Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


older | 1 | 2 | (Page 3) | 4 | newer

    0 0

     Divine Intervention!  
     week 70, 68 weeks in Phoenix mission, 20 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    We had a wonderful week! The area is going great! We had the best week
    we've had in a long time. We found some new people to teach, those who
    have a baptismal date are progressing and coming to church, and our
    members are helping! It doesn't get much better than that. Oh, and
    Elder Fernandez is like the best trainee ever—he makes me wonder why
    the heck I was so stressed at the beginning of my mission. He's always
    so calm! Anyway, here was my week!


    Monday: Monday was an adventure. After studies we went to Target and
    got some things. We were searching for a game called Munchkin. Since
    Elder Thaut left, we didn't have it anymore...no luck at Target. We
    even went to the big Walmart instead of the Neighborhood Market in
    search of the game. Finally we came home and accepted the fact that we
    would not get it. Elder Bryan suggested trying Barnes and Noble. They
    had it! So we got it! Afterward we went to the church and played
    speedball. It was pretty intense. After pday we went out and contacted
    a referral that turned out to be a family of 5!! We talked to the dad
    and he is very interested after attending the Christmas lights at the
    Mesa temple. After the visit we went to someone's house to give a
    blessing to a man with terminal cancer. I had never given a blessing
    to someone who was that sick, but the Spirit guided. It was a humbling
    experience. Afterward his family (all non-members, his neighbor is
    friends with a member. So no members were present.) asked us a lot of
    questions about blessings, the Priesthood, and missionaries in
    general. It was a pretty cool experience to teach them about the
    priesthood. It was a great way to end the night.
    Temp: 75°F

    Tuesday: I don't remember much that happened Tuesday. I forgot to
    write in my journal. Either that or we were just rushed. We had a few
    lessons, one with Gary, who we've been working with for a while. He is
    starting to come along and realize the importance of the gospel in his
    life. We were led to his door by pure revelation three months ago. We
    have been talking with him ever since.

    Wednesday: It was a super busy day. We ended the day with 7 lessons. I
    think I biked more than I did any other day on my mission. We were on
    our own for the day, with appointments on the opposite side of our
    area—multiple times. I guess I'm just preparing Elder Fernandez to
    walk on his mission when he gets to Argentina! Probably our best
    appointment for the day was our last one. We met with a lady named
    Sam. She was baptized a little while ago in a different area, but she
    came to church a few weeks before. She just moved into this area. She
    explained how she has such a love for the gospel, but she doesn't
    realize how to access Jesus Christ's Atonement. She knows it works,
    but she can't figure out how to access it. So we explained to her how
    she can, by repenting, having faith and showing that faith by coming
    to church and reading her scriptures. Most importantly, by praying. We
    will now see her once a week! She's awesome!
    Temp: 76°F

    Thursday: Weekly planning. Then we had a lesson with Rusty and Liz,
    our two most solid investigators. We taught them the Restoration all
    the way through. They understand the need for a Prophet, and the need
    for a restoration. It was a great lesson. They are on track to be
    baptized on their date, Jan 2nd!!

    Friday: Zone meeting and then exchanges with a Elder Clough! One thing
    really hit me in our zone meeting. One of our zone leaders, Elder
    Gardner, asked a question, "Would you be the same missionary if Jesus
    Christ was your companion?" We all thought about it. He then followed
    with this—"He kind of is--your companion is a representative of Jesus
    Christ. You should act how He would act." We need to be an example.
    After dinner we had a lesson with the Sesay family, a big family in
    the ward from Liberia. Their daughter just turned 9 so we get to teach
    and baptize her! It's always fun to go over there because they're all
    so lively and energetic.
    Temp: 67°F

    Saturday: I was on exchange with Elder Clough until 3. We went finding
    in the afternoon and focused on contacting. We talked to everyone we
    saw and even met a pretty crazy person. (That's pretty normal here.) I
    exchanged back with a Elder Fernandez, taught a lesson to Javier, and
    we went to the ward Christmas party! There were about 250 people
    there! Lots of less-active members came, and Rusty and Liz came! They
    were fellowshipped really well. I think they like the French sisters a
    lot too haha. They were there with their French convert, Raphaël! It
    was a wonderful dinner and program. Everyone enjoyed it.
    Temp: 61°F

    Sunday: It was a wonderful Sunday. Rusty and Liz came to church and
    enjoyed it. Plus, a guy named Randall came to church after his friend
    invited him. He stayed for the whole block and enjoyed it! When he
    introduced himself in priesthood meeting, they asked if he was a
    member. He responded with, "Not yet. But with more days like today,
    hopefully soon!" So we got his information and we have an appointment
    with him this week. And he even seems normal!!! Not even crazy!! Had
    dinner with the Barton's which is always a treat. Then Brother Barton
    went out with us to visit Gary. His mom was there and is interested
    too! We taught the Plan of Salvation and he really enjoyed it and said
    it makes a lot of sense. It calmed my heart when he opened up and said
    that it just "clicked" with him that he needs to be reading the Book
    of Mormon. We invite him, but it really clicked this time. I'm eager
    to see how it goes for him.
    Temp: 60°F


    That was my week! Thanks for all of your love and support. Our mission
    office has a new address, so if you want to send me mail (pretty
    please! :)), send it to: (or get my apt from my mom)

    Elder Kevin Jones
    Arizona Phoenix Mission
    6833 W. Bell Rd.
    Glendale, AZ 85308

    * Note from MOM:  Just an update on the mail sent to the Mission home office- only letters can go there now.  If you are sending a package it needs to go to the OLD Mission home address for the next month.  But you can still send letters and packages directly to Elder Jones' apartment.  The office holds their packages for them.  He would love letters!! 

