Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 44: Birthday, Stomach Flu and Other Blessings

April 27, 2015
Hey everybody!

I had another really awesome week! There are so many different words and phrases that I could try to use to describe what is going on, but for now, I will keep it simple.

We have a golden investigator named XXXX who is set for baptism this weekend. Since he is a trucker, he is out of town a lot. We have struggled in trying to set up a baptismal interview before this weekend because of him being out of town. Because of this, we've had to teach him over the phone. Yesterday, he sent us a text saying that we might need to postpone the baptism because he might not be able to be interviewed on Friday. That was really frustrating. I prayed really hard for an answer on what could be done. My zone leader suggested that I give a call to President Ahlander to see what would need to be done to have the baptism this weekend. President said to do a practice interview over the phone before the baptism, and then to have the interview right before the baptism. We're cutting it close in getting him baptized, but both Elder Rathjen and I are confident that getting him baptized is the right thing to do. I was thinking about it in sacrament meeting the other week. I was a little nervous and anxious, wondering to myself if pushing to have him baptized so soon was the right thing to do. I prayed about it, and the answer I received was to go ahead with it. It should be a really awesome baptism.

Yesterday, I had a small bout of stomach flu. I originally thought that I had It was the worst, but it was nice to be able to get out of the apartment and go to sacrament meeting.

Combine all this stuff that's been happening with my birthday this past Friday, I have had one heckuva week. When you're in the service of the Lord, the Lord doesn't really let up.

I read a scripture today that got me thinking. It's about Alma the Younger and it's in Mosiah 27:8. It says:

 Now the sons of Mosiah were numbered among the unbelievers; and also one of the sons of Alma was numbered among them, he being called Alma, after his father; nevertheless, he became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities.

I thought back to a quote by President Uchtdorf which he says that "what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become." I thought that a lot of small choices went into to making Alma a wicked and idolatrous man. It was what he loved, thought, and did that made him become that kind of person. If we do what we're supposed to--read the scriptures, pray, go to church, give service, repent, and keep the commandments--then we show God that we love him. It is also these things that change us! As a missionary, I've come to rely a lot more on the Atonement. If I do my best, the Lord is going to use me as a tool in his hands! The same goes for everyone else, not just me.

Have a great week!

Elder Jones

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 43: A Lesson in Unplanned Opportunities

April 20, 2015

This week has been a lesson in unplanned opportunities.
We have been trying to set up an appointment with a potential investigator for several weeks now. On Saturday, he texted us out of the blue and asked us to teach him a lesson. We did so and set him with a baptismal date of June 20th. We have a new missionary leaving from our ward who is leaving on May 6th to the MTC, and this investigator wants to be baptized by him. We talked to President Ahlander who gave us permission to have him baptized on May 2nd. That was crazy!
In addition to that, we have a 10 year-old boy who is set for baptism on May 9th. This kid is nuts, but I love teaching him. We review each lesson pretty much every time we meet with him, and he pretty well remembers it all! It's a lot of fun to be able to teach a wide variety of investigators, from grown-men to young kids. They all are unique in their struggles and concerns, but they are all amazing people!
The new Logandale chapel finally opened up. The old one burned down six years ago, and they finally were able to get it re-built. It's a beautiful building, and one that will be the center for a lot of missionary work in the valley. They held the dedication for the building last week, and held an open-house Saturday night. I'm excited to be able to meet there!
Elder Rathjen and I are doing great as companions! We are working hard, but are still managing to joke around when it's appropriate.

Seeing that I will probably be here another transfer, I'm excited to see what happens next. The Lord is definitely involved in the Work here!
Have a great week! Make sure to write!
Elder Jones 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 42: Clark County Fair

Clark County Fair


This week has been a wee-bit stressful due to the Clark County fair that took place this past week. The other Logandale missionaries and I helped to run a booth in the fair in which we tried to talk to people about Jesus! The reception of our booth was a little bit hit-and-miss but it was a fun experience nonetheless. For whatever reason, I ended up talking to all the angry people. The other missionaries thought that was funny.

