Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 78: Christmas is over...

12/28/15

Hey everyone! 



My week was a little slow, naturally because of Christmas. People were either out of town, or members were unable to make it to lessons. We still worked as hard as we can to find and teach people. We are continuing to teach Andy and William. We had a lesson with William this past week in the which.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation! It was awesome mostly because of the Spirit. He has mentioned a lot how when he goes to church he remembers back to the times that he'd go as a kid. We shared John 14:26which talks about how the comforter will bring all things to our remembrance. It was neat to be able to tell him that he remembered how much he loved church because of the Spirit.

We also were able to have our zone members over to our house (yes we live in a house, pretty much by ourselves) on Christmas morning and we made breakfast. For our Christmas dinner, our members took us to Denny's. It was funny because there weren't any other open restaurants, but Denny's was open and it was super packed! But that is a full story that I can share another time! 

I can't believe the New Year is upon us! Things tend to move too quickly. Unfortunately, I got a little bit sick in the past two days; I have a head cold, but hopefully it goes away soon...

Have a happy new year!

Elder Jones

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 77: Christmas, High Priests, and Thugs

12/21/15


Hey everyone! 

Things are going well in the Las Vegas valley! Things were a bit stressful, mostly because things were a little bit slower this past week than the week before. We had a particular investigator who cancelled on us several times in a row. It made us wonder if he really wants to take the lessons at all. In the meantime, we still were able to meet with investigators like Andy and William, both of which are still really golden. We are trying to figure out what Andy's roadblock to baptism is. It is really hard because he is so close, yet there still are several things that he hasn't mentioned to us that are holding him back from committing all the way. He will get baptized eventually, but we just need to help continue to progress. We sat in on the High Priests' class yesterday in which a recent convert of about a year was teaching. He bore powerful testimony of how the gospel has helped him become a better man and husband. I feel that really affected Andy! So yeah; he's on his way.

We also met a couple thugs this past week while we were out street contacting. They were working on a car in their garage. They didn't hurt us or anything, but they tried to scare us away by telling us that they had stolen the car. They were drinking and smoking, so both of them were pretty hammered. They tried to convince us that they didn't believe in God, but we persisted and did our best to teach the Restoration. For the most part, they weren't having it, but they asked us to pray for them. We literally prayed for them with one eye open. God totally protected us in a bad situation like that, but I'm glad we were able to pray for those guys. The wind picked up after that and we were a mile or so away from our car. When it gets windy in Nevada, it gets cold.

So the message in all this: even when things seem weird or hard, it pays to endure! It pays even more to endure without complaint! Keep it up, and help use this Christmas season to help someone else's burden become a little lighter!

Love you all! Enjoy your Christmas!

Zach

(Also, I had the opportunity to take Elder Tillotson to the Mission Home. He just finished his mission! It was a little hard to see my trainer go home, but it was good to see him off!)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 76: Christmas Miracles!

12/14/15

Hey everyone!


I hope y'all are having a great week! Christmas is coming up and I'm sure everybody is gearing up well! I definitely can't wait to call home; that's the highlight of my Christmas ;)


My week was incredible! Elder Carreno and I have worked really hard to help our investigators, and it really seems as though things are picking up! We taught each of our investigators multiple times this week and even saw several of them at church! It is really rewarding to see the people you are working with make commitments, follow them, and then become really happy and joyful because they kept the commitments. Andy is stil chugging along; we had asked the Bishop if he could have a calling even though he isn't a member so he is providing surveillance for the church building every night. The bishop told us that Andy has reported back every day since he was asked!

We have another young man we are teaching named William who we struggled with in getting him to church. We took a returned missionary with us to one of the lessons and the guy asked William what he was doing on Sunday. William said that he didn't have anything going, and so the RM said, "Well that's awesome, because you're coming with me to church!" That moment really was a testimony to me of the importance of having members present for the missionary lessons! The investigators need to have a non-missionary perspective when learning about the church! He ended up coming to church on Sunday and loved it!