    The gospel is true. It changes lives; it changes people.


    .Zone picture! Left to right: (standing) Elders Gardner, Miller,
    Wheeler, Rodriguez, Dawson, Bradley, Bryan, Jones
    (Sitting) Elders Clough, Stott, Conover, Cespedes, Dwigans, Davenport, Fernandez

    Elder Jones and Elder Conover
    He is a friend of an Elder serving in our ward.

    Elder Fernandez and Mike's drawing (of Elder Fernandez...) on the
    tablecloth at the ward party.....yep that's Mike! Hahaha

    Elder Jones at ward Christmas Party and the drawing. :)

     don't do selfies very much....so here's rock hands.

    My weekly selfie

    Elder Jones and Fernandez getting
    birthday cupcakes from a member

    Elder Jones same night



    0 0

    Bye Bye, Rodrigo!---
    week 71, 69 weeks in Phoenix mission, 21 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    We had such a great week!! The Christmas season is a great time to be
    a missionary! It's also the most difficult time (for me) to be a
    missionary. But great, nonetheless. Elder Rodriguez is being
    transferred in the middle of the transfer up to Prescott. I've been
    serving with him ever since I got to Peoria last February. Needless to
    say I'm going to miss my Argentine brother!

    Cold
    My week was very very cold. Let's just say that being in Phoenix for a
    long time has made me a wimp! The highs have been in the upper 50's
    and lows in the mid 30's. I swear the weather is all that the people
    here want to talk about. If we engage in a conversation with someone,
    the subject of the weather will come up within two sentences of
    starting the conversation—guaranteed. The cooler weather has brought
    out my cooler wardrobe. Sweaters, coats, scarves, and gloves have been
    lifesavers.

    Christmas decorating
    Elder Fernandez and I went over to Christine's apartment this week to
    put up the rest of her Christmas decorations. She is our convert who
    is terminally ill. We set up her Christmas tree and decorated it with
    her many ornaments. We went in to her room and told her it was done
    and she wanted to see it. She got up out of her bed while screaming
    because moving hurts so much for her. She wheeled out in her
    wheelchair and cried because "it was so beautiful." The spirit of
    service never fails to touch my heart when I visit Christine and serve
    her. Whether it's setting up her Christmas lights, or just merely
    reading the scriptures with her. Service is service, and the Lord
    knows.

    New investigator
    We got a referral for a lady named Dianne. Apparently she had talked
    to missionaries before in the past and followed up with another member
    to ask us to come back. It was about 8:30, typically we stop knocking
    on unknown doors around 8 or 8:15. The Spirit prompted us to visit
    her, though. We set up a meeting for the next day. We visited her and
    taught her the Restoration. She accepted everything and wants to be
    baptized. We set a baptismal date for January 16. She came to church
    and stayed the whole time! People fellowshipped her and made her feel
    welcome. That's always a plus!

    Christmas Conference
    Our mission took a trip over to Mesa to visit the temple, visitors
    center, and the Christmas lights! We got to the temple and went
    through the visitors center. There were a lot of awesome new exhibits.
    We had lunch on the temple grounds and went and did an endowment
    session. The Spirit is so strong in the temple. President Griffin took
    us to dinner to Old Country Buffet, and we went back for the Christmas
    lights. I got lots of great pictures and had some quality time bonding
    with my fellow missionaries.

     Christmas musical fireside
    Our zone leaders organized a sweet Christmas musical fireside for the
    stake. It featured different solos, a choir, and the spoken word. Each
    missionary companionship introduced a performance. Elder Fernandez and
    I introduced Elder Clark's vocal solo of, "O, Holy Night." It was
    probably the most powerful event in the program. Elder Flynn also
    played an incredible piano arrangement of "Joy to the World." Elder
    Stott, one of our zone leaders, made home made pumpkin and pecan pies.
    No complaints! :)


    So that was my week! Trying a different letter format. I hope you all
    have a merry Christmas!! Soooo last week I said to send mail to the
    new mission office. Don't!! Apparently they aren't getting packages
    there yet. Have a great week!!

    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    Missionaries at Mesa Temple

    Transportation to Mesa Temple

    Missionary Christmas Fireside

    Elder Jones' Christmas Tree

    Elder Jones at Mesa Temple

    Elders Jones & Flynn at Mesa Temple

    Lots of Elders!

    On the Bus, Elders Jones and Fernandez

    Elders Jones and Fernandez
    in front of Mesa Temple

    Elders Jones and Fernandez
    at night in front of Mesa Temple

    Christmas lights and Name Tag

    Lunch on Temple grounds

    visitor center

    Elder's Christmas fireside
    he finally sees Chris is there.

