhood, the perfect example of self control and self mastery, wept.”
Man did that hit me hard. I realized how far I’ve come in that. I went from not allowing myself to love people because I didn’t want to have the hurt. But eventually I did. The perfect example of love went through the bad parts of love too. When Lazarus died, he wept. The next verse says “Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” He made that sacrifice as well. Love can hurt sometimes. But that’s ok. It hurt Christ too. That’s part of love. It makes that loving part even better though. I really focus on love in the mission it’s so great to learn more about it.
I’m really excited for the Spartan Race. Still trying to get in shape though. I am eating very very healthy for breakfast, pretty healthy for lunches and dinners……I have no control over that. Haha.
 So here is the scripture of the week. I’ll do it backwards this time because I need to explain. I had a thought process that took up about ten seconds but my mind just went through it so fast so here is the thought process I had.
We had just watched the Hope Works talk: Seeing Green(https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2016-10-0006-seeing-green-jill-thomas?lang=eng) and I got into a mode of trying to figure things out and finding a better solution. After watching the talk, I realized quickly that the solution to many problems is to put things in a different, more important perspective. I was thinking about a problem, the problem of being motivated and choosing the right. The main two things being to not give into temptation and getting motivated to do missionary work. Mainly the latter but it applies to both. And many more things actually. But I had this mental image of a missionary that represented all missionaries; me, my companions, other missionaries I know, other missionaries in the mission, other missionaries in the world, anyone. This missionary in my mind represented us and was laying in the floor and was just exhausted and wanted to lay there for a few minutes because working every spare second is hard. I thought of this one liner to get this missionary who represented all to get up and want to work. The line that I would say to him was: “How much do you love Jesus Christ?” Of course, since this is addressed to missionaries or members of the church or anyone actually that loves Christ, the answer would be that this missionary loves Him lot. Then my response would be: “Then get up and show him”. It just puts things into perspective. It also applies to simply choosing the right. Then I thought to myself, one of my focuses on my mission has been to love people, so where does this fall in line with that. Another thought immediately followed: Jesus Christ is one of those people that I love. “Wow” I thought. “That’s a cool and powerful concept. I wish there was something that was canonized and plainly supported by Christ himself to support this because that would make it really, really powerful.” Then without expecting it, a scripture popped into my head. And it just tied it all together. The cherry on top. It supports my concept. And it cuts to the heart. And that’s where I get this weeks scripture of the week.
John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Luva!

Week 81 – Elder Jones!

Golf, Chickens and Dogs 🐕 🐓

This one is my favorite because Elder Brown and I totally look like Superman and Wonder Woman (he is Wonder Woman not me. He has the girly leg and arm up)! 🙂

Tuesday:

Wow, there’s a lot for today. And it started with yesterday.  I got a set of golf clubs from a service we did because they were going to just throw them away so I took them because why not, we have room in our house. We went to the field with the Spanish elders for pday and we started playing golf.  We played for over 3 hours. It was just a lot of fun. We just had a ton of fun and most of them had never golfed and we made it fun.  So it was a good pday.

