Week 58 – Elder Jones

Smoke, Catfish and The longest Week Ever

This is what happens when you’re iPad gets stolen by missionaries…. ūüôā

Reading the blog and crying some for Charlotte. I hadn’t seen some of
those pictures. It hurt.
I also love seeing Dixon in every few blogs, wearing the lifeguard
visor that I gave him and Royce. That really makes me happy to see
that either he likes it or remembers me.

Wednesday: I don’t even feel bad about missing yesterday. And that’s
because I didn’t leave the apartment once. Or my pajamas. I was really
really sick. It was horrible. Monday night, we finished dinner and
very soon after I started biking I just started feeling sick. It came
on fast. We kept going and got worse and worse so we came in early.
The next morning it was so bad I had to sleep in and I could hardly do
anything. My throat hurt so bad and my mind was really clouded which
turned into a headache and my nose was super clogged up and I was
sneezing a lot. Elder Kerby was completely fine. I called the Zone
leaders so see if they could go buy me some Sudafed. Turns out they
had some because one of them was sick with the same thing. And it was
the one I had gone on exchanges with a few days earlier. So we assumed
that we had picked something up from someone we had visited.  Then they came over and since his companions was fine as well, Elder Kerby and Elder Robbins went out and worked all day while Elder Christenson and I stayed in our apartment and died. I slept a lot. I thought I would
be able to get to sleep last night but I slept ok. So we just stayed
in all say and laid on the couches. It was horrible.
This morning when Elder Robbins and Elder Christenson came to pick us
up for District Meeting, they told us they had talked to their Ward
Mission Leader the day before. When they said they were sick their
ward mission leader told them what it was. He used to be a fire
fighter for the Forest fires in the area and knew quite a bit about
that stuff. He pointed out that it had been the smokiest it has been
all summer. We knew that but didn’t make the connection. We didn’t
realize how bad it was. What happened is that the Delta Breeze (a wind
current that runs up through the valley of California and up further)
has taken all the smoke from the forest fires that are going on in
Sacramento, Gridley, Oroville, Redding and everywhere else, even from
the fires in Canada, and basically pulled all of it into the Auburn
area. So it was a lot smokier than normal. As I write this, I’m
looking outside and the sky isn’t blue, it’s white. If you look off
into the distance, it looks like it’s overcast. But look straight up,
it’s white. So what happens is that the smoke makes everyone feel more
tired than usual, because if the bad air quality. Everyone in Auburn
is being warned in TV to stay indoors or in a car as much as possible.
Elder Kerby and Elder Robbins said they have felt a little more tired
than normal. But the reason why Elder Christenson and I got sick is
because we both breath through our mouths. I do this because my nose
is broken. I don’t remember why he does but the smoke just came in a
wrecked our lungs and made us horrendously sick. This morning I feel a
whole lot better after staying inside all day. But I can’t go outside
because I would be on a bike. I feel pretty good compared to yesterday
but if I went out and worked then I would get really sick again.
So we had to stay in most of the day. We did some administrative stuff
with lists but it’s hard not having any connection. At 5 a high priest
went out with us and we saw some people for an hour and a half. Then
we had dinner with the youth and they asked us questions about the
mission and about it. It was an awesome opportunity to help the youth
see that we are normal people and are just like them and that they can
reach their potential.  Yeah, but all of that was inside a car or building, where the air is better filtered. Tomorrow should be spent some inside and some doing what work we can with lessons.

Thursday: I did not sleep well last night. Yesterday there was this
huge wall of fog up north and I woke up this morning and it was here.
I was coughing all night last night. I had to go sleep on the couch to
stop the coughing. My throat feels like it has permanent damage. I’m
sure it doesn’t but it feels like it.
Well right now I’m not feeling the best. Physically I am.
Mentally and emotionally, nope. The upside to the day: An awesome
member of our ward that made the Panamanian dinner for Elder Kerby
made a southern meal for me this time. Fried catfish and grits. It was
amazing. I love her so much. And my favorite ice cream to top it off.
That was amazing. The down side: Everything else! It wasn’t a horrible
day, it’s just everything is building up. We started off the day with
a lesson with ****. It went horribly. The spirit wasn’t there at all
and he is not open to change or to new ideas which makes him
unteachable. He just wants to prove his points and not find answers. I
was trying to just focus on the spiritual part but Elder Kerby and I
ended up wanting to do different things in the lesson so we weren’t on
the same page. It just went horribly and nobody got anywhere. I got
very, very, very frustrated and had to leave the room (thankfully we meet
with him over the phone so **** didn’t know I left) and I was just
super stressed. I just sat there and solved the rubix cube a million
times. That sucked. Then we ended up going to a lesson for a older
lady who is awesome and it was good. She is a member that isn’t very
mobile. But after that we were stuck at the apartment all afternoon.
We ended up calling a ton of members to see if we could have people
come out with us over the next few days. But being stuck in the
apartment for three days when you normally work really hard is tough.
I don’t feel the best physically but I am losing all my motivation.
Elder Kerby is having a hard time too.¬†¬†And I’m just sick
and tired of a lot of things. ****** and **** especially. I feel like we
are doing so much but not getting anywhere. Now we aren’t able to do
anything so we really can’t get anywhere. Right now I feel like nobody
is actually progressing. Neither Kerby nor I are doing well at this
very moment. We were both really…. I don’t even know the word.
Stressed maybe? Nothing is clear to me. It’s just hard. Hopefully I’ll
be fine in the morning.