    Outside the Temple w/group
    Elder Jones is on left side 3 rows back @ 3 in

    dinner at Old Country Buffet

    dinner at Old Country Buffet 2

    Old Country Buffet 3

    Old Country Buffet 4 - everybody looks happy

    President and Sister Griffin

    Selfie at the Temple

    visitor center

    Selfie.... Cooking?

     Our zone after the Christmas musical fireside!

    Bye bye, Rodrigo! #DontCryForMeArgentina





    0 0

    It's a Christmas Miracle! -
     Week 72, 70 weeks in Phoenix Mission, 22 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    Merry Christmas! I hope all of your Christmases were spectacular. I
    had a great time seeing family and friends on Skype. Lots of fun
    things happened this week.


    Christmas
    Let's just get this one out of the way...we had a great Christmas Eve
    and Christmas! Both days were non-proselyting days. Christmas Eve was
    spent hanging out most of the day. President Griffin told us we needed
    to deep clean our apartment again to make it less disgusting. He
    wasn't saying it was super dirty, it is just a gross apartment. So
    that's how we spent the morning! Our district came over and we cleaned
    the place from the ceiling to the floor. Then we hung out and played
    board games. We had dinner with the Barton's! Their whole family was
    sick with a stomach bug, but we risked it and went over there. No
    sicknesses yet. I think we may have survived. That night our
    downstairs neighbor was going ballistic because we were being too loud
    I guess. If we even moved a chair he would bang on his ceiling and
    yell at the top of his lungs. Bro, you're being louder than us! We
    just opened all of our Christmas packages Christmas Eve night.
    Christmas Day was great too. We spent most of the day with our whole
    zone hanging out at the institute building. This skype call has been
    the best so far. We had dinner with Javier and went home and hung out
    for the rest of the night. Exciting right?

    Weather
    It has been pretty chilly for Phoenix! Everywhere I go, I hear people
    complaining about how cold it is. Myself included... Temperatures have
    been in the high 50's. You'd think that we had 2 feet of snow here by
    how much people talk about how cold it is.

    Baptism
    The day after Christmas I was able to go back to Peoria to see Leah, a
    girl I taught while there, be baptized. It's crazy to think that 10
    months ago Elder Flynn and I had our first lesson with her. She was so
    excited to be baptized, but her mom remained skeptical for quite some
    time. After showing her commitment by attending church and institute
    at college, her mom lightened up and supported her being baptized. It
    was awesome to see everyone again and to witness the miracle of her
    being baptized.

    Investigators
    Even though there was a lot of down time this week, we still taught
    quite a few lessons. Lucilia is set to be baptized in a couple weeks.
    She turned 9 recently so she was switched to our jurisdiction. She is
    so excited! Rusty and Liz are still going strong, waiting on Rusty's
    baptism approval from headquarters.

    Special gift
    I normally don't talk a lot about gifts I receive, but I did receive a
    very, very special gift this Christmas from my family and loved ones.
    A little while ago, my mother asked me to put together a list of the
    12 most influential men in my life. I thought about it, and I came up
    with the list. I didn't think much more about it until I opened my
    Christmas package from home this week. Inside were 14 envelopes and 14
    little boxes. (They got 14 instead of 12) Each envelope contained a
    letter from one of the most influential men in my life, and a tie from
    each of them. I have, since then, enjoyed wearing one of those ties
    every day. I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.
    Thank you to anyone who may have contributed to the gift.

    Gospel Principles
    Elder Fernandez and I taught Gospel Principles and I got to share my
    experience of the Joplin tornado with the class. We talked about how
    the Lord protects us, and how we can better follow the Spirit. It was
    a good class with lots of participation. I'm glad I've learned how to
    teach on the fly, because we got a 30-minute notice that we were
    teaching. Yay for the Spirit!


    That was my week. Thanks for all of your prayers and support. Have a
    very happy New Year! May you all make resolutions to change and be
    better.

    Much love,

    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission


     Apartment mustache party

    Christmas breakfast with the zone


     Leah's baptism!!!

    weekly selfie- #1

    weekly selfie #2

     Zone bowling picture last pday
    Christmas skype 

    Christmas skype w/ ghost Kevin!

    family picture- 12/25/15


    0 0

    Cabin Fever --  
    Week 73,  71 weeks in Phoenix Mission,  23 Weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    Yeah, I apologize if this letter is extremely short. With the New Year
    and the end to the Holiday season, not much happened. People didn't
    want to meet much this week, we were stuck inside a lot, etc..But I'll
    give it my best shot!

    New Year
    So it's officially 2016. I was a missionary for the entire year of
    2015. How crazy is that? It feels like just yesterday I was beginning
    my "blackout year" last January. And now I just finished it. (A
    blackout year is the year a missionary is a missionary the entire
    year) As I look back on 2015, I can honestly say that I am proud of
    who I have become. I am eager to see where 2016 takes me! In the
    course of this year, I will:
    —Continue teaching the wonderful people of Arizona
    —Return home to my family and friends
    —Head off to college
    —Begin real life...
    That last one scares me quite a bit. I'm just a kid! I guess real life
    has to hit me sometime. :)

    The New Year as a missionary wasn't  really that exciting. On New
    Year's Eve and Day, we couldn't  proselyte. So we basically just
    stayed in and played board games/card games—all day. I can honestly
    say I had a bad case of cabin fever! Our dinner appointments with
    members kept me sane.