I have had such a great week! I'm enjoying the time with my new companion, and as I'm getting into the homestretch of my mission, I am beginning to realize how much I don't want this to end. Missions are full of love and sadness, joy and heartache, excitement and exhaustion. It might sound crazy, but I love it! The things that we missionaries learn while here on our missions will definitely serve us for a lifetime, and I want to devote all my time and attention to learning what it will take to be a better son, brother, and future husband and father.

Have a great week everyone! Let me know what kinds of missionary experiences you're having!

Elder Jones

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 75:Santa's coming to town (along with the Mormons)!

12/7/15


Howdy y'all!


I hope you all are gearing up for Christmas quite nicely! The funny thing in Vegas is that there is no snow, yet everyone plays songs like "White Christmas". It's probably cause most of the members here are from Utah. Go figure.

My week has been really good! We found 3 new people to teach this week! One of those is a young single woman with a new born daughter. The cool part? We accidentally found her! We were looking for someone in our potential investigators list that had apparently been contacted 4 years ago. We got there, and this woman answered the door, telling us that she had only lived there since April. She invited us to come back the next day, in which appointment we taught her the first lesson and set her with a baptismal date sometime in January! She seems to understand what we are teaching her really well! We are pretty excited for her!

The zone is still chugging along. It seems like excitement has died down among the missionaries a little bit, but Elder Carreño and I have really been picking up steam! Hopefully we can get everything happen a little quicker! As a zone, we had 2 baptisms this past week, both of which came from some really young companionships which was good to see!

Sunday was crazy as usual! We went around all day from meeting to meeting! We happily saw 3 of our investigators at church. Andy came, and instead of taking him to Gospel Principles, we did a one-on-one lesson with him. He admitted to us that he didn't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon was true, although he said that he noticed that his marriage has improved and that he feels very peaceful at the church. You would think that he would have noticed by now, right? We're still working on him. A member of the missionary department suggested that we get him a calling even though he isn't a member and give him opportunities to do missionary work himself! It was a really interesting idea!

I really loved Elder Bednar's talk from the First Presidency Christmas devotional yesterday! I loved how he tied in the Christmas story as found in the Book of Mormon. That was really inspiring to me to imagine what it would have been like to have been a teenager during the period of time throughout 3 Nephi! I really would like to have been there when Christ visited the people! Since Christ is the light as Elder Bednar said, we owe it to Him to be a magnifying glass so that people can feel that light!

Have a great week!

Elder Jones

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 74: Musical Fireside

11/30/15



Hey everyone!

This week has been a little bit hectic. I have been in a trio with 2 Elders in my zone this past week because of Elder Palmer's transfer last Saturday. We have had a lot of fun covering 3 wards, attending 10 hours of church, and teaching lessons in each other's areas! Everything was going well until Thursday when Elder Duce got hurt playing in the missionary turkey bowl game. It is sad for him, mostly because he might have to go home for surgery. The reason why we weren't in missionary clothes in the picture from Thanksgiving is because we spent about 4 hours in the Urgent care while Elder Duce was getting his X-rays. So that was fun :/

We also had the missionary musical fireside yesterday! I will try to email you the performance recording!

I have been thinking about the Atonement a lot this past week! And something that I learned and realized is how much the Atonement is about other people. Christ didn't perform the Atonement for himself, but for us. If that's the case, we need to be focused on helping as many people as possible! We are God's work and glory, after all! That thought just gets me really excited to work and to find, teach, and baptize!

Have a great week!

Elder Jones

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 73: "Companion"less (instead of the song "Homeless" by Michael McLean)

11/23/15





Hey everyone!

Things have been pretty much crazy anyway. I am currently companionless. Elder Palmer ditched me ;) He got a call from President Ahlander on Saturday telling him to meet him in his office. Turns out that President asked him to be his new assistant. He was told to pack his bags and move into the APs apartment. So I am currently in a trio with whichever missionaries in my zone that I feel like pairing off with. It wasn't too surprising that Elder Palmer is AP, but I'm sad he's gone...