Friday: It was a great day. We had an awesome lesson with Craig smith.
We just answer some questions he had and it went great. We did some
weekly planning. That was fun. Then we went around with a ward member.
This morning we tried biking to a lesson and it was really hard. It
got hard to breath. So I can’t bike yet. I can be outside, I just
can’t bike yet. But we went around with a ward member and got some
appointments set up with people. Then we went to a lesson. It went
amazing. It was probably the best Elder Kerby and I have taught
together yet we are teaching three kids and they love it and soak it
all in. The Spirit was really there which was amazing and what we
needed after the hard day yesterday. It was awesome. They comprehended
a lot of it as far as we could tell. And we taught it in a short time.
It was amazing. Such a good lesson. We went out to some restaurant
with members and in come another couple as sit down in the next booth,
and with them was the Zone Leaders. So that was really funny and
great. But it was a great day.

Saturday: We weren’t able to do much at all today. We had Brother
Baldridge take us out and drive us around so we could do some work.
Besides that we’re weren’t really able to do much. We filled out some
reports and stuff.  I realized how slowly the week has gone by.
It’s been sooooo slow. ¬†The week hasn’t been way too torturous but I realized that it has been forever since the last Sunday. It seems like ages

Sunday: Today was the primary program. It was awesome. Love little kids!
We tried to drop *****’s tonight. It didn’t quite work. It was hard. But
we both feel we need to drop him. It was a complicated situation. But
we are going to drop him this upcoming week. That’s most of the day.
Elder Kerby and I got especially fat this week with no workout.



Week 57 – Elder Jones

Interviews, Eric and Tired

Tuesday: Well, it was a great day! We started off the day with
interviews. It went very well. It’s the best interview I’ve ever had
with a mission president. It just went really well. We talked about
important things and we were both edified by the Spirit. He is such an
amazing mission president and cares so much to learn about us and our
investigators. He even prays for *****. If he does that, he must be
praying for a lot of people.
We found this cool new guy names C*****. We were going down a street
and some guy stopped us to ask if we were Mormons. We said yes and he
said he loves us because we always smile. We talked with him and he
went to church once in Lincoln and he is halfway through the Book of
Mormon. He reads it every once in a while. So we asked if we could
come by another time and talk with him about it and he hesitated then
it was almost as if the Spirit came up behind him with a rolled up
newspaper and smacked him upside the head with it, then he said:
“Actually I would like to meet with you.” And we scheduled something for
Friday. So that was cool. We met some other cool people today as well.
I hurt a lot today biking because I played really hard on Monday. We
played ultimate frisbee.
Update on E****: We called him this morning and he said that he didn’t
want to continue with us anymore, he had some excuses and stuff that
are concerns but not that big. We talked it over with him and he ended
up saying he will keep going with us. He is really, really stressed and
in a really horrible situation. We found out a lot and his situation
today and it’s really hard for him and Satan is attacking him hard.
Tonight we had a ward missionary that is amazing go and drop off a
plate of cookies. We are trying our best to help him.

Wednesday: Elder Kerby and I have been working in talking to everyone
we can. It’s still so hard to do, and no matter how long I am out or
anyone is out, it will still be hard. But we did a lot better today.
We contacted a lot and rode a lot. We had an awesome lesson with a
less active and his wife. They were especially friendly today even
thou we thought it would be a rough lesson because we brought a member
with us and they are in a touchy situation. So it went really well.
I love it when members that feed us have been on missions. I love
hearing Mission stories because they motivate me and make me happy.
That’s why I read a lot of missionary articles in magazines and ask
people about their missions. If you want to Dad, you could write up
some stories from your mission and send them to me. Or any cool
missionary stories that y’all or anyone finds, I would love to hear
them. Anytime during the week, just send me one if you find any.