    Teaching
    This week we taught Lucilia, the girl about to be baptized, four
    times. Teaching her and her family was most of our teaching for the
    week. We determined that she needed to be taught again before she is
    interviewed, because she didn't understand a lot of the interview
    questions. So we postponed her baptism and began teaching her what she
    doesn't understand. We also taught Rusty and Liz. They are doing well
    and progressing. They really enjoy coming to church and meeting the
    people there. Rusty is very interested in the organization of the
    Church—as am I—so we enjoy discussing that aspect of the Church.

    Church Attendance
    Our ward has been on the declining slope in attendance recently. Prior
    to church  on Sunday, we attended our ward's ward council meeting.
    Brother Bleyl, a member of the bishopric, told us the bad-news
    numbers. He encouraged us to reach out and pray for those who are
    less-active to come back to activity.  Two hours later when sacrament
    meeting started, the whole chapel was full. It was a great sight to
    see so many people attend church. The bishop and his counsellors were
    beaming!

    This Sunday was testimony meeting, which can be either really good or
    really bad. This week it was really good. Raphaël, the new French
    convert in our ward, walked up to the pulpit to bear his testimony.
    One of the French Sisters followed him up there to translate for us.
    As he spoke French, the Spirit filled the room. Sister Casagrande
    explained what he had said in French:
    --He had been praying for his wife to join the Church. A few days ago,
    his wife had a dream that she needs to be baptized. So now she is on
    date to be baptized in just a couple weeks.
    Although only a few members of our congregation speak French, the ward
    has wrapped their arms around this precious convert and his family.
    The gospel is so true, not even language is a barrier.


    Brother Barton
    We received the devastating news that Brother Barton will be moving
    THIS WEEK. He is by far my favorite person I have met in this area and
    in the top 3 on my mission... He was supposed to move in early March
    to be closer to his work. Well, turns out a house became available
    just a mile from his work, so they jumped on it. As a result, he will
    be moving this Friday. He was just sustained to be the new ward
    mission leader two weeks ago! More changes are coming, I guess! I will
    include a picture I took with him. Our whole ward is saying they're
    going to make signs and protest their move. We told them we'll lead
    the charge. :)


    Well, that's about all that happened this week. Hopefully next week
    will be more exciting! :) I hope everyone has a great week. I love you
    all!!


    Much love,

    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission


    Brother Barton and Elder Jones

    Weekly selfie

    Elder Jones and Elder Bryan (apartment mate)


    0 0

    This Little Argentine!   
    Week 74, 72 week in Phoenix Az Mission, 24 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    Oh my goodness this week was full of changes!! It was such a sad and
    happy week all at the same time. Plus it is transfer week so our pday
    is today, Tuesday, which made for an extra long week. Honestly, it
    feels like last pday was weeks ago. It has been nice to relax for the
    day so far. Anyway, here was my week!


    Argentina :(
    Wednesday morning as we were studying our phone rang. I looked at the
    screen and it said, "APM President Griffin." As a missionary, a
    million things go through your mind when you see that your mission
    president is calling. The time in between the initial ringing to the
    time you answer the phone feels like an eternity. Anyway, we answered
    and he greeted us in his usual sarcastic way. We made some small talk
    and then he said, "Elder Jones, I have some bad news for you and good
    news for Elder Fernandez." He then told us that his visa came in and
    that was going to fly out of Phoenix Sky Harbor at 2pm on January 11.
    We dropped Elder Fernandez off at the mission office to embark on the
    rest of his mission journey in Rosario, Argentina. I really grew to
    love that kid and know that he's going to do wonders in Argentina.
    Since Elder Fernandez has been gone I've been in a tripanionship with
    my roommates who cover the Spanish ward.

    Transfers + Training
    Today is transfer day, so we obviously got the transfer news.
    President told me on the phone when he called about Fernandez's visa
    that I would be training again.  That means I'll be staying here in
    Glendale for at least 3 more months. Then maybe I'll be able to come
    off bike for the last 4 months of my mission! :) Fingers crossed!
    Elder Clough, one of my roommates, is getting transferred. We came
    into the apartment together, so I have lived with him for six months!
    I'm gonna miss him a lot! Anyway, this transfer coming up will be a
    great one. This transfer I will enter the last quarter of my mission.
    I hope to make it the best 6 months ever!

    Temple Trip w/ President
    A while ago, our zone leaders presented us with a challenge at zone
    meeting. They challenged us to contact 1500 people as a zone in the
    month of December. We had to talk to someone, invite them to do
    something, and ask for a referral for it to "count" as a contact. So
    our zone got to work. At the end of the month we had almost 2000
    contacts all together! President Griffin rewarded us by taking our
    whole zone to the Phoenix temple for an endowment session on Friday.
    It was really cool to be in the temple with so many people I have
    grown to love. Every time I attend the House of the Lord, my testimony
    grows. Friday was no different!

