Week 102 – Elder Jones

🦅🇺🇸, Fishing and Service

Ok, so it did it again. I actually had a lot written out for this
week, but it deleted if for some reason. I must be doing something wrong. I had the email, and I went to check something in a
different app, came back 15 seconds later and the email was blank. I’m
kinda mad. So, it’ll be another not so long email. Sorry again. I’ll
do my best to remember this week.

We have a massive list of things to do and every spare moment this
week we have been doing it. So we had no time to go and find people
this week.

On Tuesday we did service most of the day. It was great.

The 4th of July was awesome! On the 3rd we had dinner with the Kanooth’s
daughter’s family. The kids wanted to show us their lizard and when he
took us to their room to do that, I saw that the had a lot of nerf
guns. I have gathered a few from apartments, so I told them I would
give them all of mine.  We went over on the 4th and gave them like 7
nerf guns and a ton of ammo. Then we had a massive nerf war. It was a
blast and I’m glad I was able to make them happy. Then we had some
popsicles and a water balloon fight. That was fun. We went to dinner
and then stoped by an investigators place before going home, because
we have to be in early on the 4th of July. So we played
a few games and tried to see some fireworks from our complex but
couldn’t see much. So we went inside and played some more games was
a good Independence Day.
On Saturday we did service in the morning with Elder Hanks and Brazier.
I love helping people that can’t do things on their own. They had a bad
yard that is hard for them to take care of and he wanted to tear it
all out. So we helped them do it. We tore out bushes, cut down
trees, moved rocks, piled it in a truck and tore everything apart. It
took 4 hours. It felt amazing to just get out there and work forever.
They had doughnuts and chocolate milk from Raley’s. That a big plus.
We met with some new people on Saturday named **** and ******.
******  grew up with the church but was ever baptized. His girlfriend,
*****, is a Christian and has gone to several churches before. Our
ward mission leader helped ***** and his less active mom with a
washer and dryer and talked to ***** and he accepted the
invitation to have us over.  We clicked really well, they are
awesome really cool people. We taught ****** the Restoration because
she brought some stuff up before we came.   She had some questions
about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She said she would read the
Book of Mormon and pray about it.  ****** was cooking dinner and didn’t hear a lot of the lesson. He made some of the best street tacos I’ve ever
had in the mission. Btw, reminds me to make real tacos for dinner one
night when I get home. Because that’s something nobody makes up there
but is a normal food for down here. Real tacos.
I’m actually kinda scared about how cold it will be. Like tonight, we
were driving home at 9:00 pm and it was 85 out and we had the windows down but I thought it was kind of cold. Its going to take some getting used to. I don’t like the cold.

Yeah, i have mixed feelings about going home. Mostly good though. I’m
going home  a good situation so there isn’t that much to be worried
about. I have a lot of support. So I’m not scared. Of course I’m going
to miss all of this. I have a strong love for this place. I love my
mission. I love it a lot. Its bittersweet. But I know its my time just
like it was my time to leave home to come here, again, its time to
leave home to go back there. But it’s different. I wasn’t ready to
leave home. I didn’t want to leave there because it was moving on and
I didn’t want to leave.  I chose it because I knew that I needed to leave and I knew God wanted me to. So I wanted to for that reason. But besides that, I didn’t want to go. My life was good and everything was
about to get infinitely harder.  But I knew I had to and knew I needed to. So, despite how much I dreaded leaving, I chose to come here.  It was as hard as I thought it would be. But the good was even better than I thought it would be. So now, instead of dreading going home, I’m looking forward to it
because I know how much I will learn from the change.  I know my
time is up and the Lord wants me to be home to be with the people there
and has other jobs for me. He want me to move on and I know I need too.
That’s where the Lord wants me. So I am going to go home with a
positive attitude because I need to be there.

Scripture of the week: Ether 12:22 “Behold, this is a choice land, and
whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and
from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will
but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been
manifested by the things which we have written.”
One word: America. 
Luva!

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Week 99 – Elder Jones

Chick-fil-A and “Man vs. Wild: Suburban Edition”

Sorry this took so long. We had to go to Roseville for a car
appointment so we went shopping at good stores down there rather than
the tiny little grocery store here. Then we went Chick-fil-A because it was over there. Best decision ever. So yeah.

Yesterday we had district meeting since Elder Marsh got transferred
down here, I got to see him! He is my district leader. I love him. He
is the best and it was great to see an old friend.
Today was great. We had an awesome lesson with *****. We had it at
the ward mission leaders house and it all went well.
Hey, she said she could take a box of stuff up to Portland for me. That’s good.