Thursday: I’m exhausted. We biked a lot today and had so much
scheduled. We started out by biking up the mountain to go do an hour
and a half of service, mostly digging and such, then came back down.
We had a lesson with Jim, which actually went really well. We have
been able to talk less about deep doctrine and specific scriptures and
more on how we can feel the spirit testify to us. We got through a
third of the Restoration, but at least we started one of the lessons
with him. Then we rushed up another mountain to a lesson and then off
to another lesson. Then we biked along this road that goes up and down
half of the mountain like 4 times. It took us a half hour to get
there. That lesson cancelled and then we biked back where we came from
over the steep endless hills and to dinner. I had a lot of energy
during it all actually. It wasn’t bad. It was great. And it felt so
good outside. ¬†My body has gotten way too adjusted to the heat. It’s
100 degrees out and we are biking up these massive hills and I think it’s the perfect temperature for biking. It’s going to be hard going home to
y’alls climate.
One of our lessons was with B****. He wanted to read the scriptures
where the Jaredite civilization gets wiped out. So we took him to
Ether 12 and it started out with faith. For some reason, all of our
lessons with him end up centered on that subject. He is starting to
get it and really wants to know if there is a higher power. So it is
all working well with him.

Saturday: Sorry for not writing yesterday. We started exchanges
yesterday and I didn’t have time to write. But exchanges were good. I
went to Auburn 2nd ward with my Zone Leader, Elder Christenson. It was
nice to have a car for a day. Elder Christenson is from Florida so we
had some awesome talks about the South. I was able to be a witness at
a baptism for the first time, and I wasn’t even in that ward. That was
cool. We went and talked to a lot of people. We did some tracting.
People didn’t like us this morning when we knocked on their door. Oh
well. I’m just really tired right now and I need sleep.

Sunday: Well what a day, for at least part of it. All after dinner.
We decided to stop by and see E****. We found out that he is going
through a really hard divorce and it’s not going well. He has been so
stressed. But we ended up just stopping by randomly to see him. He is
doing a little bit better stress wise. And he has been studying the
church just as intensely. But he got into anti stuff lately. So that
was a fun conversation. He still wants to meet with us and he is still
seeking to know if the church is true. ¬†We are going to study and see what we can do to help him. He is still really understanding about it. So it’s shouldn’t be as hard as ****. Speaking
of ****, we had a lesson with him tonight, it went well, we taught some
more of the restoration and he had some sincere questions that weren’t
really attacky, but he is still stuck on the same Jehovah being
Heavenly Father thing, but he has a lot of scriptures to back him up.
We do too but we are avoiding going that way because we are trying to
teach by the spirit and not by proving. And I have been able to
understand him better. So I can help teach a whole lot more.
That’s about it.

Week 56 – Elder Jones

Sisters, PTSD and Blogs

Tuesday: Elder Leathers, my second companion, finished his mission
today. He’s home now. That’s my first companion to go home so far.
That’s weird. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been out that long. A ton of other missionaries I know went home too. So that’s weird.
We got sisters in the zone finally. They are actually in our complex.
I think they are the only sisters in the mission in a truck.
We went to contact someone today and this kid set up a lemonade stand
and he put a little piece of paper on it, I thought it was for price but
apparently he was selling “sandwiches”. He had put cream cheese all
over this piece of bread and cut it up to like 7 pieces and put an
olive or a pickle on it. Best dollar I ever spent. It was not tasty at
all but he was so cute and it made him so happy.
I have PTSD. We rode down this huge hill to contact someone and we go
and knock on the door and nobody answers. Elder Kerby and I start
talking quietly while we wait to see if someone would come. Elder
Kerby turned to me to say something. That’s about when I see through
the glass of the front door, a door on the inside of the house off of
the living room and a teenage girl comes….. all she
had on was a bra. I walked to my bike and ran away. It was horrible.
But does it end there, you may ask? Oh no, this is missionary life. Of
course it doesn’t end there. After we go back up the hill to contact
someone else, who ended up not living there, a car drives by asking if
the church could give them gas money. We told them no and they said ok
and kept driving. At the end of the street I see the car stop so I
look up. A girl gets out if the back seat and walks around the car.
And her pants were about 9 inches too low. Then she bent over to check
the wheel or something and then they were definitely too low. It was a
very surprising day and I have PTSD.