    Baptisms Coming!
    Lucilia was interviewed to be baptized yesterday! After putting off
    the baptism for a week to reteach her some things, she understood all
    of the baptismal interview questions and passed her interview! After
    we would teach her a lesson, we would write down what we taught her
    and she would study it in preparation for the next lesson! It was
    awesome. I wish all of our investigators would do that! So Lucilia
    will be baptized this Saturday, January 16. Also, the French
    missionaries serving in our ward will holding the baptism of Raphael's
    wife, Jeanne, on the 16th as well! The work of the Lord is hastening
    in multiple languages here in Arizona, and it's been a miracle to see
    unfold.

    Investigators
    We continue to teach Rusty and Liz on a weekly basis as we wait for
    Rusty's permission to clear Salt Lake City. We taught Lucilia a few
    times this week in preparation for her baptism.
    One lesson we had this week was nothing short of a miracle. On
    Wednesday, Brother Barton, Elder Fernandez, and myself went by to see
    Gary, a guy we have been teaching for a while now. We knocked on his
    door, and his crazy ex-wife was there causing a scene. She was on
    drugs or something like that and was having a breakdown. He was
    politely trying to kick her out, but she just kept throwing a fit. He
    was obviously embarrassed about what was happening, so we left. A few
    days later, Elder Fernandez suggested that we just stop by. One of our
    lessons fell through, so we biked over to his home. We knocked on his
    door and he let us in. He told us that he honestly didn't think that
    we would come back after what we saw the previous Wednesday. We told
    him that it wasn't his fault and that it was okay. Gary had told us
    that he was struggling with the concept of baptism, so we went over
    there with the intent to teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ, which
    involves baptism. I got the prompting that we should read 2 Nephi 31
    about it. As we were reading, we could see Gary's eyes light up as he
    was understanding what he had never been able to understand before.
    His eyes were opened, and he told us he knows why baptism is
    important. The converting power of the Book of Mormon is real!! We
    invited him to be baptized and he said that he wants to be. What a
    great end to a rainy night. I was grateful Elder Fernandez followed
    the prompting to go visit him, and that I followed the prompting to
    read with him.

    Food Bank
    Yesterday afternoon after we dropped Elder Fernandez off at the
    mission office, we went and helped sort food at a food bank! It was a
    ton of fun! And seeing the happy people receiving the food was the
    best part.

    Weather
    This whole week was full of mid-50's. Three straight days of rain made
    biking a cold nightmare, but luckily we have nice members willing to
    drive us around sometimes. :)


    That was the important parts of my week! I look forward to a second
    chance to train another missionary. It amazes me every day how much I
    can see the Lord working in my life and in the lives of others. Pray
    for me and my new companion! I love you all and appreciate all of your
    support.


    Much love,


    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission


    Weekly Selfie

    New bag!  He wore the last one out!

    Phoenix Temple

    Elder Bryan.....after the pepper made him sick.

    Elder Bryan about to eat a ghost pepper...
    .he threw up when we got home.


    Elder Fernandez after he got off the phone w/ Pres. Griffin
    telling him his visa came and he would be heading to Argentina
    the next Monday.

    Taking Elder Fernandez to the Mission Home

    Last exchange w/ Brother Barton

    All packed and ready to go!


    0 0

    Dirt, Baptisms, and Transfers! --
    Week 75, 73 weeks in Phoenix Mission, 25 Weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    It was a great week here in the APM! Sooooo much happened this week
    and I can't wait to tell you all about it! Here we go!

    New Companion
    After spending a few days with Elders Clough and Bryan since a Elder
    Fernandez left, transfers finally came around  on Wednesday. The whole
    missionary force around the world is getting rid of organized transfer
    meetings, but since I am training again we went to the training
    orientation meeting. While there, I got to see a few missionaries who
    I haven't seen in a while. For example, I got to see Elder Thaut
    again! He is also training a new missionary down in Buckeye. Anyway,
    my new companion is Elder Young from Kingsport, Tennessee. He has the
    accent to prove he's from the south! He served a few weeks in Mexico
    City a while ago but had to come home due to medical problems. He came
    back out to Arizona and is here to stay, but he's assigned as a
    Spanish speaking elder. So he does language study with our roommates,
    since I can't really train him on how to do language study. Elder
    Young is doing GREAT! Elder Bryan is also training a new elder—Elder
    Plourde (Pronounced Plerd) and he is from Alberta, Canada. That dang
    Canadian.

    Dirt
    Early Friday morning we headed over to Brother Stanley's home with our
    roommates to help him spread dirt in his back yard. He had 6 tons of
    dirt delivered to his home and we used shovels and rakes to move and
    smooth it out across his back yard. Man, talk about manual labor. My
    arms were sore for days after it. It was really fun, though. We were
    able to build trust and get to know a member even better. Plus he got
    us some Barro's Pizza, which is like Heaven in a pizza box here in
    Arizona.

