Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 48: Going to the Temple!

Hey everyone!

Elder Rathjen and I are pretty excited this week, mostly because of all that is going on. On Wednesday we are going up to the temple with Dan and Pat to do baptisms for the dead. It's a great way to get started on those 4000 or so names :) On Thursday, we are going to Vegas again, this time for a Zone Conference. And then on Friday, we have our mission-wide temple trip. Combine that with a training we have tomorrow from about 1 to 5 in the afternoon on how to use the iPads, we pretty much have no time to actually proselyte this week. But it should be fun anyway!

This past week was a little more same-old, same-old. We made our usual visits and tried to set up some appointments with some former investigators, some of which are pretty interesting people. I can see why some of them are "former" investigators. The interesting thing is that I have been in this area for so long that I almost feel as if I am running out of things that I can actually do. We're still using our time as effectively as we can, but with transfers coming up again in about 3 weeks, I'm hoping that whoever gets transferred here in my place (assuming that I'm leaving) takes good care of these wards. Like I've said before, Logandale may be a hard place to serve, but it's awesome! I wish more missionaries were able to serve here.

Everything else is going great, as usual! Make sure to write and let me know how y'all are doing!


Elder Jones

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 47: Ipads & Chickens!

May 18, 2015

Hey everybody!

I hope you all are doing great! I forgot to mention in some of my previous emails that our mission is getting I-Pads. That is exciting because of all that is coming with it. They really are going to open up so many avenues in which we will be able to do missionary work! I'm really excited for it.

We've had an interesting week of sorts. It's crazy to see the difference in investigators. We have a lot of different people who we are currently teaching. I've met so many people that it makes me happy to see people get excited about the Gospel. It also makes me really sad when investigators decide that they don't want what we have. We had an investigator who I've been teaching for 6 months and have seen lots of progression from decide today that she doesn't want to continue the lessons because she felt that we pushed her too hard to pray at the end of a lesson and she doesn't want to pray at the end of a lesson. Things like that are hard. Although it's hard, people have their agency. The other side of it is that we have 2 new investigators in the family of the little boy that we baptized last week. We invited them to be baptized and they are thinking about it. There are definitely 2 sides to every coin.

I was able to help pluck and gut chickens this past week. Logandale is chalk-full of experiences that I probably never would have had were I not on my mission right now. I know that the Lord needs me here and that He needs me now. I still have a lot left to learn but I'm learning consistently.

I'm coming up on my year mark in about 6 weeks. That's nuts!
I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me and my companion as we continue to be diligent in the Work. It really is a unique opportunity.

Have a great week!

Elder Jones

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 46: Mother's Day was Awesome!

May 11, 2015
Hey everyone!

Happy Mothers' Day to all the mothers out there! I really hope you all enjoyed the day.

It was nice being able to talk to my mom and family yesterday, although hanging up that phone is never easy. Getting to call home only twice a year is hard, but I am beginning to understand why it is that way. I would be terribly homesick and distracted if I got to call whenever I wanted. That would be no fun.
Another Baptism
We had another awesome teaching week! Things are going great in our areas, and I am happy and glad to be here. We had another baptism this past weekend. The kid baptized is 10 years-old and is a ball of energy. He is now the only member in his immediate family. The fellowshippers are his neighbors who also happen to be his aunt and uncle. He is a really fun kid. I had the opportunity to speak at his baptism and I just felt happy the entire time. It really was amazing! The Spirit was really strong. It was also Elder Rathjen's first time baptizing somebody, so it was special for a lot of reasons.

A funny story happened when we were driving down the road and we saw a whole bunch of palm trees on fire (sorry seminary class ;)). Elder Rathjen and I got out of the car thinking there was a major problem going on, but we walked up to the guy setting the trees and fire. He looked at us, and with a big grin on his face, said, "I've lived here for 11 years, and I haven't thought of doing this till now!" Apparently, you're supposed to clean off palm trees every now and again. This was his way of "cleaning off" the palm trees. We scored a return appointment with the guy tomorrow.

I hope you all have a great week! Make sure to write :)


Elder Jones

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 45: Keep Going!

 May 4, 2015
Hey everyone!

Although this past week did not necessarily go quite how I expected it to, it was still good nonetheless. I hope you all know that I appreciate everything that any of you have done for me. There are a lot of people I credit in helping me to this point. And I am really grateful for that help that I've received because now I am able to help a lot of people in the calling I am now apart of!

This week has been frustrating, happy, hard, and amazing, all at once! I don't think I have ever been stretched so much in my life. We have had some appointment cancellations and flaky potential investigators, yet we've also seen some really wonderful things as well.

I'll talk mostly about the best things that happened because they just simply make me happy! Dan and Pat have not slowed down in terms of the Gospel. Last Sunday (the day I was sick), Dan received the Aaronic Priesthood. Our bishop is also prepping them to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. The really neat thing is that we might get to go with them! They've both received callings and are pretty much fully integrated into the ward. They have a new convert "fire" that is burning really bright.

Another awesome thing was in finding a new investigator. This woman was "found" by her neighbors, a member family in one of our wards. She took the lessons a long time ago, but is now willing to retake them from us! The lesson was one of those where everything you say feels inspired. You really feel like the things you are saying aren't your words, but the Lord's. We invited her to be baptized. The Spirit was very strong, and I felt like she was going to say yes, but then her phone rang. Instead of saying yes, she said she'd think and pray about it. Just goes to show you how hard Satan works to distract people from making the right decisions. I'm almost positive she would have said yes without that phone call.

The difficulty of being a missionary comes from not looking at the big picture. You may have a day where everything appointment cancels and where no one is opening up their doors, or where no one is even home. For me,
with all my anxieties and worries, it is very easy for me to beat up on myself. But that's not really fair, is it? Just because things aren't always the way you want them to be doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. As long as you work hard and do everything you're supposed to, the Lord will honor His promises to you--no matter what the situation is.

That was the Lord's lesson of the week to me; just keep going!

I hope you all have a fantastic week! If you have anytime to write, I'd love to hear from you!

Elder Jones