Friday: Ok, it’s almost 10 and we just got home so this probably won’t
as detailed as I wish but I’m doing it anyways. We planned most of the
day, but we just had a lesson with ******, and it was amazing. It lasted over 2 hours. We taught the plan of salvation. We would ask her if she knew what something was and she would kinda give her opinion of what she thinks something might be.  She was always spot on with the right answers.
Some of them she explained better than I even could. She had an
explanation of the Holy Ghost that I never thought of that made
everything more simple. Like when we asked her if she thought she
lived before she came to earth, she came up with this answer about
knowing that we lived in some way before here, more of just our
personality and soul, but not with a physical aspect. What? That’s
like exactly the premortal life! All we had to do was add in that we
lived with God. All her answers were like this. So awesome. The
lesson went tell. She has a lot to think about and process but she has
been very, very prepared. It was awesome. We have a meeting scheduled
for Wednesday. I’m excited. It all made sense to her.
Another cool thing from today, we decided to play tennis for workout
this morning. We have some racquets that aren’t too bad (the best ones
I’ve seen from a missionary apartment) and so we went to the courts
and played. It was so good. Elder Robinson is better than he should
be for never having played. Hey, y’all better watch out because I might
not suck when I get home. We are going again tomorrow.

Saturday: We went garage sale tracting this morning. We went and found
as many garage sales as we could and talked to the people there.
People are much nicer when you think you will buy something from them.
We went to this one garage sale and as we were talking, I realized
they were a less active family that we had been trying to get ahold of
and we had a good conversation and they invited us back and said it
was about time to get their 9 year old son baptized. So what a
miracle.
Another small miracle is when we stopped by another one, we walked
into view of the yard sale and I saw a big Alabama A that Elder
Robinson pointed out. I asked them how much it was before I even was
close to them. They said 5 bucks. I bought it. It turned out to be a
sweatshirt. And a really nice one. Worth a lot more than 5 bucks. I
was so happy. We talked to them for a while too. It was kinda weird
because they had a lot of shirts with naked women on them. Kinda
awkward but I’m used to it now. (Not naked women, but awkward
situations.)
So that was a fun morning. We had a lesson in the afternoon and had a
lot of reports to do.
A lot of coming home stuff got piled on me today. First off, you sent
me the flight itinerary (thanks by the way, I never got the email for
some reason), and somehow that made everything a reality to me. Then I got what are called “trunky papers”. It’s the final plans for returning.
It has the schedule and plans for the departing temple trip, drop
your bags off at the mission office, departing dinner and testimony
meeting, departure, everything. That hit like a brick. All of it is a
lot to take in and my brain was kinda fried. It makes me want to go
work even harder. It’s crazy. Kinda freaking out in a good and bad
way.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! Love you! You are the best dad ever and you
don’t realize how many times out here that I need to make a decision
and remember a story or something you told me and I know what to do
and other have been blessed by it. So many things I never thought I
would actually need to know that have blessed so many people including
me. You have no idea. In fact, there are even a few experiences from
your mission or earlier life that I tell to people and it helps. Thank
you so much! Love you!

Elder Jones – Week 97

Zone Conference, Scrabble and Testimony

I accidentally left my bag at a lesson with Meghan, Skyler and Nat. So the kept it hostage so they could use it to draw information out of me to find my worst fears.

Tuesday:  I practiced piano a lot because both the
songs that I’m playing at Zone Conference got changed. I am playing
the piano for the musical number for my Zone and another Zone. Lots of
good things happening.

Wednesday: We had a lesson with ****** scheduled. But her chair had collapsed and broke underneath her and she was hurt. So we walked in and she wasn’t in the mood because she was kinda in pain. We asked if we could do anything for her and she pondered and fussed for a minute and said “Could you play scrabble with me?” I think scrabble is very boring but I love her so I said yes right away. It really lifted her spirits and we had a great
time. Worth it. I won actually. I have no idea how.

Thursday: I am so exhausted right now. Just got back from a full day.
Zone Conference; sitting for 10 hours then dinner which we were late
to, then MCM, which we were also late to. I can hardly function right
now. Cool quote: I assume the best in everyone, until they show
otherwise-President Hinkley. I also heard this, but I workshopped it a
tiny bit… anyways: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,
but do it a different way this time…..” Love it. So true.
President Ward rolled out this new mission initiative that is
absolutely amazing. It’s about meeting with the Bishop and asking a
set of questions from how we can help him. Then meet with the
ward mission leader for some of the same stuff but some different. It
basically helps them know that at we are good missionaries and
motivate them.  It’s an awesome initiative that is going to be amazing and works with members.