    Baptisms
    Saturday was a very special day. We were able to be a part of two
    baptisms: one for Lucilia, a 9 year-old we have been teaching, and one
    for Marie Jeanne, someone the French missionaries have been teaching
    in our area. Her husband, Raphaël, was baptized about a couple months
    ago.
    Lucilia's baptism was awesome. Her dad was able to baptize her which
    was a really cool experience. I gave a talk on baptism and I asked her
    how excited she was to be baptized. She replied with "More than this
    excited!" And she held out her arms as far as they would go. She was
    then baptized by her father. The Spirit was so strong.
    Later that afternoon, we had the baptism of Marie Jeanne. All of the
    French missionaries were there and lots of members of Marie's family
    were there as well. The room was absolutely packed. I conducted the
    baptism which was a new experience for me...every time someone would
    get up to conduct/talk, it would be translated. If the person was
    speaking English, a French missionary would translate it into French.
    If someone was speaking French, it would be translated into English.
    Needless to say the baptismal service took a while. But that's okay,
    because it was an AMAZING experience. She was baptized by Israel, who
    was the first French convert since they introduced the French
    missionary program here in Arizona. There had to be at least 30 people
    surrounding the font to witness this miracle. Ever since Raphaël got
    baptized, his wife is now a member, and there are three others in his
    family who are taking the missionary discussions and are scheduled to
    be baptized in February. I'm so excited to be a part of this work! The
    Lord is hastening His work in many languages here in the Valley. After
    the baptism, Marie Jeanne and some of the members of her family sang a
    song about Jesus in Swahili, which is their first language. Overall an
    amazing experience.

    Investigators
    Almost all of our investigators are progressing. We had 5
    investigators at church Sunday and had two confirmations. I had
    the opportunity to confirm Lucilia as a member of the Church during
    sacrament meeting. Marie Jeanne was confirmed by a member of the
    bishopric. We taught Liz and Rusty about the word of wisdom and they
    agreed to live it. One of our investigators, Dianne, also agreed to
    live the word of wisdom. Oh, and during a lesson with her, her cat was
    crawling all over me. I love cats and I usually don't have too much of
    an allergic reaction, but I was really messed up that night. I had a
    pretty bad allergy attack from her cats! But it's all good–it went
    away. All of our investigators are doing really well and I'm so
    excited about it!

    Weather
    This week was a really good week weather wise. Mid 60's every day!
    This coming week is supposed to be 70 every day. Yep, be jealous! :)

    Bike Miracle
    Elder Young didn't have a bike, so we drove up to Peoria to see if
    there was one in the mission storage that he could use. We opened the
    storage unit and there was an almost new bike right there in the unit.
    There wasn't a tag on it that it was being sold, just a missionary who
    has since gone home's name. We called up the mission office and asked
    if we could just use that one. He said that if there's not a price tag
    on it then it's available for use! So we grabbed it and it's been
    working great! Yet another miracle to add to the books.


    Anyway, that was my week! I have lots of pictures so I hope you enjoy
    them. Love you all and I wish you the best!

    Much love,


    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    The baptism of Lucilia. Her dad, James, and
    Elder Young and myself.

    Elder Josh Young (Elder Jones' new trainee)

    Elders Jones and Young

     Going to transfers with Elders Clough and Bryan,
    and Brother Gomez!

    Look who I saw at the training meeting! Elder Thaut!

    Me, Javier, and Elder Gardner.
    Sisters Casagrande(French), Haymond(French),
    Javier, Elder Gardner, 
    and myself.

    In front of the new mission office!

    Look what I found at the store. It's been WAY TOO LONG!!

    Elder Young and Elder Plourde at the mission office

    Mike harassing me for liking the Patriots...

    Today's selfie!




    0 0

    CATS!! 
    Week 76, 74 weeks in Phoenix mission, 26 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    This week was pretty great. I don't have much time but here is my best
    shot at a good letter!

    Missionary Broadcast
    We got to watch a broadcast put on by the missionary department to all
    of the missionaries in the whole world. It was really great! Nothing
    really changed.....but the messages were all wonderful. Lots of focus
    on teaching repentance and baptizing. Basically the essence of what we
    do as missionaries. We learned how to fulfill our purpose better. We
    watched it at a member of the stake presidency's home.

    Brother Palmer, the Great
    There is a member in our ward named Brother Palmer. He is such an
    amazing man. Very few people are available during the day to come with
    us to lessons, so Brother Palmer comes with us quite a bit. We came
    with us to a lesson with Christine, our recent convert who is
    terminally ill. After our lesson, we didn't have time to bike all the
    way to our dinner appointment, so he just dropped us off. They hadn't
    confirmed, and the French Sisters were coming to our member's house
    for dinner too. We asked Brother Palmer to make sure they were home
    before he drove off. Turns out our dinner appointment forgot, so we
    asked Brother Palmer just to take us to our apartment. He offered to
    have us and the Sisters over for dinner! So we had a great dinner with
    their family, and they fed us the next day because that's the day they
    actually signed up for. Needless to say the Palmers are the best!!