Wednesday: We had a good district meeting today. Elder Kerby is
district leader now and that’s good. We also have sisters in our
district. That helps control things a little, when it’s all guy. ¬†With our last district leader, it could get a little out of hand but
thankfully it’s better now. We had a meeting with the Zone Leaders
today. Elder Kerby and I plan very differently and have different
opinions on weekly planning and how it should be done. We have
differing opinions mostly because of our mission experiences. Neither
of us are wrong, we just needed to find a solution. This is about the
only thing that we don’t agree on in missionary work so we asked the
Zone Leaders to help us with that. It’s not a problem that causes us not get along, it is just something we needed help with. So all is
good. We contacted a lot today, we ended up going out pretty far
trying to find someone but the house had a gate so we couldn’t get in.
We had a high priest take us out and drive us to some people that we
can’t bike to. I’m super,tired right now.

Thursday: Today was a pretty solidish day. We did some service in the
morning and then went to a lesson at a less active’s house. We are
trying to get him to church but he never seems to be able to make it.
His name is C*****. We have some suits that a member gave us that
are too big for us so we said we would bring them by and see if they
fit. Later, we did and they didn’t fit. But he seemed excited about it.
So we will see if we can get him one that fits. Maybe that will help.
We are probably dropping A******. We don’t think he is
accountable and he just isn’t progressing anyway. So that’s sucks. But
we might keep him. We will talk about it tomorrow.
We had a good lesson with B*****. He always kinda seemed like he
doesn’t want us to be there at the beginning but he is very into it at
the end. He seems like he can make some good progress. He needs to
gain a little more desire and he can really progress.

Friday: Today was awesome! It was just a spiritual day. Especially by
the end. I got this awesome article from Elder Robbins about becoming
a consecrated missionary.  Man did that talk humble me. The spirit
just kept calling me out and saying to work on everything. There’s so much I have that I can do to be better. I can be so much better. I am
really not as good at everything as I wish I was. I want to get there.
Such a cool talk.
We had an awesome service this morning. We went to the local airport
and helped clear out a hanger of stuff and move it to another hangar.
There were some awesome planes there. A lot of them were from like he
40’s and 50’s and are restored. There were some really cool planes.
Apparently the guy, I don’t remember his name right now, that broke
the sound barker lives really close to here. Right over in Grass
Valley, in our stake. So that’s cool.
We did a lot of planning and organized today.
We had a good lesson with a less active member about enduring to the
end and it was great. I think that the best part of he day though, was
companion study. It was just awesome. After such an amazing personal study, Elder Kerby and I got into a really awesome
deep conversation and it just edified me. It was so cool. And Elder
Kerby is funny. We were in the middle of a super deep spiritual
conversation and the Spirit was there and we were super deep into it and
suddenly he freaks out at his bike sitting on there other side of the
room. It had a flat tire hat he had just fixed twice and went flat
again. But he just freaked out while I’m the middle of this. ¬† He has ADHD so it was funny. But that ended it, which is good because we went over
time anyways. But it was really funny.  It was such an awesome day.

Saturday: Going back and reading old blogs in my downtime this morning
was so much fun. Y’all are so funny. I just sit there and laugh and
Elder Kerby looks at me weird.
Went to a ward baptism this morning. It was cool. We got to
give a talk in it. We did a lot of administrative stuff today. Elder
Kerby and I had a frisbee war in our apartment using Tupperware lids.
It was fun. Then he started acting like a pirate because he put some rag
looking thing on his head. He looks like a real Hispanic pirate.

Sunday: We had an awesome sacrament meeting. It was all youth. 5
speakers. It was awesome. All of them were told to choose a topic from
the For Strength of Youth. They did such an awesome job.
We kept trying to see people throughout the rest if the day. Had some
good conversations.

Monday: This morning was awesome. We went disc golfing as usual. But I
got a brand new disc. And it’s such a good disc that most of the holes
I overshoot in the first throw. On the last hole I overshot on my
first throw my a hundred feet. It’s amazing.
I also was just informed a few minutes ago that we are going to be
getting Facebook in the mission. I don’t have details but it’s
officially happening.

Week 55 – Elder Jones

Over Golden Investigator, Zone Conference and Mongolian BBQ



Tuesday: Today was just long. We biked. A lot. Contacted and tracted.
We had 5 lessons set up and only 2 happened. They were both basically
just check up lessons. Our bodies did not want to bike and move but
that’s what we did.