Friday: Weekly planning as usual. We did that and made a lot of good
progress. Then we had a lesson with ******. We talked about tithing
and family history but mostly about the temple. She has a lot of good
good lessons. So we pulled up a lot of pictures and such. We explained
how everything happens and all that. She loved it and should be going
to the temple soon. The ward council is setting up a temple trip for
her. She will have the Medford temple 3 or so hours away from her in
college but will still tack on the extra 40 minutes to go to Portland.
She has always dreamed of going to that temple and loves it. So she
wants to go to that one. So we looked at pictures and talked about
making a trip. I’m excited.

Saturday: We did a lot of finding today and we worked on clearing out
a list. We did find one guy that is interested. He said he is agnostic
but gets the principle of faith and is waiting for his faith to kick
in. Basically he is waiting for his faith to come. Almost like he
wants it but hasn’t found it yet. Wow. That was cool. We will see
him next week. But yeah, a lot of finding today.

Sunday: ****** hates speaking in front of groups of people. In fast
and testimony meeting she kept bugging me to get up. The Spirit wasn’t
saying to, so I wasn’t going to. Eventually I told her that I would go
up if she did because I knew she wouldn’t. She looked at me for a
second and then got right up and walked all the way up there and bore
an amazing testimony. I guess the Spirit didn’t need to get me up
there because he knew that she would.

The World Wide Youth Devotional was really good. We watched if for comp studies. Wow!
President Nelson sees something that needs to be done and doesn’t mess
around. 🙂

Luva!

Week 92 – Elder Jones

Elder Robinson, BBQ and Star Wars Day

Today we got up and cleaned and shopped and did
everything and went fishing for a few hours. So relaxing. We didn’t
catch anything had a couple fish on the hook but they got away.

Transfer Tuesday. I got to see several missionaries I haven’t
seen in a while. I slept in Rocklin at a 6 Elder apartment.
Comfy floor. I was with Elder Pugmire and Brazier. We cleaned the
apartment.  Then Elder Robinson got here. I like
him a lot. He reminds me of Elder Haddock. He’s great. We went and
introduced him to people.
Wednesday: Had a blast today. Still in the trio. We had district
meeting. I had way too many 7 layer cookies. We made some with a less
active and I had 8 of them today. So bad for me. Then we went to a
lesson with ***** and that went well as usual. Then comp studies and
another lesson in Elder Coman’s ward. Then dinner with the Baumgatners.
Always a blast. Another lesson after dinner and now I’m here! At the
apartment.
Thursday:  I had Texas bbq for dinner. Biggest burger I’ve ever had
and very delicious!
Friday: Happy Star Wars day! We went a little crazy. We planned for most
of the day. We made a few Star Wars videos with Elder Pugmire and
Brazier and even got ***** in on one of them. They are amazing. We
were recording one and Elder Pugmire slipped super hard. We got it on
camera. So funny. But yeah, we had a lesson with *****. She bought
Star Wars popsicles and a puzzle and some other stuff and we
celebrated. We had a lesson about baptism and she is still super
excited.  Then we went around and visited people. We helped ****** move some brick. She tripped over it and hurt herself. But she is doing better now.

Saturday: We went to give a blessing to someone this morning.  We ran around and met some people for Elder Robinson and we went to
the Higginson’s. We helped them set up for a prom date they were
hosting or something and ended up running home to let one of their
kids borrow a tie from me to wear to prom. It’s a snazzy tie. We went
to dinner and there was a surprise there. It wasn’t planned but I
walked in and there were two people from my Citrus Heights there!
Apparently the family we were eating with is the wife’s parents. So it
was awesome to catch up with them. Like seeing old friends after a
long time.
Then we went to an game night with Dusty and Jay. Lots of fun.

Sunday: So I’ll probably report on Elder Robinson for today.  I
really like him a lot. Remember Elder Haddock? One of my best friends
on the mission? The one I’ve always tried to be companions with? Elder
Robinson is basically like him. If I am not looking at him and he is
speaking, he sounds just like him. He has some cool board games and he is really fun. We clicked right off the bat. He is a blast. We really like each other and he is really comfortable here. He warms up to people really fast and is really comfortable with people he just met. He is From San Tan Valley, Arizona, he has been out six months, came
out with Elder Farley. He just came from Redding. He likes anime,
played baseball in high school and is an artist.