Other than that the week has been fun! We have been teaching a very large amount, and even picked up a new investigator! This investigators's name is Mark, and he is awesome!! He is dating a member of the Ridges ward. She invited him to the ward trunk or treat, to church, and to a fireside put on by our stake president President Teshima. He is currently interested in learning and understanding the gospel. He wants to take the lessons without her present so that he can do it for the right reasons, which I think is admirable. It just goes to show the importance of member missionary work.

We also taught a lesson to Andy. His progress has slowed down significantly, in part because he is getting caught up on some really unimportant questions about doctrines that don't necessarily pertain to his salvation.  I'm praying super hard that his questions get answered somehow.

We had a lot of meetings this week. We had the mission tour with Elder Corbridge on Monday and then zone conference on Wednesday. We have spent a lot of time in doors. But it hasn't been for a bad reason! I have learned so much from my leaders, mostly about humility. I'm sending home a quote from President Monson that I just love! I hope enjoy it.

Hope y'all have a great week!



Elder Jones

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 72: Craziness, Just Absolute Craziness!

11/16/15




Hey everyone!

I hope y'all are having a great week and that y'all are able to enjoy the blessings that you receive on a regular basis! Just as a preface, we almost haven't had time to breathe the past week, again with meetings and exchanges with other missionaries. Overall, the busyness of life makes life that much more satisfying 😁

Again, super sorry about not writing yesterday! We had a mission tour yesterday with Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the first quorum of a the seventy. It was a truly spiritual day, being able to receive trainings from president and sister Ahlander, as well as from Elder and Sister Corbridge. Everything was very focused on understanding the Atonement. Elder Palmer and I were there from 7:30am to around 5pm because the mission tour was being hosted at our stake building, meaning we had to set up and take down all the tables and chairs. We also cleaned the building on Sunday night to prepare for the tour. Elder Corbridge was meeting with President Ahlander, the APs, and the stake high council missionary representatives at our building while we were cleaning, so we were able to get some pictures with him. That is who is in the first picture that I sent. I don't think anyone else in the mission got pictures with him!

Last week, we did a bunch of exchanges with the missionaries in our zone! In doing those exchanges, I was able to help 2 really good missionaries with some of their struggles. It feels really good to be able to have many opportunities to help investigators and missionaries!

This past week, I've been reflecting on my weaknesses and how exactly the Lord's Atonement covers them! I feel so grateful that He can forgive me, even when I am so inconsistent and imperfect. I'm excited for this week and how I can do better. 

I read this scripture today:

23 Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.
D&C 19:23

This made me feel a lot better. I hope it helps you too!

Have a great week!

Elder Jones

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 71: Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

11/9/15




Hey dad!

I hope you're having a great week so far! Thank you for the missionary experiences. Let me know how those work out. And I'm running out of time, so could you forward this to my email list for me?

My week was pretty crazy. We again haven't had a lot of time to proselyte, but we have been working diligently with what we have been given. My week last week went kind of like this: P-Day on Monday (always crazy), district meeting/office run for supplies on Tuesday (we have to pick up Book of Mormons, pamphlets, and cards for our zone every week), Wednesday was our Mission Leadership Conference (almost no time to proselyte), Temple trip on Thursday (again, no time to proselyte), exchanges with another missionary on Friday (we walked everywhere, talked to a ton of people, and saw loads of miracles), more musical devotional rehearsals on Saturday (the performance is in 3 weeks so we had to get our parts hammered out really well), and the Southwest regional stake conference broadcast with Elder Oaks on Sunday (every speaker was extremely bold, it was awesome)! 

As you can tell, there really was no time to relax. But that is ok! We are doing what we are supposed to be doing and that is all that matters. This week is gearing up to be really long too! 

Love you Dad!

Zach

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 70: Freetown


11/2/15

Hey everyone!

I'm so glad everyone is doing well! The Lord sometimes lets us have slower weeks (probably to humble us). I think I probably needed it this week! I still learned a lot, and elder Palmer and I still working really hard and making sure we get done what needs done!

My week was really good overall. Not much proselyting happened, mostly because Elder Palmer is working on his college stuff, and because I was assigned to be involved in the mission's Christmas musical fireside at the end of this month. I get to sing in an a capella group, performing a song called "Homeless" by Michael McLean. You should look it up! It is a really good song!