Wednesday: Ok. I don’t even know where to begin. Wow. Ok. So, we got a
text for a referral while we were grabbing our bikes. We read it, then
we got a call from the people who sent it. It was the SLC sisters.
Apparently they call for, a man named E****, who called the member on
Mormon.org. He said to them that he had studied the gospel for here
months and wanted to be baptized. They put him on date and called us.
We were able to meet with him an hour later. He said that he was at a
used book store or a place hat sells used books and saw a bible that
was unusually large. It was a quad. He saw all the other books in it
and bought it. And he read he book of Mormon maybe a few times, the
pearl of great price, the doctrine and covenants. And he read the
Bible a ton growing up. And he became intrigued. So he studied the
church on his own. Very in depthly. He read Jesus  the Christ and
Mormon doctrine and a ton of other things. He studied the gospel for
three months very in depth. He has read church literature than I have.
And he believes it all and the spirit has prepared him so well. He
said that it’s just pulling at him and he can’t escape. All his live
he has made choices that are in line with the church because of logic
basically. And now it’s starting to click. Since he started studying
the church, he has been having dreams about him being at a party and
him not drinking and smoking and people ask him why and he doesn’t
know besides that he can’t. He also is having dreams about him seeing
the temple and him needing to go there and going towards it and the
dream ending right before he goes there. He really wants the temple so
bad. He found out about baptism for the dead and can’t get it out of
his mind. He asked if there is a limit to how many can be done at
once. He wants to go do it for 8 hours straight he said. He said he
wants to save as many deceased people as fast as he can. So he will
get baptized probably at the beginning if the month.

Thursday: We dropped B**** today.  It just
felt so right, we went in and he had a question about the Book of
Mormon which we answered and then showed us some false doctrine he
found online and we helped resolve that. I’m the end, he just wanted
to stick to the Bible because he felt comfortable with that and didn’t
want to change. And the Spirit was there and it felt right.  He is still
friendly with us and gave us cookies and if we have questions with the
Bible we need help with, we can go to him. And same for him about he
Book of Mormon. The spirit was there and it’s all ok.
E***** called today and he was super excited because he found out his
deceased grandma was Mormon. He was so pumped and called just to tell
us that. We also set up a chapel tour with him for tomorrow.

Friday: Zone Conference today. It was awesome to see some of the
people from my first area. Elder Rawson, Elder Duseigneur and Elder
Robinette were all there and we had a blast. But Elder Rawson and
Robinette go home really soon. And my trainer in less than six months.
All my friends are going home. Hat made me realize that time is
starting to pass and I actually have been out a year.
President Ward, our mission president, is so funny. He’s awesome. A cool quote: “Tithing is paid by faith and not by money.” ¬†Wow.
We had a referral from the Zone Leaders of an entire family. We met
them but they had to leave. They seem pretty open to us.
We also had another crazy call. Some guy called us and said he has
been studying the church on his own for the last 18 weeks. He finally
decided to get ahold of missionaries. But his wife is very anti and so
he is doing his behind her back kinda. We have to meet with him over
the phone. He talked with us for an hour and he knows a lot. He read 3
Nephi and loved it so much he finished he rest if the Book of Mormon.
Then he started at the beginning and is in the end of alma. We have a
phone appointment tomorrow at noon. But he knows a lot and loves it.
It’s a lot like E****. It’s weird that they both called in two days of
each other.

Saturday: Well, we had another lesson with J******. He said he believes
all the words of the Book of Mormon. He does have a question that is
very difficult to answer without getting  into very deep doctrine. So
that will be a tough one.
Besides that, we contacted. All day. From noon till dinner. About 6
hours. That was an adventure. We had dinner with the Baldridges. It
was awesome. They took us to Mongolian BBQ. I love them so much.
Riding back home with them in their mini van was like being with my
family and having one if my friends there. They are my favorite family
in the mission. And I’ve only been here a transfer.

Sunday: E**** loved church! He said it was a lot to take in and he was
still processing but in a good way. It all made sense to him and
connected a ton of dots! It was amazing and one of my favorite
Sunday’s out here. This afternoon we found a new investigator. He was
hang’in out with his friend, another investigator we have, and he was
there for the spiritual thought and said he liked reading and seemed
kinda interested. So we will see where that goes. His name is N*****.

Today: We went frisbee golfing. That’s what we already did. But, we
are getting lunch now. We got a good video while playing.

Week 54- Elder Jones

Tires, Migraines and Collars

I made a goal to try to write a little bit every day. So I’m going to
try a different approach.

Tuesday: We biked a lot. We were both feeling sick the night before
and there were some leftover effects in the morning. That was a hard
morning. We rode out to a far street and T***** didn’t answer the door
for his appointment. That was the appointment that was going to get us
through the upcoming months. That’s bad. We contacted a little more
and ate lunch. Our bodies weren’t handling it too well. We went tracting on this cool street on a steep hill. We met a guy named D**** and he works on bikes. He said the JW’s come to his house a lot. We told him we weren’t the JW’s and he said he had a few LDS friends. We asked him if he knew about the Book of Mormon. We ended up on one of the coolest and most sincere discussions about the Book of Mormon I’ve had yet. ¬†We gave it to him to read and set up a return appointment. I’m excited for him.

