Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 22: Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey friends and family!

My week has been one unexpected circumstance after another. Like I said in my last email, I've been transferred to Logandale, NV. I cover two wards - one in Overton and the other in Logandale. My new companion is Elder Crabb, a missionary from Colorado. We work really well together, probably better than my last couple companions.

We had some cool spiritual experiences. The one I will tell you about involves prayer. So here in Logandale, most everybody's Mormon so it's hard to find non-members to talk to. We were walking around, and we decided to say a prayer. After saying the prayer, we contacted and tracted into member after member. I even told Elder Crabb that I thought my Spidey-senses were off a little bit. We were walking back to our car when we saw someone coming are way so we contacted them. They turned out to be non-members, so we shared a scripture with them. After that, we asked if they were interested in learning more (they weren't) but they said their friend Larry might be. So we followed them back to their house. We met Larry and his dad Robert. Larry is a non-member/atheist but Robert turned out to be an inactive member of the Church! Robert is hard to teach, but he said we could come back whenever. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to teach Larry and Robert so that we can help them come to church sometime! Heavenly Father literally put us in the right place at the right time to meet them that day.

We've also had some interesting adventures. On Friday, we were driving on some dirt roads and got our car stuck in some really soft sand around 8 pm. The wheels wouldn't turn so Elder Crabb tried to get the wheels unburied while I tried to use the accelerator to get us out. Our minivan doesn't have a 4-wheel drive so we ended up getting pretty stuck. 
We got back on the main road around 9 pm and knocked on a random house for help. An older-woman answered the door gave us a ride back to our car, and we ended up knocking on another door. The man who answered is a cop. He called one of his friends (who just so happened to be the second counselor in our ward) to come pull us out. We had some crazy coincidences that led to us getting our car pulled out. It's safe to say that Heavenly Father was aware of our situation and helped us to be safe.

In short, missions are awesome. You get the opportunity to rely on Heavenly Father as much as possible. And the best part is that he actually responds by giving you what you need.
I love you all! Keep in touch!
Elder Jones

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 21: New Transfer, New Area

17 November 2014

Hey everybody!

As you probably could tell from the subject line, I'm being transferred from my home here in the Meadows 8th ward to a ward in Logandale. Based on the teasings by my fellow missionaries in the Meadows Zone, I've been "exiled" from the Las Vegas Valley... Oh well! I'm pretty excited to serve in Logandale for the next couple of months. I hear there's lot of service opportunities (farm/ranch work), no Walmart, and lots of mormons! It's certainly going to be an adventure.

What's interesting is how you grow to love the area you serve in. To be honest, this area had been a struggle when I first got here, but I've met so many new people and have gained a lot of new friends who I hope keep in contact. That's the way the Lord works; you first show Him your willingness by enlisting in His army, then you show your humility by being obedient to His orders, and, lastly, He helps you to feel satisfied with your work when the job is done. I really do love this place; I'm sad to leave.

I watched a Mormon Message this past week called "You Never Know". It's about a mom who wants to go and spend a couple hours with her cousin, but her day seems to be eaten up by babysitting, kids' science projects, comforting and consoling friends, making dinner for people, etc. At the end of the day, she is upset because she was unable to hang out with her cousin. She feels like a failure; but when her son says the family prayer, she's able to realize how much good she did that day. At the end of the video, President Hinckley gives a quote:

"Many of you think you are failures. You feel you cannot do well, that with all of your effort it is not sufficient. We all worry about our performance. We all wish we could do better. But unfortunately we do not realize, we do not often see the results that come of what we do. You never know how much good you do."

President Hinckley is the man! I hope and pray that you all can feel satisfied with whatever work the Lord gives you as long as you do your best. That is certainly how I feel now that I'm being transferred.

I love all of you! Keep in touch and be safe!

Elder Jones

p.s. congradulate Maddie Widgren for me! She'll do great!

Week 20: Work in Progress

10 November 2014

Hey everyone,

I hope you all have had a great week! 

This week was one of those weeks in which Heavenly Father had a lot to teach me. A lot of the days I felt a bit frustrated as to why our area struggles. Is it just a slow area? Is it my companion's fault? Is it my fault? Having a slower area in a high-baptizing mission like this one can be fairly discouraging. It sometimes makes you question why you're out serving a mission. I prayed a lot for help, for improvement in the area, and improvement in my attitude. 

It was funny because one morning I was reading through the footnotes of a scripture and the footnotes took me all the way to D&C 67:10, in which the Lord says:

10 And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I amnot with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

Isn't that a cool promise? He says that we, like the Brother of Jared, will eventually be able to see him if we rid ourselves of every ounce of pride, doubt, and fear that we have. It probably won't be now; it might not even be in this life, but one day, if we have used the Savior's Atonement to the fullest extent that we possibly can, we will see him. I'm so grateful that my Father in Heaven loves me enough to give me comfort and counsel in order to answer my prayers.

In other news, we were also able to set a former investigator with a baptismal date! She said if she knows that the Church is true then she will be baptized. 

We also had the opportunity to watch Meet the Mormons at our Zone Conference! That was really awesome. I especially loved the story about the Candy Bomber. I hope we all can find our own unique ways to give service like he did!

I love you all; be safe and keep in touch!

Elder Jones

Week 19: Book of Mormon!

Zone Conference
3 November 2014

Hey everyone!

I hope you all are doing great! My week's been pretty fun; we've pretty much had activity after activity. It all kind of culminated with our ward trunk-or-treat on Wednesday. My Ward Mission Leader is insane, but awesome. He literally put the activity together himself (with us missionaries doing the heavy lifting of course). He ordered bounce houses, brought a cooking trailer and cooking semi-truck, brought 20+tables, rented stadium lights, and even built a sand volleyball court behind our church building. It was a tri-ward event and was super-successful; we were able to get some less-actives, investigators, and potential investigators to come. It was amazing!

I also had the chance to go on exchanges with a couple of missionaries in my district. On Thursday I went with Elder Palmer, who is from the Calgary-Alberta part of Canada! He has become a good friend of mine, and even gave some good advice about missionary work. Most of the advice involved me being confident in myself and opening my mouth when I see people on the street. He told me that it was his desire to actually not want to leave Vegas by the time his mission was over. That night, we taught a pretty cool lesson. We taught a couple about the Plan of Salvation. The woman's daughter is a member, and she said that she didn't believe we were a cult anymore, and that it made her happy to know that that's what her daughter believed. She even said we could come back! Not sure about the chances of her getting baptized, but it feels awesome to share the Gospel.

Halloween was on Friday, so we had to stop proselyting by 6pm. After 6, we had approval from our mission president to watch some non-church movies. My roommates and I watched all three Toy Story movies! That was pretty nostalgic. Our mission president is awesome!

I also finished the Book of Mormon for the first time on my mission. That book really is amazing and I would encourage all of you to read it if you haven't, and then to share it. That book changes minds, it changes hearts, and it changes people. If you don't have a testimony of it, then get one! I promise that you will know it's true if you just read it!

I love all of you! Take care, be safe, and keep in touch!

Elder Jones