Andy is still doing well. He came to a baptism on Saturday, and then came to church on Sunday for the 5th week in a row! He is so awesome, we are really just hoping he decides to set a baptismal date soon. He will be such a solid member when he gets baptized!

We got to watch Freetown on Saturday for Halloween. That movie was really cool and inspiring. Especially at the point when it mentioned that those Elders served their missions for 7 years since that didn't have homes to return to. That made me reflect really hard about what I can improve on!

Scripture for the week: 
"if God commanded me to do all things, I could do them! If he should command me to say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it should be done."
1 Nephi 17:50

I love this scripture because it gives me comfort knowing that the Lord has my back in the things he commands me to do!

I hope you all have a great week!

Love,

Elder Jones

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 69: Sacrifice Saturday Part 2

10/26/15



Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 68: #Lakesonfire

10/19/15



Hey everyone!


The Lakes zone is such an amazing place. The work here is exploding, and the missionaries are awesome. We even created a hashtag! One problem: half our zone is being transferred today with transfers going on. Elder Palmer and I will be staying, and another companionship, but we will have to deal with the change .

Our week was pretty miraculous!! New and potential investigators seem to be popping out of the woodwork right now. We were referred to a woman named Nancy  by her brother who is a member of the church from St. George because she is going through some really difficult trials right now. We knocked on her door, she opened up, saw us, and then broke down sobbing. We offered her a blessing, and gave that to her right on the doorstep. She ended up coming to church yesterday.

We ended up having a ton of our investigators make it to church, as well as several people who just walked into church for the first time. That was pretty crazy.

Andy came to church again this week, but began having some health problems during sacrament meeting. We were afraid that he was going to pass out because of low blood sugar or something. We have him some candy and told him to go home. He insisted on pushing through because he really wanted to come and learn. After Gospel principles, we also offered him a blessing. That was a very spiritual experience because Andy mentioned before hand how he believed that he would be healed. Talk about having faith sufficient! He left after the 2nd hour and went home. Turns out that he had passed out in his car the moment he parked when he got home! A woman noticed that he hadn't been moving for a while, and came up to tap on the glass. He called us sometime after to let us know that he made it home safely. It really was a miracle from God that he didn't pass out while he was driving. Priesthood blessings really work.

I hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jones

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 67: Really Awesome Investigators!

10/12/15

Red Rock Pictures:

Zach and Elder Palmer


Hey Dad!

It sounds like you had an eventful week! I'm so glad that you're doing so well dad! And don't surprise the missionaries by asking them to speak last minute ;) I'm just kidding.

We have some really awesome investigators. Andy, and another investigator that we are meeting with named Donna, both made it to church this past Sunday and had an amazing experience. In our Gospel Principles class, both of them had really awesome questions and comments. Donna recounted her story of how Elder Palmer and I ended up in her life. She said that the night we came by, she had been praying that someone would bring her the word of God. Shortly after, we knocked on her door. It really is amazing how much Heavenly Father loves his children, that he would answer prayer just like that.

We also had a pretty spiritual lesson with Andy. We met him at the church, showed him around, and then taught him a lesson in the chapel. That was when he committed to come to church. He also mentioned that he feels the Spirit very strongly every time we come by! 

Things are going really well for me Dad. I mentioned to mom that I probably need just some garments! Other than that I'm doing great. Let me know if there is anything else I can do!

Love,

Zach

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 66 Conference was Great!

10/5/15

Hey mom and dad,

Just want you to know that things are going well for me and that I'm so glad that you all had such a fun week! I love when things get busy because that gives me no time to think about myself; we are always on the move, whether that's in our area or hoping our zone.

We have this investigator that we are teaching named Andy, and he is super awesome. We met him outside of his house one evening while we were walking. We have taught him numerous lessons so far. He has taken quite an interest in the church over the past couple weeks. He has prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and has had some really cool experiences. He even taped conference this weekend so he could watch. What is even better is that our bishop invited him to come to his house for the Sunday Morning session of conference. We went too, and it was such a spiritual experience, especially when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang "The Spirit of God". He says he is not ready to be baptized yet, but he fits in so well with our ward it's crazy! We are going to keep teaching him, and try to help him see the need to be baptized.