    Investigators/teachings
    Our investigators are doing really well! The lady we have on date for
    baptism on February 13, Dianne, has quit smoking! She had smoked for
    years and after we taught the word of wisdom—she quit! We told her to
    replace the desire to smoke with the Book of Mormon, and it has been
    working really well for her. Rusty and Liz are still doing great and
    treating us well. When we bike over there they always tell us to call
    them when we get home because it's a bad neighborhood. It's nice
    having someone care that much about our safety that they request a
    call. I know that if my mom could request a call every night, she
    would.  Haha! We also had an incredible lesson with Katie, a recent
    convert. It's been hard to have a lesson with her recently since she's
    been so busy, but we finally got in. We read Moroni 10 with her and
    she really felt the Spirit.

    Cats!!
    Rusty and Liz have a lot of cats. 14 to be exact. We usually meet
    outside for that reason. After our lesson with them on Friday Rusty
    wanted to show us something inside their apartment. We went in and saw
    all of their cats. They have so many! The thing is, though, none of
    their cats are nasty! Liz raises pure bred shorthair cats and takes
    REALLY good care of them. That didn't help the allergy attack that
    went down, though. So I got a picture and a video of all of the cats.
    I'll send the picture in my picture email. :)

    Cool referral
    We have been teaching Lucilia and her family since she just got
    baptized. We're trying to help their family strengthen their faith and
    return to activity. James, the dad, said he felt prompted to invite
    Lucilia's friend's family to hear the gospel. He's going to ask them
    this week!


    So that was my week! Sorry it seems kind of lame. Elder Young is doing
    great. He's awesome!! I hope you all have a great week!!!

    Much love,

    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    Elder Jones and Young

    At Culver's w/ member

    Elder Jones

    Elder Young

    Member's Cats

    Elder Jones is highly allergic!

    Apartmentship

    Apartmentship


    0 0

    Weekly selfie
    Arizona Winters Rule!--
     Week 77, 75 Weeks in Phoenix Mission,  27 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    So far today has been pretty lame, but it's been alright. I apologize
    that I'm not getting any of your emails. The missionary email server
    is running off a potato, obviously. Sorry if this email is kind of
    lame!


    Apartment inspections
    On Tuesday Elder and Sister Dixon from the mission came by to inspect
    our apartment. They were amazed about how clean it was! When they said
    they were 10 minutes away, we made popcorn and set out party hats for
    them. They thought that was pretty funny. Sister Dixon said our
    apartment was spotless! Still old and nasty, but spotless!

    Exchanges
    On Tuesday I went on exchanges in my area with Elder Plourde. Before a
    few lessons we went out visiting people. On our way back to our bikes
    after knocking on a potential investigator's door, a lady asked us if
    we were Mormon missionaries. We told her we were, and she told us she
    had been baptized in Preston, Idaho a few years back. We chatted for a
    minute or two, then went on our way. We ran into her again a few
    minutes later and she invited us up to her apartment to give us water.
    We went up there and she asked us a lot of questions! She is
    interested in learning about the Church again. Oh yeah! It was a
    really good meeting and she is excited to learn again. Later, some
    kids stopped us on the street and tried to bash with us. They got
    owned, long story short. Haha!

    Zone conference
    Our zone conference was wonderful! We basically just discussed the
    missionary broadcast, and how to develop a culture in the mission.
    President Griffin is such an inspired speaker. He always grabs my
    attention every time he speaks.

    Service
    We went with our roommates helped Christine take down her Christmas
    decorations. She is very particular in how she does things, so I guess
    we did a lot of it wrong. She was fired up as she was telling us how
    to fix everything! She overreacted a ton, but in the end was grateful
    for our help. Let's just say I was very glad to be out of there after
    we finished.

    Cottage meeting/Sunday
    We had a meeting for investigators/recent converts at a member of the
    stake presidency's home. We learned more about the plan of salvation
    and listened to them sing some really good songs.

    Investigators
    All of our investigators are doing great!! We're having a bit of
    trouble finding new investigators, but we're doing our best. I have a
    feeling it's gonna pick up again real fast! Rusty and Liz are doing
    great. They gave us like 10 boxes of cereal that they weren't going to
    eat, so that's pretty cool! Cindy, Mike's girlfriend, is also doing
    great. She's having trouble understanding the priesthood, but she
    comes to church every week and is very into the lessons.

    Weather
    Winter in Arizona....it doesn't get much better than that. Every day
    was sunny and 72°F. Be jealous! :)


    That was my week. Again, sorry if it was kinda lame! Hopefully we'll
    have a more interesting week next week. I'm about to hit 18 months.
    Yikes!!! I forgot what it's like to be an actual citizen!

    Have a great week, everyone!


    Much love,

    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission


    Multi Zone Conference

    Multi zone conference
    Part of mission picture
    Multi Zone - Elder Jones on back row center
    back row -right
    Elder Young's birthday party
    Sister Haymond (French missionary serving in my ward-the one in the
    middle) got transferred. Here's a goodbye picture!
    French Sisters
    Elder Jones
    Elders Young and Jones
    Tag picture I kept requesting
     Spencer stopped by last night to give
     us leftovers from our dinner. He
     hung
     out for a while. He's awesome!!
    As usual he orders a cheeseburger- no matter
    where he eats.