Other than that, this week has been a bit slow. We began meeting with a guy whose son is a less-active member. This guy says he was baptized as a kid, but we can't seem to find his records for whatever reason. If it ends up that we can't find his records, he will need to be re-baptized. He doesn't mind the idea because he has a lot of health-issues and is trying to get his affairs in order. We had a couple really spiritual lessons with him, and he is progressing very well.

Dan and Pat are still doing as awesome as ever. Pat came into church on Sunday and handed me a list of missionary referrals. They were all different family members who live in different places like Vancouver, Washington; Fresno, California; and Apple Valley, California. Sound familiar, right? Elder Pace, Elder Moore, and Dillon Horne might have some cool missionary opportunities. It was neat that the referrals were all to places where my friends are either serving missions or where they're from.

I hope y'all have a great week! Keep in touch. Missionaries love letters ;)


Elder Jones

Week 41: Baptisms are Great!

Elder Rathjen, Pat, Elder Jones, and Dan

April 6, 2015

Hey everyone!

I hope y'all enjoyed conference. I loved pretty much every talk. There were a couple of talks that stood out to me, but my favorite was definitely Elder Holland's talk about the need for the Atonement and Resurrection as a result of the Fall of Adam and Eve!

 The baptisms for Dan and Pat happened in between the first and second session of conference. It was definitely stressful to go fill up the font, set up the chairs, and then hope everything to go well. Although it was stressful, it was sooooo worth it! The Holy Ghost was definitely present. As Pat got in the water and was baptized, Dan started to sob because he was just so happy for her. Then it was his turn. I had to baptize him twice because his hand was sticking out of the water the first time. It didn't bother him; he pretty much boasted about having to be dunked twice. It was such a neat experience and I have been blessed to be a part of it. You definitely feel blessed when your investigators tell you that if you hadn't been there, that they might not have gotten baptized.

Everything else is going great! I'm loving my mission and I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to have such experiences. I know my emails are getting a little shorter and shorter, but I am coming to enjoy the spiritual experiences more than anything else. My testimony is continuing to grow and that is a change that I notice.

The other pics: I had a staring contest with a Lion and stuck my head in a crocodile's mouth. Yeah it's weird, but was definitely worth it for the pics.

Sure do love all of you! Keep in touch!

Elder Jones


Week 40: 2 Upcoming Baptisms!

March 30, 2015

The work this past week has been great! I having been having such a great time and am hoping that I'm at least a little bit different by the time I get home. Sometimes it is hard to notice changes in myself as time passes, but I feel as if I have been greatly blessed especially when serving in a place like Logandale. A lot of Elders and Sisters come here and struggle, but we have been working like crazy!

Dan and Pat are ready to go for their baptism this weekend! They are super-excited and I feel as if this baptism will be one of the more memorable baptisms for the Overton 4th ward in a long time.

We had a cool experience with one of our investigators this past week. She hasn't progressed very much over the past few months. She has read parts of the Book of Mormon and has done a little bit of praying, but has never gone to church. About 5 weeks ago, I brought up the idea of a guest-services Sunday (like back home in the Red Bridge ward to teach basic principles of the Gospel) in ward council. Our bishop loved the idea and decided to have that this past Sunday. We had a lesson with our investigator on Saturday night in which we completely threw out the lesson we planned and taught by the Spirit. At the end of the lesson, I mentioned something to the effect of, "I know I feel the Spirit right now, I hope you can too." And she said that did feel something. Well, our bishop walked up to us before sacrament meeting and told us that she showed up! Lo and behold, she actually came to church. And the planned sacrament meeting was the guest-services meeting, which included talks on faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. All those little things led up to her coming to church yesterday. Heavenly Father is definitely in the details of His work!
Love you all! Have a great week! Make sure to write!
Elder Jones