I think that the conference session that I enjoyed the most was the Priesthood Session. Everything in that session was so on point and direct that I just felt good knowing that these men are truly called of God. I think that the talks that I really enjoyed were Elder Renlund's talk and President Eyring's Sunday morning talk. I loved this quote by Elder Renlund, "To effectively serve others, we must see them through a parent’s eyes, through Heavenly Father’s eyes. Only then can we comprehend the true worth of a soul. Only then can we sense the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children. Only then can we sense the Savior’s caring concern for them. We cannot completely fulfill our covenant obligation to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort unless we see them through God’s eyes. This expanded perspective will open our hearts to disappointments, fears, and heartaches of others. But Heavenly Father will aid and comfort us. … We need to have eyes that see, ears that hear, and hearts that know and feel if we are to accomplish the rescue so frequently encouraged by President Thomas S. Monson."

Sorry that this letter is a little rushed. We went hiking in Redrock canyon this morning (I will have pictures next week) and there is a significant lack of time! I'm trying though! I love you both a lot!

Love,

Elder Jones

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 65: More and More Miracles

9/28/15

Hey everyone!

I hope things have been great with all of you! Miracles abounded this past week and I am really excited to share the outcome.

Things are going great on my end! We have had a crazy week. Since I got transferred to this new area, I have had pretty much no time to sit and even think. We haven't been able to spend too much time in our area because we have been helping our zone members by giving them rides or even just spending time with them. That's the idea behind this assignment is that more work gets done when the other members of the zone are able to get out and work. Elder Palmer can do a lot on our own, but it's more important that we have a unified, working zone of 14 missionaries rather than 2 really hard working missionary. Kind of like in 1 Nephi 4, "It's better that [two men] perish than an entire [zone] dwindle in [laziness]."

Elder Palmer and I implemented an idea from one of our zone members this past Saturday. It essentially involved our whole zone fast together and to go out and tract from 10 am to 8 pm, and to just see the miracles that come as a result. We saw tons of miracles as a zone. Investigators were just popping out of the wood work! We ended the day teaching 23 lessons as a zone, finding close to 25 investigators, and committing 3 people to baptism. What is even better is that success came from across the zone, and when the zone is working, the Work is progressing!

It is amazing how revelation works! Although we didn't have that idea, Elder Palmer felt inspired to implement it. That goes to show you that God definitely answers our prayers through other people.

Have a great week!

Elder Jones

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 64: Lakes!


9/21//15



Hey everyone!


I hope y'all are having a great week! Elder Palmer and I have had almost no opportunity to slow down whatsoever. We have been running nonstop, all while trying to squeeze in proselyting time every now and again! Even so, we have had some interesting things happen.


We've done a lot of exchanges and errands. On Saturday we ended up going 120 miles running people back and forth between activities, music rehearsals, and baptisms. We are just the lucky ones with a car who can do that I guess...


We had a really good week. We set a couple more people for baptism in October, and so the work is definitely progressing. What is even more awesome is how well our zone is doing. It is really exciting to see our zone having 10 to 20 potential baptisms in October. They are working really hard. God is totally helping us out. As a mission, we have a goal of reaching 720 baptisms buy the end of the year. For the most part, we have been behind on reaching that goal, but this month and next month should help us catch up by December.


We had a really awesome experience yesterday. We contacted a guy in his garage who is catholic and started off the conversation by being completely uninterested. As we talked, I was able to ask this guy an inspired question (thank you Heavenly Father) that allowed elder Palmer to start teaching the Restoration. The conversation continued, and the spirit was super strong. We got to the point where I started to share Joseph Smith's first vision, and he didn't want us to stop.