Weekly scripture: Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,
saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white
as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

This is Elder Robinson’s favorite scripture. It talks of healing and
forgiveness. I love how we can be forgiven and forgive other as well.
I have been able to forgive so many people because I have been
forgiven.

Week 88 – Elder Jones

Temple, Elder Moon and Baldridge Family

Yesterday was cool. We went on a hike around a lake. There were some
questionable people that said some even more questionable things to
us. Hmm. Oh well. It was a cool hike. We bushwhacked most of it
because why not.
Today was awesome. We were in an apartment complex and the two people
we tried weren’t home so we were walking and Elder Green said “I don’t
even know where I’m going” and neither did I. So I looked at an
apartment building and said “I want to knock that one” because I felt
good about the one in the top right corner and at the same moment he
was saying the same thing about another apartment in the same
building. So we knocked them both. The first one they answered and
said they are Christian and Pentecostal but said we could come back.
Yes! Then we knocked the other one and they were kinda accepting and
she said they are Christian and we said we taught about Christ and
they weren’t really looking like they would let us in.  Then we told them
we could stop by and share a video with the kids.  She said that they
could watch one now and invited us in. She is going through a tough
time and Elder Green talked to her while I showed the kids gospel
videos. Then we did an object lesson and in the end she said she would
try to come to church. She said that she usually wouldn’t let have
let us in, but she’s been having a rough time and decided to. They
need it. So wow. That was amazing. I like this way if tracting more
than what I’ve been doing.
Oh, also, we got smartphones today. They don’t have service till next Thursday, so for now they are like small tablets. It’s Samsung and I don’t like it very much. It’ll be much better than the old phones we have, but I’ll probably only use it for calling and texting. Besides that, I’ll just use my iPad. It took forever to set up and it crashes
a lot and I don’t like it anywhere near as much as the iPad. But I’m
grateful that we have it because the phone aspect will be so much
better. When that happens.
I just looked on Facebook and **** (the guy we just baptized in Gridley)
and ****** got engaged! Yeah! So happy for them.
We fasted today for Elder ****. He came out with me and I love him.
But he has had some back pain for the last few transfers. He woke up
one night a week or so ago in a lot of pain. He and his companion
prayed and they felt like they needed to make it to the hospital,
fast. They went and he had some major problems. It’s bad and we’re sad.
Wednesday:

Awesome day! We found a new investigator today! Her name is
****. It was going well on the doorstep then we started talking
about one of her favorite Christian bands and she got pumped and it
went amazingly from there. She is excited for us to come back and talk
with her! We ran into several others and got a lot of solid work done.
Very busy day.
Our dinner was the Baldridge Family! They came down because they all work or go to school on Rocklin. So they came to Lincoln and took us to
dinner. It was amazing we had a long time to catch up. Even brother
Baldridge was able to make it. It made my week. Month even. They are
seriously some of my best friends. I love them so much. I can just be
me around them. We took picture in downtown Lincoln afterwards because
that’s where we ate. Then Sister Baldridge and I got talking about
raptors again so we took some raptor pictures. I’ll send them.

I found the Loch ness monster.

Thursday:

We got to go to the gym this morning and do a good
workout. Our apartment is having more problems. We did some service
for a lady and picked her up as a new investigator. We also found
another new person to teach tonight, just walking through the rain.
We had a great lesson with *****. She read Jacob 5 and was very
confused. So we popped some popcorn and got some candy and watched the
seminary videos about the olive trees. It made more sense after that.
Then we went over the baptismal interview. ***** is amazing. She
would make the absolute best missionary the world. So it was a great
day.

Friday:

Mostly Planning today. But we had three lessons. One with a
lady that won’t get baptized because she is scared of water. She is so
sweet. She has great questions.
Then we studied and planned for hours. Elder green and I get a little
psycho when we are cooped up too long.
We had a lesson with ****. She is really cool and has a lot of
potential for progression. Her heart is in the right place and she is
willing to do the right things.
The after dinner we had a lesson with the **** family and it was a lot of fun. We did some magic tricks and an object lesson. I like them a lot. Lots of
fun. They will be at church.

Saturday:

We got to go to the temple today! A member that Elder Green helped reactivate went through for herself and Elder green is the only missionary that is still in the mission that taught her so I just tagged along. I really needed it. The whole time, all I wanted to to
was get into the Celestial Room. In all the other rooms I could hardly
stay in my seat because I just wanted to be in the Celestial Room. Not
my best moment for patience. But when I finally made it in there, I
just loved it. I learned a lot. It’s weird with me, I don’t get that
internally excited about things like this normally, but I really was.
It was a big change for me. I’m really relying on the gospel more than
I used to.

