Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 78: Christmas is over...


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


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!


(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!


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)!


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 CarreƱo 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