He had a ton of questions. At the end of our lesson with him, he said he wanted more religion in his life and wanted us to come back. I attribute that one to God for giving me that awesome question and to Brother Wofford for beating the importance of inspired questions into me :)



How is everyone doing? I miss hearing and talking with each one of you, whether that's at home or in a previous area. And just so you all know, we are allowed to check email throughout the week since we have iPads. We just can't respond till Monday! I hope y'all have an awesome week! And keep being awesome!


Love,

Elder Jones

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 63: New Area

Hey everybody!

Since I was transferred to the Lakes stake this past week, I have had to start from scratch again! Learning a new area is always challenging, especially when your companion has been here awhile and thus knows it inside and out. Even so, we have been having an awesome time!

We were able to contact numerous potential investigators who were all interested in learning about the Gospel. We were even to set two of our new investigators with baptismal dates! Those lessons were so fun because the investigators were actually excited to say yes to the baptismal invitation. They are both set for next month, so we will keep working on them. Pretty good start to week one! 

One of those investigators is a single mother with three kids. She is super nice,
but she totally recognizes that her life isn't nearly as happy as it could be. She wants to find peace, and she thinks she has found it in the gospel! Elder Palmer and I are super excited for her.

Lots of good things are happening right now. It's crazy to think that if I hadn't gone on my mission when I did, I might not have met the people who have made my mission awesome! God has a reason and a time for everything!

I hope y'all are having a great week!

Love,

Elder Jones

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Week 62: I Know I'm Late :)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 61: Onward and Upward on the Downward Slope!

Hey everyone!

I hope you all are doing very well! I'm so glad to have been able to hear from some of you and would hope to hear from many more of you! If you have time, write me an email!

We had a crazy 19 lesson week! God helped us find a ton of new investigators! There's one guy that we're now teaching who is the son-in-law of the primary president in one of our wards; he is not a member, but he and his wife live with the primary president. He had been taught previously, but the missionaries took 2 hours to teach him the first lesson so he was a little bit soured on the lessons. Needless to say, we taught a little more effectively than the last missionaries he met with. We set him for baptism in our 2nd lesson with him yesterday. If all goes well, he will be baptized on October 10.

We met a guy this past week who seems super willing to hear about the Gospel. The only problem is that he is on parole for the next 3 years.

One of the families that we have set for baptism in September is super awesome. They let us come over pretty much every night to teach them more gospel principles. Their biggest roadblock? The parents aren't married, but they are willing to get married in order to get baptized. So Elder Sutton and I get to help set up a wedding! That will be exciting.

The only thing I might be upset about this week is transfers. I really don't want to get transferred, but I'm getting nervous that I might. I really want to be here to see all these people get baptized. I do know that the Lord is in control. I made that video for you by the way. Hopefully it helps in your BYD presentation. I will try to send it tomorrow because it is too long.

The coolest thing that I have been able to learn in studying scriptures is asking questions. I feel like I have begun to receive much more revelation when I study. If   we, like Joseph Smith, ask the right questions amazing things can happen. Then use the revelation you receive to bless other life's!

I love being a missionary so so so much. I'm getting to the point where I can start to see the end, even if it's just so slightly. I'm super stoked to see what the next 10 months have to offer, though! I look back on the first half of my mission and see just how much good I have been able to do here. I have definitely been imperfect along the way, but I can see the points in which God has changing me. 

He continues to change me! Missionary work really helps us to develop our charity for our fellow brothers and sisters; no need for us to be selfish with Christ's Atonement, right?

Have a good week everyone!
 
Elder Jones

Sent from my iPad

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 59: New School Year

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 58: Pressing Forward!

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone is getting excited for fall. Things in Vegas aren't quite like they are in Kansas City. There aren't really any leaves here to change colors, or very many trees for that matter, but I guess that is forgivable :)

Over the first year of my mission, I really feel like I didn't change much. The crazy thing is that I have felt like I have changed more in the last month of my mission than in the entire year before. Although i know that I have been changing the entire time, I haven't really started to notice it till recently. And I can really attribute that to the improvements that I have made in my studies. It all really comes down to asking specific questions. The best feeling is when I feel like I come away from studies refreshed with a sense of what I need to
do. Study habits truly do make a difference!