Sunday:

We taught a lesson to a recent convert/less active today. She
and her friend are our age and so it was fun and relaxed. She
looks so much like someone I know so it’s really weird. Sometimes I
have to remind myself it’s not her. Haha. That went well though.
Then we had a lesson with the people from last week. There was a lot of
family stuff going on and he just was falling apart. We let him talk
it out for an hour then we all ended up happy we gave him a blessing
and it helped. Love them.

Elder Green and I are doing great! Last night we stayed up until
1:00 am talking. We had a really deep conversation. I have so much respect for him. He has come so far. It’s really insane how much he has changed and sacrificed and worked to be out here.  He is such a good missionary.  He loves the people so much and just wants to help them.

Scripture of the week: Alma 17:24  “And it came to pass that King Lamoni
was much pleased with Ammon, and caused that his bands should be
loosed; and he would that Ammon should take one of his daughters to
wife.
25 But Ammon said unto him: Nay, but I will be thy servant. Therefore
Ammon became a servant to king Lamoni. And it came to pass that he was
set among other servants to watch the flocks of Lamoni, according to
the custom of the Lamanites.

What I love about this is that Alma comes in and serves the people.
That’s cool. But the really amazing part is how Alma converted an
entire nation.  The plan from the beginning was to convert people
yet he passed up a major opportunity. Alma was offered the kings
daughter in marriage. If he had taken that, he couldn’t been been
influential. He would be in a place of power, just under the king, and
influenced others because if his position. Yet, he refused. He wanted
to be the servant and we to be a Shepard. Probably the lowest position
he could get.  Through that humility, he was able to convert the
entire nation. It was his humility. Wow!  Look what humility can do!
Now, how I relate this to myself is that I love where I’m at! I just want to help others and this is the position from which that I can the best. It’s so great.

Luva!

Week 85 – Elder Jones

Lincoln, Elder Green and Sick

Tuesday: Wow. What a fun day!  So, I packed up last night and I went off to Lincoln this morning. Elder Kelson is on his own. Had a tender moment in parting and I left. Had a great drive. I’ll miss Bro. *****.

It was hard to say goodbye to all the other missionaries yesterday. I love everyone. Goodbye!

But anyways, Elder Green is awesome. We will have a lot of fun and work hard. He’s a great missionary.
Wednesday:
We came around to help the other elders. We did finding and had a lesson as well.  Then stopped by several people and one of them had a cat and I got the worst allergic cat reaction  in my mission. My throat still hurts so much it’s hard to talk.
Thursday:
I woke up very sick this is morning. Not exactly sure what with, a lot of it was from the cat allergies, but there might have been more. My body was achey and I couldn’t stand. Elder Green had a bad migraine. So we took a few hours to be sick. But by 10:00 am we were working. Both of us struggled along.  It was bad all day. I still can’t function well. But we just went a worked. It hurt, but better then staying home.
Friday:
Weekly Planning. Good stuff. The Baldridge’s from Auburn ward in Rocklin, which is like ten or so minutes away, were at a friend’s house here in Lincoln, so they stopped by the church and we talked for a while. They gave me some candy and stuff. So great to see them.
Do you know Kylene Pratt? She is a friend of Sister Baldridge’s and your Facebook friend. She lives here in Lincoln apparently. It was so great to see the Baldridge’s. I even got to meet one of their daughters that was off at college while I was there. Another Baldridge! Haha. But it was so awesome to see them.
The Baldridge’s coming to visit.
We have a lot of the information on the smartphones we are getting we should have them in the next two weeks. It’ll be crazy.
Saturday:
Did a lot of contacting. Good stuff though. We had interviews with President Ward. There was a language training meeting going on at the same time in the same building so I got to see Elder Kite, Macdonald, Stevens, Marsh, Kelsey, Sister Fuller and Sister Taysom, even though I didn’t think I would see some of them again. So great.
The coolest part though was that there are some Sister missionaries going to Taiwan that are in this mission until their visas go through. They were there at the language thing. I started talking to one of them and find out that she is actually from our stake. She has been over to our house, I think for a YSA thing. So it was really cool to see her and I’m still blown away.
And of course it didn’t stop there. We stopped by a member and they asked where I was from. Turns out, it’s the Kanooth’s daughter. And not only that, the Kanooths were at their house last night, making a stop before they went to Disneyland. They will be back to see them on Saturday, so after our dinner, we will stop by and I will say hi to the Kanooths. Wow. Crazy day full of people from home.
Sunday:
We visited a part member family and they are awesome! It’s kinda an older couple, *** and ***, they rock! She wasn’t interested really but was fine with us stopping by. We gave them a Book of Mormon that was big enough for them to read and to our surprise, she reads a chapter a day! And she likes it! That was amazing.
It gets weirder and weirder every month with how people go home and get engaged. There are several people that finished their mission, that I never saw together, that are now dating, engaged or married. So weird. And we end up seeing the pictures of everyone home, married, engaged and dating and such because we can get pictures so easily.
I guess this email wasn’t as spiritual centered because I don’t know anyone and I’m getting used to everything and we saw a lot of people. Next week should be more normal. But this week has been a blast.
This area is just amazing. I love it. The people are amazing and the work is really amazing. Just an amazing last area.
Now for my companion. Elder Green is from Ogden Utah. He and I are kind of mirror images when it comes to how we do missionary work, how we act and a lot of things. We get along very well.  I don’t think I’ve ever laughed with a companion so much. We have the same sense of humor and we teach very similarly as well. We agree on just about everything and it’s been amazing. We know how to get what we need to done and have fun at the same time. It’s just been a blast!
Scripture of the week: Deuteronomy 20:4 For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
This is Elder Greens’ favorite scripture. It’s amazing because the Lord will fight for us, if we let him. But there is nobody else that could be a better protector. Not only will he save us against our spiritual enemies, but our physical, mental and emotional enemies too. There have been so many times I’ve been struggling emotionally and didn’t know if I could take it anymore. But because I had Christ and Heavenly Father fighting for me, I was able to make it through.
So everything is great here.
Luva!