We also ran into a Catholic tracting. He wasn’t interested but we were
very dehydrated so we asked for water and he invited us in and gave us
some awesome lemon water, cut up a watermelon and had us eat it.  Then he gave us the rest in a bag. What a cool guy.

It was so hot that these little parts of my shoe that are supposed to be permanently glued on, came off because the it melted. It was a little bit inconvenient but I still don’t mind the heat.
Wednesday: ¬†It was Elder Kerby’s birthday. He is 20. Happy Birthday!
I actually pretended it was Christmas and got the whole district to do
the same. Haha. But Sister Baldridge is my favorite person in the
ward. She came to give me some butter and I told them that it was his birthday and she asked what his favorite dessert was and made it. I love her. She reminds of you Mom.

Thursday: We had a lesson with this guy that really knows his bible.
He is really happy where he is but loves missionaries and will read
what we ask him to and do what we ask him to like pray about the church.
It was a really busy day today though. We hardly had any time to do
anything but go to lessons. So that was awesome.
Hey, I found out why missionaries are required to wear collars. It’s a
safety thing. They want us to stay cool. When it’s 105 out and you’re
in hill city and you’re covered in sweat, the collar acts as a cooling
towel. It captures the sweat and keeps it there and it pretty cooling.
Elder Kerby takes two showers a day. We are always covered in sweat. I
don’t mind it. I really don’t mind the heat here even if it’s 105 all


Sorry I skipped yesterday. I started to have a headache when
we were contacting people. Then my body felt off. I kept going though,
trying to push it off. But I still ended up with a migraine. It was
mostly downhill to get back home and so I thought I would make it even
though we were really far away. As we were going down the highway
that we have to ride we were going really fast and something put an
inch long gash in my tire and it blew up. So we were stranded and
none of the missionaries with cars could pick us up for a while. And I
was dying of a migraine. All cars sounded so loud. We eventually made
it back and I felt like I was going to die. So I didn’t have time to
Saturday:  The day went well. We met with D**** again and were able to
teach most of the Restoration to him, but very out of order. I hope he
comes to church tomorrow. We usually have to make a lot of long bike
rides on Saturday to invite people all over the place to church. We
accidentally broke the Word of Wisdom today. There’s this sparkling
juice drink that I’ve had every once in awhile on my mission, so
has Elder Kerby and so have a ton of members. A less active gave us
some and we were drinking it and Kerby noticed that it has green tea
extract in it. Whoops. He signaled for me to stop drinking it. We both
had had like half of it though. It’s weird because my whole mission I
had no idea and neither did he.

Sunday: That was probably the hardest fast Sunday in my life. After
fasting at church, we rode all around the mountains here. We moved so
slowly. But we have been working on expecting miracles. Our miracle
wasn’t the one we expected. We had enough names lined up for almost
two hours, which is how much time we had. We normally would never
finish those names. We finished them in a half hour. And we were
moving really, slowly. That was a cool miracle. At dinner with the
second counselor, he asked if we could practice teach his ten year old
son who has been reading Preach my Gospel. Instead, we practiced taught
his family and had him teach with us like a missionary. He did such an
amazing job. He has one if the best testimonies I’ve heard in the
mission, and he’s ten! When he serves, he is going to be absolutely
Later, as we were at Starbucks getting wifi by the curb, there was
this car right next to us and the people looked kinda shady.
Eventually one if the guys in the car asked about our bikes and we
started talking to him about bikes. One of the girls there joined us.
Eventually we talked to her about our mission and found out she is
from Chattanooga. So we clicked well and talked about Chattanooga for
a bit. ¬†It was probably the easiest conversation I’ve had with a random
stranger on my whole mission. Somehow Elder Kerby lead it perfectly
into talking about the gospel. We offered to leave our number with her
so if she or anyone she know is interested, she could call us. I have
two kinds of pass along cards. I reached for one to write our number
down on one but I felt like I should grab the other one, with the temple on it.  So I did and when she looked at it, her eyes lit up and she said she
had been there and seen the Salt Lake Temple and loved it. Thanks
Spirit! So it was a really cool conversation. Hopefully something will
come of it. I don’t know. Something felt good about it.

Monday: We are about to go disc golfing I haven’t read your emails yet
but I’ll do that when I can. We just stopped to grab wifi.


Week 49 and 50 – Elder Jones

Week 49

New Misson President, Emus and Basketball

Hey y’all!