This week overall was a little bit slow. With it being the end of the summer, a lot of people have been out of town. That includes our investigators. And so it was a little bit tough, but I feel like God has been really teaching me some patience.

I also love the opportunity to serve the members of my district. I think the biggest reason that I am in this area is for my district members. I have been in the right position at the right time to be able to offer them the help that they need.

I hope y'all have a great week! Any missionary experiences that any of you would like to share with me? I'd love to hear from any of you!

Love,

Elder Jones

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 57: 13 Months and Counting!

Hey everyone!

I hope you all have been having a great week! I miss all of you, and I'm grateful to know each of you!

I had a really great week! We are still teaching many of the families that I've talked about in the last few weeks, but I was a little slow because everyone is gone right at the tail-end of summer. The reason everybody leaves is because it is so flipping hot here in the desert, so pretty much no one stays here unless they need to ;)

We had some pretty cool finding experiences, though. There are two  new missionaries in my district. The cool thing about being a district leader in a district with brand new missionaries is that you get to take part in training them. I was able to go on exchanges with one of the new elders Elder Bird on Friday. We went and talked with a fellow whose wife has Lupus and cancer. He seemed a little angry with God at first, as if He wasn't helping him and his wife. We were able to testify about the Atonement and how that helps us overcome challenges. We prayed with him, and after the prayer he admitted that he has prayed before and that God has answered his prayers. The neat thing was we didn't even get a return appointment. We were just able to help him remember God's influence in his life.

We took the sacrament to a shut in in one of our wards. I don't know why, but no one has been taking him the sacrament for the past year. He can't get out of bed to make it to church. It irked me a little bit that no one thought to bring it to him. He was so grateful that we came by and did that for him. I was really happy to do that service for someone.

The thing I have been thinking about a lot this week is charity. What is the motivation behind the service we give? We start with our faith, and our end destination is our hopes, and so charity is the thing that bridges the gap. If we can develop charity, God promises us all that he has and is. Hopefully, that is something I'm gaining on my mission.

Have a great week everyone! Love you lots! Keep in touch!
 
Elder Jones

Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 56: Pioneer Day and Other Stuff

Hey everyone!

We had some interesting miracles happen this past week. We have seen some major progress from our investigator families that we have found. The family that  our bishop referred us to came to our Pioneer Day celebration, came to church and then loved it! They are all super excited to join in the Gospel and it is really fun to see! The funniest thing is that the 7 year old daughter gives elder Sutton and me hugs everything we walk in the door. It is kind of adorable, even though we have explained that she shouldn't do that.  They also have a 4 year old daughter that almost seems kind of like Shirley temple.

Pioneer Day was funny. They had a pie tasting contest to which none of the judges showed up. So to compensate, they asked the missionaries to taste test all thirty pies. I thought it would be fun, but after a while, they all tasted the same, and I didn't feel too good. Not Bueno.

Other than that, we are doing great and having tons and bucket loads of fun! I am really happy with my mission to this point. I feel like I am really making a difference in my life and the lives of those around me. I feel almost like the sons of mosiah in that I am becoming more and more selfless. Time is going by way fast too. I only have 11 months left to do this. It makes me sad, but  oh well.

We had a lesson today with a guy who joined one of the off-shoots of the church. He had a lot of questions about baptism for the dead, polygamy, the resurrection, and many other deep topics. In his church they use the Book of Mormon, but the reason why you this particular church was started was because a guy who joined Sidney Rigdon and his followers broke off from Sidney Rigdon and started his own church. This makes this particular church an off-shoot of an off-shoot, which
I thought was pretty interesting. We are going to teach him the missionary lessons and see how we can reconcile his beliefs with the doctrines of Christ's gospel. Teaching him will be a neat experience.

One thing that I would encourage all of you to do is to try to go out with the missionaries as much as possible. Sometimes as members, we don't always know how to do missionary work, but going out with the Elders or Sisters as much as you can will at least help you get excited about the work. If you all share in the little miracles that we see on a regular basis, and then ask God how you can see those kinds of miracles in your own work, He will most definitely help you to fulfill our responsibilities to take the Gospel to the whole world.