Weeks 79 and 80 – Elder Jones (The second week is exciting!)

Week 79

The Book of Mormon, Wagner’s and Captain Jack Sparrow

Wednesday:

I looked at the weekly baptism report for the mission and Nan Shaw from Auburn got baptized! I didn’t think she was going to make it but she did! So happy for her. Wow.  Yesterday was just crazy because of transfers. We had to babysit Elder kite and make sure he cleaned his apartment. It was fun. We got to know his new companion, Elder Marsh. He is super cool.  He is the new district leader and the district meeting this morning was fun. There’s another one if the sisters that came in that I served with in Yuba City and that’s super cool. During district meeting we set a goal for how many Book of Mormon’s the district was going to give out this week. Elder Kelson and I loved this since we have been focusing on this lately. We set a goal for an average of 5 Book of Mormon’s to give out per companionship this week. Elder Kelson and I tend to give out all 5 today but only made it to 3. But that’s a lot for one day. We worked really hard and got 3 out and that’s a great start. So who knows how many we could have at the end of the week. It’s a tangible goal and I can do that.

Thursday:
We were able to give out another Book of Mormon. We had a pretty full day which is awesome. We had 4 appointments set up. We had a practice teach and that was great. Elder Kelson did amazing and I didn’t have any complaints. The next two appointments didn’t happen, but we were able to reschedule one for tomorrow. Then we had dinner and a lesson with ****. The lesson ended up being just all of us doing what we can to help him. We have to just wait until he is divorced so he can get baptized and it’s hard on him so we focused on just getting his spirituality up.
Friday:
We went to Mary’s in the morning. We were able to get a lot done even though it was just two of us.  We moved some pots around and cleaned up portions of her garden and replanted and repotted some plants. Successful service. We had to cram everything else in for the rest of the day. We had three lessons set up. None of them ended up happening though. ***** and ***** had to reschedule and our new investigator ***** wasn’t there. Then **** was asleep when we got there. But we were able to get the other stuff in, we weren’t going to have time for it all in the first place.
We had dinner with the Wagner’s again. Love them. We actually took the Spanish Elders with us. I always learn so much from the Wagner’s. He is such a wise man and always has something to say that I soak up. So cool.
Its weird. Y’all have no idea how it is for me out here. Those who have been on a mission know what it’s like, but they don’t know the people that I know. They don’t know my relationship with them out here. Nobody does except the missionaries that are serving with me and those people that are here. I wish that I could show you a glimpse inside. It’s so cool.
Saturday:
It was a great day today. We wrote up the progress record and went and tried some less actives. In the afternoon we got ahold of this former investigator and she was more receptive than she seemed before, which she already seemed pretty receptive, and we have a lesson set up for her on Tuesday. Super pumped about that. We got ahold of some other people we haven’t been able to get in contact with.
Our lesson with our new investigators from last week fell through. Bummer. We will find him.
We helped ******* move to Biggs, in our ward. So excited for her to be in our ward. ***** is ***** daughter, the one that got baptized. So they will be in our ward and we were able to get a lot of stuff moved up there. Had some great help from Brother Thompson.
Sunday:
For the last two weeks, the evenings have been in the 70’s and beautiful. Today and yesterday it dropped back to the 60’s. I’m not liking the cold being back.
We also have another Book of Mormon away. #6!  We still have till Wednesday to give out 5 more, so we are ahead of schedule.
Great day. Super busy. Cool quote from Sister Wagner’s sacrament talk that I need to apply to my life (her talk was one of the most amazing, sincere talks I’ve heard in my life), she quoted Capitan Jack Sparrow:  “The problem isn’t the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”  Man is that true.
Scripture of the week: 3 Nephi 11:39-41
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
41 Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth.”
 