But today was amazing. Filled with lessons and getting stuff done. We were on exchanges and I stayed in the area. I was with Elder Brown with whom I served with I’m Auburn. He was trained by Elder Kerby. It all went amazing and we had a good lesson with the Calvinist guy. I would go into depth more but I need to get to bed so I’ll tell the best part of the day. We had a lesson with ***, and we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. He understood the last lesson well and didn’t have any questions from it. So we talked about faith and repentance then about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. After those last two principles the Spirit was there and it was good. So I asked him if he still felt like he should be baptized if he received his answer. He said yes. I asked if he would like to set a date and he said yes!  We discussed a date we thought would be good for him to be baptized on. So back to the lesson, I said that Elder brown and I thought that April 7th would be a good date (a month and a half away). It all got quiet and he and his girlfriend started talking quietly with each other, I couldn’t hear what they were saying.  They did this for a little bit and I was thinking “Oh no, I think it might have been too soon and this scared him”.  He is hard to read because he doesn’t say much but listens intently and understands. But they are talking and I was about to say something along the lines of “We don’t want to rush you, this is a decision we want you to make on your own, you should pray about it” because that made sense. But the Spirit put this scene from the district into my mind about how long periods of silence can be good. So I just shut up. And eventually they stopped talking and said “We were actually thinking we could do it sooner.” What? Well ok. So I looked at the calendar and realized the week before is general conference. So we told them that that week wouldn’t work because there isn’t a sacrament meeting to confirm him in, but we said that we could do the 24th. That was a long shot. That was like throwing a bowling ball with your eyes closed. It might be a yes, but probably no.  They talked  again and turned back to us and said “We were actually thinking the 10th”. So I turned back to the calendar and realized April 10nth wasn’t a Saturday so that wouldn’t work.  Then it clicked. I looked back at the calendar and realized March 10th is a Saturday. I looked up and said “March 10th?” “Yeah”. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t even think we were allowed to do that. I looked at Elder Brown and asked him if we were even allowed to do it that soon. That’s two and a half weeks away from today. He shrugged and said “I don’t see why not. As long as you teach him everything before then.” So I turned back and said “Yeah, we can do that. We have to teach you everything first but we can do that. We will aim for the 10th.” And the Spirit was definitely there. As I started promising him blessings, I saw him grab *****’s hand and there was a feeling in the room of “This is right”. Just peace and a good feeling. I could see that they felt it too. Wow. I’m still shocked. How grateful I am for seeing real live miracles. That’s what this was. And get this, that’s before I leave Gridley. I could see him be baptized!