Elder Sutton and I are staying in the area for another transfer, and our zone is shrinking from 2 districts to 1. I will still be district leader here. Elder Sutton and I are also being given a new ward to work in, so that should be fun.

Hope y'all are doing well! Make sure to write if you can and let me know how you're doing,

Have a great week!
 
Elder Jones

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 55: Last Week of the Transfer! Lots and Lots of Miracles to Report for the Week!

July 20, 2015

Hey everyone!

My bad for not writing last week! Things got crazy and I ended up not having time to email. I suppose that is a good problem for a missionary to have!

I have lots and lots of miracles to report for the week.
First miracle - On Wednesday, we ended up teaching 5 lessons. In addition to that, I got permission from my zone leaders to swing by my ward mission leader from my first area to make some pizzas. He helped us to make a bunch of pizzas and then just go deliver them to the people we are currently teaching. We delivered 7 pizzas in 30 minutes and went back to his place. When we got there, he gave us 7 more to deliver! Our investigators loved seeing us running around with a bag of pizza boxes and wearing aprons. We even street contacted a little bit with them. It was such a fun and funny proselyting activity.

Another miracle - our bishop referred us to a family of 8 who wants to join the church! They are definitely elect. They accepted the invitation to be baptized and are keeping all the commitments we have given them. They stayed up till 1 am reading the BoM as family. They
also are willing to completely change their lifestyles upon being baptized. They are so awesome and I am super pumped to teach them. They are set to be baptized on September 19th.



Next miracle - we had the baptism of two kids we have been teaching over the past 6 weeks. The mom is a less active and the dad a nonmember. They were so fun to teach and seeing them get baptized made it all worth it. I am also confident that they will stay active because they have a good mom.


Last miracle - I went tracting while on splits with my elders quorum president last night. We knocked on the door of a guy we have met before. We showed him a video, and asked if we could come back. He was
a little reluctant, but he agreed! It has only been a few weeks since we last met im so I'm wondering what changed. We will find out this
h Wednesday at the appointment!

I feel so blessed to be a part of such a fruitful area. With the end of the transfer coming up, I'm nervous to see what will happen. Hopefully Elder Sutton and I will stay together for the next transfer, but it is whatever the Lord wants. 


It is his work, after all!

Elder Jones

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 54: Great time in Tule Springs!

July 6, 2015

Hey everyone!

I hope y'all had a great Independence Day! I also hope you took some time to be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy living in this country of ours. The men and women who have sacrificed so much on our behalf probably deserve a little more than just fireworks 😜

All in all, I am having a great time in Tule Springs! There are so many good people, and also people who are willing to hear the Gospel. Sure, Heavenly Father blesses us when we are obedient, but it definitely helps when the people are humble. We have found 11 new investigators  in the past 3 weeks! All of them are good people, and although many of them aren't looking to join the church (yet) they are still letting the Spirit affect their lives without them realizing it.

My week was really good. We have two kids set for baptism next week. They are super funny. Their dad bought them the new batman video game and they were all but rubbing it in my face. These kids are super smart as well! They retain almost everything we teach them as well as what they are reading in the Book of Mormon. The little girl was telling us all about the Jaredites and Alma Jr. and his three sons. Elder sutton and I were in shock. Their mom is a less active, and their dad is a nonmember, although he sits in on the lessons and is currently considering baptism as well. They are such a good family!

We found 5 new investigators this week. One we found yesterday while tracting. The first door we knocked, the lady who answered the door said that her husband might want to talk to us. He came out and he proceeded to tell us that he didn't like the Book of Mormon very much because of its discrepancies. But it wasn't exactly a bible bash. It was more of an intellectual debate (my specialty) using scriptures. At the end of the conversation, he somehow agreed to a return appointment so that we could bring him a Book of Mormon. I am pretty excited to go back.

We are seeing miracles. Heavenly Father is truly blessing us! And it's not because we are amazing people or missionaries, but it is because we are willing. Remember that!

Hope you all have a great week! If you have time, send me an email or a letter. I would love to hear from you!

Love,

Elder Jones