I liked this scripture a lot when I read it this week because Christ tells us what his doctrine is in some of the previous verses and if we understand this, and stick to it, then we can withstand all that is thrown at us by the world, by Satan, and anything else that may happen to us. Crazy hard things happen to us as missionaries, and to any normal person. So when we stick to the teachings of Christ, then we can not be overcome by all the bad, hard or impossible struggles that we have. Then, at the end, the apostles are told to declare it to the world. And that applies to us. Especially me as a missionary. But to all those who understand it. I know that when we do build our lives on Christ that we will be able to get through anything that comes up against us. No matter how big or small.

Week 80

Greenie Day, Cheez-Its and Lessons on Being Prepared

Tuesday:

What a great day! Today was greenie day, as in I pretended to be a greenie and Elder Kelson was the trainer. We did this mostly for the purpose of seeing how he did when he completely took over and so I could see what else I needed to teach him. He did great! He knows the area well and did a great job. It was a fantastic day. We met with **** and he is getting married! Not sure when yet but it’s official now. So Happy for him. He will come to the high priest dinner on Friday so that’s great.

We had a lesson with a guy named *** today. Last week we got a text that a lady in our ward’s daughter’s boyfriend wanted to be taught. We went over and he has no Christian background but went to church with his girlfriend a couple times and wants to learn more. Wow! We taught him and he just soaked it in. He is praying about it. It was hard to teach him because he is the second person I’ve ever taught that hasn’t had a religious background so it’s from ground 0 and I don’t know how to teach that very well.

We had many other miracles today as well. Got Book of Mormon number 8 passed out. Wow. That’s a lot.

Even better, to top it off, tonight we went to ***’s.  We have just been giving small lessons and stuff and waiting for her to bring up baptism on her own. Tonight she did! She asked about **** and when he was getting baptized. Then she asked how setting a date worked and eventually after a few more questions she finally said that she wanted to get baptized before I leave. So we are going to meet on Saturday and talk about it further. We are not going to push at all and just let her take steps on her own because that was a problem last time. So she knows that she set it up and wants it for herself. I’m excited. What a great day.

Wednesday:

So this morning I looked Dad up on Facebook as I periodically do to see if you have made another one of those Pursuing Happiness videos. Because they’re too big to send, I just check to see if you posted it. And you had! I watched it. I loved it! Dixon is not that old. That’s got to be Royce. He can’t talk that well! I can tell that a lot has changed since I’ve been gone. Just a lot of little things. Man, I wish I had realized how awesome my family was before I left. Y’all seem like y’all have a lot of fun. And the video doesn’t even show all the little things about being in our family. I’m really excited to see y’all again! Love y’all!

“I learned something about sin today. I tried drowning my sorrows by eating Cheez-Its, and it just made it worse. Like drinking. It doesn’t work.”-Elder Kelson

Besides all that, today was great. District meeting was great as usual. Love seeing all the other missionaries.

After that, we headed (I hope that’s a real word) off to our lesson with ***. It went great. We taught the Plan of Salvation. He took it all in well. We taught simply. Very simply. He read the pamphlet we left him about the lesson we taught yesterday and he had written down a list of questions, which we answered before we taught the lesson. They were amazing questions. Afterwards, we asked about how he was doing with the Book of Mormon and  he said while reading it it hit him how God has been very present in his life and he never realized it! Wow! Oh yeah, and during the lesson we challenged him to baptism and he accepted. We didn’t pick a date because we didn’t think we would be challenging him to it. We asked him if he got and answer that the church and Gospel is true if he would be baptized and he responded immediately that he would. So amazing!

