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.

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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!

 

Week 77 – Elder Jones

Practice Teaching, Vomit and Trains

Tuesday:
We have been doing well on miles this month. Really well. So we were able to go out into the country (we needed to anyways, and everywhere is the country anyways, but further) and we also had dinner out there. So I enjoyed that. We stopped by some members this morning because we were tracting and they saw us and told us to come over for a drink so they made us hot chocolate (I was freezing to death btw, it was like 50 degrees and a wet kind of cold. I’m sure I sound like a wimp but I’ve gotten adjusted. I’m going to die when I get home). We got to know them better, because we haven’t been able to do that very well. We set up practice teaches with them which is great. We also practice taught the ****** tonight after dinner. They are the ones that asked about recipes for Christmas dinner. They rock. Love them. We practice taught last night too. So that’s yesterday.
Today and Thursday we get to practice teach.  So good. With these, Elder Kelson and I evaluate and even though he doesn’t like getting corrected and I hate correcting him, it has to happen. But he learns really fast from his mistakes. Man was it a lot better tonight. He learns so fast. We had a good discussion about correction and training tonight. We both understand that I have to correct as a trainer and he has to listen. It sucks for him especially but I don’t like it either because I remember how much I hated it and how miserable I felt after and before and during correction from my trainer. It was the hardest thing about being trained. Elder Kelson is a good sport about it though. Man, what a good trainee. How lucky I am.
Wednesday:
Zone Conference today. It was actually a really good Zone Conference. One of the things we talked about was etiquette and manners and because I have the most amazing mother ever who raised me right, I knew all the answers. Like not eating until the hostess eats. President and Sister Ward were impressed with that one. Hehe. But yeah, I learned a lot from the Zone Conference altogether. There is a new thing that will be implemented in our mission that is about reactivating less active Melchizedek priesthood holders and being bold with them with the spirit. It’s kinda cool but not sure about how the whole process goes yet. We will start with it in the next few weeks in our zone.
Now for the bad part. We talked with President Paulson and President Ward and apparently ***** has to get permission from his wife to be baptized. She’s against the church.  I am not sure what to do now. But we will probably fast and pray with him. It really sucks. But, for some reason I feel really peaceful about it, like it’ll be ok and I don’t need to worry about it. I have faith that it will work out. Whether we just have to wait or that we all fast and pray and he is inspired with how to get that from her. I don’t know. It’ll be ok though.
Thursday:
I think it was a good day. Super busy. We had district meeting in the morning. We gave Sister Wilson a blessing afterwards and that held us over a bit. Then we did some studies. Then we went to a practice lesson. That was an awesome practice lesson. We had them pretend they were investigators and they asked hard questions. It was very good for Elder Kelson. The evaluation afterwards that we did must have sucked for him. I hate having to call him out for what he doesn’t do right. But I have to. Then we did studies, then off to dinner. Our lesson with ***** didn’t happen because he hardly got any sleep and couldn’t drive safely. So we met with our ward mission leader, Brother Dewsnup and went over a ton of names and made a list to work on bigger. Oh man, I love having names to go off of. But it was a great day. Very busy, the best.
Friday:
It’s always wonderful to help **** out. Love her. That’s what we did in the morning. We helped take her bed apart and put it back together the right way. Weekly planning after. It was Elder Kelson day to plan and he is learning to make sure we are doing the best thing at the right times. It was hard for me not to tell him what would be great to do because he struggled to find stuff to do, and figured it out when it was too late. But it’s for the best. He’s learning. Got ahold of **** and set up regular days to see them again.
We had to pick some materials up at the sister’s house tonight and they told us that I think today that when they were knocking a door, Sister Thornhill just threw up on their doormat mid-sentence.  It’s probably not funny to you but it’s really funny to me how it happened. She wasn’t even sick. I’m just mentioning it because it was so funny and this is kinda my journal and I want to look back in a few years and be able to remember that that happened.
Saturday:
We contacted a lot today. And a lot more people were welcome to us coming back than normal. Percentage wise it was probably the same. But since we did a lot, there is more to go off of. So we were really busy and worked really hard all day. We drove a lot. My eyes hurt from all the driving.
It was such a beautiful sunshiny day that on the way back from the middle of nowhere we decided to take pictures on the train tracks with the sun shining and the Sutter Buttes in the background because it was so perfect. Because we didn’t want to have farm equipment in the picture, we had to walk a few hundred yards along the tracks. As we were we heard a noise off in the distance. I looked up, saw a single headlight and immediately took off running in the opposite direction. There was a train coming at us. Both sides of the track were muddy marsh and not enough room to just stay in the rocky slope of the railroad tracks because those trains go fast. So we are running along the side of these tracks, on a slope, the ground is Rubixs cube size rocks so we are also slipping and we have to beat the train back to our car or jump in the marsh. Luckily, we made it back in plenty of time so be safe, and even had time to get in the car and wait about 20 seconds. Man, I was scared. But I’m safe. We noticed it while it was still a ways off.
Sunday:
Busy today. Yeah, it was cool to be watching the same broadcast as y’all. Man, there were some cool stories. Especially since I lived through some of those fires, it was cool.
We had to tell ***** that he can’t be baptized yet today. He hid it pretty well on the surface and put on a good game face, but I could tell that he was really disappointed and angry. Man, I have probably never stressed so much about an investigator. Maybe, but man, I’m praying hard and I don’t see a solution yet.
Super proud of Elder Kelson. We were tracting and we saw a family we know had recently moved in because the house was empty for a long time before they came in. They were all out in their yard and I’m the street and so I told Elder Kelson we should talk to them. He said yeah and was set on giving them the Book of Mormon. So we went over and talked to them and Elder Kelson got nervous and said goodbye without sharing the gospel or the Book of Mormon. As we were walking off I asked him why and he said he got nervous and it got a little awkward and he chickened out. I kinda made him feel a little bad about it by just leaving him hanging there to think about it. After that, we went home and started some studies and on his own (yes, it worked), he said, “I want to go back and give him the Book of Mormon.” Yeah! So he wrote our number and highlighted and bookmarked a scripture and we went back and he was prepared with what to say. The guys Mom answered the door and it confused him because he didn’t expect that but he bore a really awkward testimony that was so sincere. After we left, he kept beating himself up over it. I couldn’t be more proud of him. That was a hard thing to do. And I felt the spirit. It was personal. It was his own words. Man, he is awesome.
I love all the wonderful stories I’ve been getting from y’all. I’m putting it together and probably will do something with them. Man, I love all these spiritual experiences. Especially the chainsaw with the accompanying metaphor. I’m going to have to think about that one a lot more.
Scripture of the week:
Maybe it’s more like modern day scripture but it’s the best thing I saw all week. It’s from the October 89 Conference by Richard G. Scott called “Learning to recognize answered to prayers”.  Amazing talk.  I’ve read it a lot but I reread it a few times this week because I love it.
My favorite quote:
“When He answers yes, it is to give us confidence.
When He answers no, it is to prevent error.
When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth. We are expected to assume accountability by acting on a decision that is consistent with His teachings without prior confirmation. We are not to sit passively waiting or to murmur because the Lord has not spoken. We are to act.”
 