Wednesday:
We had another lesson with ***. Taught the law of chastity and word of wisdom. He is clean with all of that and doesn’t have a problem with it. We taught Sabbath Day as well and he works on Sundays but understood and said he will ask to have his off days switched to Sunday. Great lesson.
Lots of finding the rest of the day. We ended up with a ton of money for dinner and so we went with the Spanish elders to the only restaurant in our area, the pizza place. That was good.
Friday:
We were on Exchanges today and I was with Elder marsh. We were going to go tract this tiny little town on the very edge of nowhere and the furthest away of any town in our area. So we get out there and try one guy that Elder Marsh remembers and he wasn’t home. Then we start tracting. The street is only like 6 houses long. The second to last house is a duplex and has fenced in yards. In one of them there is this small husky. He had really cool eyes. Just the happiest, jumpiest dog ever. To get to the front door we have to go into the yard and so we were debating it because we could get attacked by the dog. We went up tot he fence and he was friendly so we decided it was safe. Can you guess what happened? Well, you were wrong. He didn’t attack us. We opened the gate just enough for us to get in and the dog bolted out. Now, I could tell this dog wasn’t supposed to be out because he acted like he never got out. Just like Bentley used to before she was trained and before she got old and tired. This dog grabbed something off the ground and took off out of the driveway and ran. He went to another house and started peeing in the yard. We were in shock. There was no way we would catch him. We stood there for three minutes asking each other what we should do. We couldn’t catch him. There was no way. And in this little town of like 100 people, I’m sure that it would be a big deal. So we decided we could at least try. So we went over to it and it ran around a little then came walking right up to Elder Marsh. Problem solved, right? Wrong. When Elder Marsh went for the collar, there was no collar and the door looked up at him and smiled, then took off again, running through a field. Yeah, there’s no way we would catch him. Dumbfounded, we started walking towards the way he went and he had found another do on another side of a fence and they were running along the fence together. So we did all an Elder could do. We stopped in the middle of the street and prayed. After our prayer we started walking towards it. It’s frolicking through the streets just happy as can be, like it were in a dream. The dog disappeared around a car. Then I saw the chickens. I said to Elder marsh out loud “Oh man, I really hope it doesn’t go for the chickens.” We walked for about ten more seconds when the dog bolts around the car, chasing a chicken. This chicken takes off flying like I’ve never seen a chicken fly before. This thing flew on top of a roof of a two story house from across the street! The dog managed to get some of the tail feathers and was chasing after about ten other chickens as it disappeared around a corner. We were in shock…….again. “It just got worse.” I said to Elder Marsh. So we stood there for another minute or so. The chickens weren’t screaming anymore so that was good, they must have all gotten away. Most of them were on the roof or in the trees. We finally decided to try and find the dog again and that’s when it came frolicking around the corner……with a chicken in its mouth. How many times can we be shocked in 5 minutes. Don’t worry, that’s not the end. So as the dog is running around the corner with the chicken in its mouth, it looks at us as it passes and the look on its face said “this is so much fun, I’m so happy!” I’m sure it was happy be we weren’t. We were amazed at what was happening. The dog took of frolicking in the direction of the yard it peed in. After standing there like idiots for a few seconds, we started walking back towards the house. As we do, Elder Marsh says “Maybe this Gods answer. Maybe that chicken gave up its life for us to be able to get the dog back in the yard. Maybe the dog took the chicken back to its turf.” “Elder Marsh…..no. That’s dumb.” I said. But once we got around a car and could see the dogs yard, there he was, sitting in the middle of his fenced in yard…….eating the chicken. He wasn’t just nibbling, he was full on, Tyrannosaurus Rex 🦖, feet on the chickens wings, pulling its body apart viciously. But y’all, he looked so happy. But it was so bad. So we walked quickly to shut the gate and the dog looked at us and the look on this things face said “Thanks Guys!” We shut the gate and walked very quickly back to our car and left Butte City. As we were fleeing the town of Butte City, we caught a glimpse of the yard and in the split second we saw the yard at a distance, the dog was still tearing the chickens’ stomach out. Wow. There’s a dog story for ya.
Saturday:
Feeling better about myself today. After much, much thinking, I’m just going to go completely the opposite way and be the best I can with the changed rules and not even question them and support President Ward as much as possible. I think that if he hadn’t burnt me to a crisp in interviews the most change I would have had was being silent about the rules. But because of how bad it was, I gave some serious thought to it and I want to be proactive in fixing the damage I may have caused.
Pinewood derby tonight. It was a blast.  A member made us a car. It was shaped like the scriptures. I’ll send a picture. But it got second place In the regulation race. Go us! Hehe.
But the highlight of the day was a call I got from Sister Bennion. She was here in Gridley my first transfer here. She is amazing. But after leaving here she went to Roseville and now she is in Yuba City. In Hillcrest ward. My ward. But she called today and she wanted some to know who the missionaries were on a certain day and she thought it might have been me. She gave me the date and I said yeah, I had gotten there a few weeks before that. After figuring a few other things out and asking if I knocked on a certain door, I remembered who she was talking about and told her what I knew. I’m not sure if I ever wrote this down on my emails but I’ll tell you now. When I was serving in Yuba City, we knocked on a door of a former investigator. The record looked good and we didn’t know why he stopped investigating. We knocked on the door and a woman answered. So we asked if Seth lived there and she said he joined the navy. So we said oh. So naturally I was going to ask if she needed help with anything. As I was about to the spirit told me to make it more personal so I asked slowly and very seriously “How are you doing personally?” She paused for a second. Then she just broke into tears. Through sobs she responded “Not very good, not very good” wow. The Holy Ghost knows what he is doing. Eventually we asked if we could come back later and talk with her and help her and she said that would be great. I never saw her again. Every time we tried knocking she didn’t answer. We tried a lot. Then I got transferred three months later. That was it.
Back to today, Sister Bennion said that some of the missionaries that followed us had finally gotten ahold of her at the right time in her life, just a few months after I left. She was at a point where she was going through a hard time and started actually taking the lessons. Eventually the missionaries kinda lost contact for some weeks. But Something happened in her life again and she told Sister Bennion and her companion that’s she is going all the way and wants to be baptized. She is getting baptized on the 17th. The reason Sister Bennion called is because the investigator doesn’t know which missionaries it was that originally found here. Apparently it was us, that first time when we knocked on her door. Apparently knocking on her door that first time and saying what we said is what got her to start feeling things and opened her up for the missionaries. She wanted to know who those missionaries are because she wants to send us letters with little gifts to thank is for knocking on her door that first time and opening the door to the gospel. Wow. I am amazed.  There are so many people like this in all of my past areas.  I am now finally seeing the results.
 
Scripture of the week:
2 Nephi 32:2 “Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?
3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”
Our Bishop pointed out that this verse tells us that speaking in the tongue of angels is simply speaking the words of Christ. So we need to know what those words are so we can speak them. And the more we do, the more we can speak them with power. Then we will know what to say, when to say it and how to say it.
Luva!