Good week this week. Felt kinda slow but it was still good. ¬†So I have kinda been slacking this transfer when it comes to¬†improving. Of course, I’m always making progress and the work has been¬†getting better, but I’ve just been going along and doing what I was¬†supposed to. My studies have not been as in depth as they should and I¬†haven’t been critiquing myself and focusing on how I can improve each¬†part of being a missionary. I realized that this week and I have¬†flipped it around. The way I talk to people is different, my quote¬†wall has doubled, my studies have so much more of a purpose and are¬†more effective, I find myself studying articles throughout the day any¬†spare minute I can and my desire to work has even increased. I have¬†been going to missionary issues of the New Era because they have a lot¬†of good advice for people preparing to serve and those already¬†serving. Those articles lead to some really awesome talks. I started¬†with the May 2013 New Era and took it really slowly. A cool article¬†from that is called “Mission life”. It explains a lot of the¬†aspects and the things we do Day to day. It’s been awesome. I kinda¬†have lost some of my fire while being with Elder Gardner, but I don’t want to¬†let that happen anymore. I won’t let it happen anymore.

I did something on my missionary bucket list. We were tracting and¬†came around a street to start. There was this Dad and his two sons¬†playing basketball. Before we even knocked on the first door I heard¬†the Dad say to his kids “I bet they would want to play” so I turned¬†around and said you know what, we will. Elder Gardner was covering his eyes¬†and saying “oh no” at this point because we both suck at basketball even¬†though he is tall. But we emptied our pockets and untucked our shirts¬†and played. ¬†We creamed them. It was like that video that went¬†around a few years back. We wrecked them and had an awesome¬†conversation and got all their info and they said we could come and¬†play again and so we are going to bring some more missionaries and¬†play, and if we win, they have to listen to one of the lessons. ¬†It was awesome.

We were tracting this week, as we have to because that’s the best way¬†to find right now, and we were in a neighborhood with a lot of¬†Punjabis in it. Knocked on lots of doors and one of the doors, another¬†Punjabi family answered. ¬†They wanted to watch the video about¬†Christ. We were so surprised because none of the Punjabis ever listen¬†to missionaries. We showed it to them and they loved it and said we¬†could come back. We came back on Saturday and taught them a lesson and¬†a half. ¬†They want us to come back. There are a lot of people in the¬†house and only the younger two generations listen to us. But it is¬†amazing that they want to listen to us. And they are progressing¬†investigators. There are almost never Punjabi investigators that¬†actually progress. So this is amazing. We will go back this week and¬†teach them more. Its hard to teach complex subjects to them,¬†but they are the most promising people yet.

The area is great. We found three new investigators this week with¬†more to come. ¬†It’s awesome.

Elder Gardner and I have gotten really good at silent communication.  In meetings, lessons, even just talking to members, we can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking its cool.

I was in ward council yesterday when it hit me, its fast Sunday! I had¬†already eaten breakfast when got up and it was too late. I was kind of¬†mad at myself. I couldn’t believe I had completely forgotten and not¬†remembered until then. Well, I found out why later. When I got your¬†email about Addy and Baby Salsa, I realized I had actually forgotten for a reason, so¬†that I could fast for Addy and Charlotte. Makes perfect sense right?¬†Cool tender mercies. I know I’m not in the midst of it, but I¬†feel really close to y’all, all the way out here. Its weird. A good¬†weird. I feel like I am there in a way. I have the same feelings as I¬†have as if I were there even though I’m not and haven’t seen her or¬†Addy or David or anyone.

It’s been really tough out here this last few¬†weeks because there has been some things gong on in the zone ad I’ve¬†been super stressed out and there is so much that I’m trying to work¬†with and I’m caught in the aftermath and I’m super stressed about it. ¬†When I woke up this morning, the second I opened my eyes the wave of¬†stress slapped me again and I was back to worrying and stressing and¬†having that occupy my thoughts constantly. When I found out about¬†Charlotte, one of the first thoughts I had was “You can quit your¬†worrying and stressing. There are worse things that other people have¬†to go through. You are stressed yes, but your sister and family are¬†stressed too and they now have more than emotional stress, they also have¬†physical problems to deal with. That’s something to stress about. Yes,¬†take your job seriously but don’t get blinded by it. God will make¬†sure you’re taken care of. If you do all that you can, that’s enough. ¬†That won’t be enough for your sister. She will probably be dealing with ¬†this throughout the rest of her life. Suck it up.” So I felt comfort¬†that my problems aren’t a big deal. I also felt like everything will¬†be ok With Addy and that I don’t need to let it distract me either. So¬†how is Addy? What condition is she in? ¬†Is David handling it well? How¬†about the kids?

We have a new mission president. President Ward. He was in Yuba city yesterday for Stake MCM.