And is that ever true. We have been given the light of Christ and judgment. Let’s use it. My answers are more often than not a withholding of an answer. So if you don’t get an answer, do something. If you take a step in the wrong direction, he will stop you. But we need to act. Faith is a principle of action. So act.
Luva!

Week 77 – Elder Jones

P-Day, Mike and Mud

 

Tuesday:
Yesterday we go to have a normal p-day. It was such a relief. We played a lot of board games and other games and it was such a blast.
Today was a little different. I had Elder Kelson take on a lot more responsibility today and lead the entire day. We will be doing this every other day for the rest of our time together. He did a pretty good job. He had some great ideas. We found another person that was ok with us coming back. We are setting up more practice teaches. We are getting more solid stuff with ******. That’s a lot of what happened today.
Thursday:
We got stuck in the mud on the side of the road today. What was cool was that earlier today we stopped by someone that was on the side of the road and we couldn’t help her but we tried. When we were stuck the same thing happened. A guy stopped right away and he tried helping but he couldn’t get us out. The rope snapped. So we called some members to bail us out and after 45 minutes since we first got stuck, we were out. It was really easy, just too hard for he Corolla by itself. The cool part was that it was kinda like the golden rule Jesus taught. We tried helping someone in the morning and when we were stuck, someone tried helping us.
We had a lesson with **** and went over the baptismal interview questions. One of them he wasn’t sure about, but is praying for an answer. It’s Joseph Smith being a prophet. But he is smart enough to figure it out. The last question kinda scared him though. It talks about are you ready to accept the commitment of being a member and stuff. He is praying hard. But he did get down to no coffee today. This was his first day without it.
Friday:
We did Weekly Planning. Elder Kelson lead it and he did a great job. We were busy and ended up having some car troubles and I got some of those fixed.
We had a lesson with **** and it’s so good to be able to meet with him again. We are getting him back on track and also invited him to church. It’ll be hard for him because it’s in the middle of his sleeping time and he is so tired.
Saturday:
We had to go way out into the country to contact some people and that was fun. One of them said we could come back. We also helped a less active lady move and she has been not friendly with the church but she let some ward members help her move and it went fast afterwards, she told us at least twice to come and visit her. That was a miracle.
We finally made it to the Reamer’s for dinner. They invited the ward mission leader and his wife. That was fun. She had Mormon music playing in the background and that blessings song came in. The one that Mom always listens to on Pandora and I would go and skip it if  nobody was around because I got tired of it. But I heard it and I loved it because all I remember is Mom singing to it and loving it so much that it made me happy. Love you!
Sunday: Oh yeah, I forgot to say this for yesterday but yesterday I hit my year and a half mark. That’s super scary. Aahhh! I don’t even know what more to say about that. It’s weird.
**** still hasn’t had any coffee. He’s doing great. It’s hard but starting to get better.
Cats. Oh cats. Yeah it’s a challenge (This in reference to my allergic reaction last week at someone’s home, we both have the same thing that happens). The Lord has protected me a lot more than I thought. We go into a lot of houses with cats and hair everywhere. I just try not to touch anything, wash my hands a lot and sit on the edge of my seat. I still break out sometimes, so I take a Benedryl and shower. It’s really hard but I’ve been blessed a lot to not have to deal with it much. It still happens a few times a month but I’m mostly good.
Scripture of the week (I’m going to try and make this a thing): D&C 6:23-24
Sometimes we already have the answer and so the answer to our current question is: “I’ve already told you it’ll be alright. Trust me.” Trust God. Don’t just believe in him, believe him. Man will you be blessed. I am filled with love.
I think it goes really well with how I knew the gospel was true. When I was searching for my solid answer about the gospel, eventually, after pleading with God for an answer for a while, with a lot of sincerity, the answer I got was that I already knew the Gospel was true.  I can testify with confidence to all that I meet, looking them dead in the eye and telling them the truth, that this is Christ’s church and that he lives.
 I am loving all these scriptures and quotes I’ve gotten from you too. It’s been really up lifting. I’ve been struggling to do all the right things as a trainer and I can’t seem to do it all right or get there. Church yesterday gave me revelation and personal studies had put me in the right path that I just need to focus even more on the work and on the Gospel. I get distracted easily, and I need to focus more.
I want everyone in the family to send me their favorites scripture, why it’s their favorite, and bear testimony of it. Can y’all do that?
Luva!