Sadly, we have to turn him over to the sisters because he is YSA age. But that’s ok. As long as he progresses. Then we had our next two lessons cancel on us. That was kind of a downer. I think that’s what put Elder Kelson into his binge eating the Cheez-its. He was struggling for no particular reason. Probably our cancelled lessons and that we have to give up ***. But then as we started studies, the Spanish Elders walked in to our house for something as they do a lot, and they said that they just had something cool happen.

They decided to knock on the door across the street from us. Their plans fell through and Elder Marsh said he saw a Mexican in the steps one time. So they knocked at the house and the guy answered. He said that for the past year or more of missionaries living where we live, he has been waiting for us to knock on his door but we never have. He was super happy to see them and has been deciding what church to go to but doesn’t know. They gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it with his kids every night. He has just been waiting for us the whole time. His wife and kids don’t speak Spanish so they want to be taught in English. So that’s us! Apparently he has observed us over the past year and likes us and is excited to meet with us. Let’s just say that turned Elder Kelson’s day around.

Thursday:

Great day again with more miracles. We got ahold of a less active and she’s fine with us practice teaching her. All of our lessons cancelled on us of course except for one practice teach. But we were able to fill our time because the *******’s needed help with moving furniture and it turned into us helping them with a lot of stuff they couldn’t do. So that was great. We parked on the side of the road on the very edge of our area to put in stuff in our area book and as I did, I got a small thought that we should knock the door. Now, I’ve been really bad about following spiritual promptings. I’m starting to get actual promptings from the Holy Ghost, which I never really have gotten promptings like this before, but I’m starting to get actual, clear promptings. But I always seem to convince myself that it’s just my mind making up things. Then afterwards I realize it’s the spirit. This time, it was very subtle and I almost didn’t but I decided to anyways, even though tracting at night sucks. But we knocked the door and said we are missionaries and the lady said “Can you come back during the day, it would be a lot better then.” 🤔 Yeah, we can.

But the best part, I called Elder Niederhauser a few nights ago to tell him the good news about **** and ***, but he didn’t answer. He called back this morning and I told him and he was really happy. But then he said he had good news for me. ***, our investigator from Citrus Heights is going to get married tomorrow! Apparently after getting Sister ***** got over there (which we started up when I was there) she has been able to work her magic  ***** is going with it! This means that *** can be baptized! Amazing! I hope all goes well tomorrow. I really do. That will make me so happy.

Friday:

So I learned a lesson about being prepared last night. It’s 2:45 in the morning. I’m sound asleep and I’m suddenly awaken by Elder Kelson yelling in his bed. The yelling ends up turning in to short spurts of yells, almost hyperventilating yells. That slowly turns into him, in Rhythm with the short yells, yelling “I should have be been more prepared! Elder Jones, save me!” At which his arm flopped around. I calmly but forcefully said “Elder Kelson, we are not in a teaching appointment. We are in bed asleep.” “What?” he responded. I calmly replied; “We are not in a lesson. We are in our beds sleeping.” There was a pause. Then he spoke. “That makes a lot more sense.” Another long pause of about 20 seconds. Then he let out a painful groan which, being interpreted meant “I just did something dumb, didn’t I?” We didn’t talk about it till the next morning. He remembered almost nothing. Only something about it teaching and that he did something dumb.

So I’m really tired because I went into two houses with cats tonight and they got me reacting. I took a benedryl  and that’s helping but they make me sleepy. But we had lots of planning and Mary’s and a good lesson with ****** and *****.  We also got ahold of some less actives that we have been trying for a while.

Saturday:

We did service for 6 bourse. That was fun. We didn’t end up with time to do most of our studies but we were busy. We got the progress report done. We met with ****** tonight and she is on date for the 17th of March! So excited for her. Pray for her please. I’m sure things will come up, but with God, we can get through them. She is initiating it so it’s all her.

Sunday:

We had lots of studies, had an investigator drop us because she is an atheist, and people not show up for their appointment. Typical day. Church was awesome though. *** and the kids came. *** came. **** came. All great.

Scripture of the week: Malachi 3:10

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

I love this scripture because it applies to more than just tithing. The Lord said to prove him if he will not give you the blessings. That means to test it. Not only just test it. He basically says “Go ahead and try and prove me wrong.” You won’t. You can’t. With any commandment there are blessings attached. We can try and prove him wrong that the blessings won’t come but they will. It’s a really amazing affirmation that blessing come from keeping the commandments. Whenever I keep a commandment I get blessings. I have way more blessings than I deserve. Yea there are things in life that suck. But think of all the amazing things that I do have. I have no reason not to be happy!