The picture y’all got this week was from the Bests. They took us to¬†dinner at a Mexico place and we were talking about how their son on a¬†mission hardly writes them and they wanted our parents to have a¬†picture of us. I’m glad y’all hopefully liked it.


Week 50

4th, Frisbee and Transfers

Hey y’all!

I’ve been having these dreams again that I’ve finished my¬†mission. Sometimes I tell people in my dream that I must be in a dream¬†but they prove me otherwise. Then I wake up and restart my mission at¬†the halfway point. ¬†ūüôā

It’s so cool because somehow I have felt who Charlotte is. ¬†Like her personality and stuff. I don’t know how because I haven’t even¬†met her but I can tell who she is. I prayed for her and Addy and David. ¬†It was even hard for me when I heard the news. It was actually really¬†hard. I am so sad for all three of them. But I’ve received a lot of¬†comfort. I’ve even had some people email me about it, trying to¬†help. But in the end, it is actually bringing me closer to Christ.

I was thinking a last week last week about how I don’t really miss¬†movies. Yea, if a tv is on it’s distracting but I don’t just sit there¬†and think, man I really want to watch a movie right now. I just have¬†not cared that much right now. Then I walked into the living room of a¬†members house and her nonmember husband was starting to watch Star¬†Wars. The music started playing and the words started going across the¬†screen. Then I rethought about it. I have decided, I don’t really miss¬†watching movies…..except Star Wars. I really miss that.

I randomly remembered this week how we used to have our “I love you¬†more” ¬†battles and I would always have to say: “I love you more no matter¬†what you’re busted and not me no matter what haha.”

I Got the video of Charlotte you sent last week btw. It downloaded eventually.

We met president Ward this week. He is amazing. He is very energetic and he and his wife are so funny together. He is really straightforward and knows what needs to be done and makes sure it gets done. He is a really loving guy and he cares a lot about us personally.

I have learned a very good lesson this week. I learned that it¬†better to choose the harder right than the easier wrong. I learned¬†that it’s better to stand up against the wrong, even if it’s against¬†your companion. The results are almost immediate. I was able to avoid¬†so much trouble that I could have been in for not standing up for what¬†is right. The spirit directed me and told me that I needed to say¬†something and it was hard but I did. And I am in a much better place¬†because of it. I’ve been working hard on listening to the spirit because¬†it’s hard for me to know the promptings he gives me. But I have been¬†able to feel subtle thoughts and whether or not it’s me I follow them¬†because I can tell the slight difference. Usually a tiny little thought¬†pops into my head to ask if it’s the spirit. As soon as I do, I get¬†another feeling that just barely tells me it is and I go with it. It’s¬†so worth listening to it.

Our car had some trouble this week and so we were on bikes for a few days that was fun. We will be getting a new car in the next two weeks.  Brand new.

Karen, the person that we had the baptism for in Citrus Heights when I just got there passed away. It was a few months ago but nobody every told me. That made me really sad.

Ok, I’m mad now. Transfer boards came in on Saturday night and we all¬†knew Elder Gardner was leaving but when the transfer boards came out,¬†it showed us that I’m leaving as well. And I don’t want to leave. This¬†ward has been the best. I wanted to stay here for six months. Now I’m¬†leaving at three months. ¬†We¬†are having sisters put in our ward and so I’m scrambling to write down¬†everything that they need to know when they get here. The area book¬†probably won’t be updated for a day or two so the will probably be¬†going in blind. But at least I got the area I wanted. I’m going to the¬†Auburn Zone. ¬†Auburn, CA that is. Not Alabama thankfully. Regardless,¬†it’s still Auburn and I will have to go in with my battle armor which¬†consisted of my Alabama hat and shirts and keychain and everything¬†else I have. But it’s the zone I want to go to because it’s a lot of¬†country. Right now there are no sisters in the zone. All elders.¬†I will live in the same complex as Elder Nettleton,¬†the Elder that was in the MTC with me and got held back for six¬†months. He’s out now and I’m so excited to be with him. My companion¬†will be Elder Porter. Elder Gardner was his companion before I got to¬†Yuba. ¬†So another mutual¬†companion thing going on. I’ve heard he is an awesome person.¬†But I feel better about¬†this one because from what I’ve heard, ElderPorter and I have the same¬†interests and stuff. He’s a total redneck and loves Country stuff. So¬†that makes me feel like we will get along. ¬†I’m really excited to go there and even our apartment is supposed to be¬†super nice. ¬†If I’m leaving my dream ward, I’m going to an even better¬†ward. I’m super sad and saying goodbye to people was hard, but I’m¬†really excited to get a cool new place.