Week 72 – Elder Jones

Transfers, Marstons and Temple!

Thursday:
Wow. I’m a little behind. It’s been probably the craziest week of my mission. I headed toward the temple on Tuesday night to go stay with Elder Moon who also taught ***.   I stayed the night and President Kenny took us to the temple. He also gave us the news that President Marston (my first mission Pres.) was going to be there. I got out of getting changed and there he was! Since the temple is out of the boundaries President Marston was able to come. He went through the temple with *** and so did Sister Marston. It was awesome. I was afraid *** wouldn’t understand anything and be super overwhelmed and confused, but in the Celestial Room she was just so happy and it seemed like she comprehended a lot. She just said she was so happy. I got to see one of the temple videos I haven’t ever seen. It was so good to be able to go to the temple after so long. It’s a bigger temple than I thought it would be, so beautiful. I’m so happy for ***.  Then she got sealed to her parents. I’ve never seen a sealing, so that was amazing. The Marstons acted as her parents.  We saw a ton of members from Rush Park Ward. One of the temple workers was from my Yuba City Ward. It was great to see those people. So grateful! I needed that a lot. I would type more but I am so tired so I will move on.
Friday:
We went to Mary’s today. Since it’s the last week of the transfer she had the sewing stuff ready. She made ties for all the elders and aprons for the sisters. My tie is so cool. She always finds out what missionaries like and and makes tons off of it.
We did weekly planning too. After that we had a lesson in Biggs and it was great! It was a less active and he nonmember daughter and they are super positive and she’s been reading the Book of Mormon occasionally and want to become active in church and we will be doing family home evening with them. It looks like there’s a lot of potential there. They are awesome. Great personalities and a lot of fun. Our personalities really click well together.
Saturday: We had the Oroville Ward Christmas breakfast in the morning and that was a blast. Sat on Santa’s lap. I told him I want the Gospel to be spread to the whole earth for Christmas.
Then we did some work in Oroville. Then we made it to Gridley for the tail end of the light the world booth down there. It’s in the Zone leaders area and got someone for us to teach. So that’s great!
Then we had the Ward Christmas party for my Ward. It was a blast. We were able to show the light the world video on the projector. We had tri-tip for the dinner and it was great. I’m fat.
When we got home I was filling out the progress record and the phone started ringing in my pocket. Because my wonderful trainer had sent me an email a week and a half earlier, I knew what it was. President Ward told me I’m training and it means I’m almost sure to stay in Gridley. We will get the official transfer board tomorrow. I’m excited.
Sunday:
Today was good though. Lots of church.
Mom, a goat head is just a really thick thorn that punctures bike tires really easily because it doesn’t snap because of how it is built. It’s really sturdy. My foot got better after I got ahold of some hydrogen peroxide.
Merry Christmas, Luva!