    Multi Zone conference











    0 0

    Sick...again -- 
    Week 78- 76 weeks in Phoenix- 28 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    As you can tell by the title of the email, I have been super sick this
    week! I feel kind of bad for Elder Young because he's just kind of had
    to hang out at home with me a couple days. I wish I could say it's
    getting better....buuuut......it's not much better. Anyway, here was
    my week! I didn't write much because I was really sick.


    Interviews:
    We had interviews with President Griffin this week! Normally
    interviews with church leaders can be boring and annoying, but not
    with President Griffin! He is so great and always asks how he can help
    with our work. And when you've been out a while like me he throws in
    some funny stuff. He has such a dry sense of humor that just makes me
    laugh so much. This one funny thing he said during my interview with
    him:
    "Elder Jones, when did you come out again?"
    "August, 2014."
    "Oh yeah—so you're one of the old ones now!"
    "I don't feel like an old one, President!"
    "Haha....you don't look like one either. When you're 30 and married
    your wife is gonna look like a cougar!"
    I just thought that one was funny. He's such a great guy and
    definitely makes me feel comfortable in the mission. I have learned so
    much from his example in the 18 months I've been in Phoenix.

    Marriage!
    So Rusty and Liz, our two most progressing investigators, need to be
    married before they can get baptized. Rusty got his approval from the
    First Presidency, so that's their only barrier. They aren't too fond
    of the idea of marrying, because they believe that they were put
    together by God, they don't need to sign a paper....etc. which is a
    legitimate concern! But we talked with them and said it's not our
    rule—it's God's. They lightened up on the subject and Liz said, "Oh,
    and there's one more problem....He's never asked me!!!" The mood
    lightened up and we put them on date for March. We tentatively planned
    March 12, but we're not sure when the wedding will happen so we'll
    see! Anyway, great news!

    Urgent Care
    I had to go to urgent care because of my sickness! My right ear is
    completely plugged because of an "imbalance of pressure" or something
    like that. I kinda wished it was something that could be treated, but
    oh well. DayQuil and NyQuil have been my best friends. Plus I got
    ID'ed when I bought NyQuil. I felt like an adult.

    Sleeeeep
    With my sickness I slept a lot. I never thought I'd ever say that I
    was tired of sleeping, but I sure was after the second day of being
    sick. Now that I'm a little better I can function more haha.

    Weather
    I'm going to attach a picture of the weather in my picture email. You
    will all be jealous. Heck, I'm jealous for you!!



    That was my week. Sorry it was short. I'm sure you'll get over it! ;)
    I hope you all have a great week and stay strong. This week I will hit
    my 18-month mark. o.o


    Much love,

    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    The district Elders Bryan, Plourde, Cespedes, Miller, Jones, Young,
    Diamante, Dawson




    Weather. Be jealous. ;)

    weekly selfie

    Pday - getting some meds from a member friend


    happy

    locked out of apartment:(

    Me and Elder Plourde


    Elder Bryan and Elder Plourde

    Chilling in Urgent Care



    0 0

    Warmth!--- 
    Week 79-  77 weeks in Phoenix,  29 weeks in Glendale 

    Dear friends and family,

    Yet another week has gone by on my mission. I have been in Arizona for
    18 months now, and it is getting hot again for the third time on my
    mission. This week was pretty normal, we contacted quite a few people,
    people are progressing, and some are being dropped. Everyone always
    thinks that all missionaries see is miracles. Part of that is true—we
    do see miracles—but there are also hard times. The miracles and good
    times outweigh them most of the time, though. Here are some of the
    highlights of my week. Enjoy!


    Marriage:
    Rusty and Liz, our two most progressing investigators, are getting
    married! When we first taught the Law of Chastity to them, they were
    very firm in the fact that they don't need to be married. After we
    talked with them more about it and explained the reasonings behind it,
    they warmed up to the idea. After the lesson with them two weeks ago,
    Rusty texted us and said, "I asked her—she said yes!" He then texted
    us, "However, our wedding will not be the royal wedding she deserves."
    We told them that the temple marriage that will come will be that
    Royal wedding. They are actually excited about it now, which is really
    cool to see. They have been coming to church every week and have
    enjoyed meeting the members of the ward. Witnessing true conversion is
    always a great sight.

    Gospel principles:
    Javier, the gospel principles teacher, was sick so we taught the class
    on Sunday. Our ward is full of different personalities, so many
    different personalities attend Sunday school. Most of the class is
    made up of converts, so it's really cool to see their new spiritual
    minds work. I'm grateful that the mission has taught me to be able to
    teach with clarity the principles of the gospel. A lot of people say
    that if you can't teach the gospel to a child, then you don't know the
    gospel well enough.

    Special Dinner:
    This week we had dinner with two returning members, the Dazley's. They
    hadn't been to church in a while and have been coming back. Brother
    Dazley is working to advance in the priesthood. They're both making a
    lot of progress! They feed us dinner every month, and we ate with them
    this week. They invited their neighbor, Louise, to eat with us. They
    made some super good tacos and afterward we taught about the
    Restoration to Louise and bore testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book
    of Mormon. Turns out she has dementia, which I realized right off the
    bat when she told us the same story twice within 2 minutes. It
    reminded me of the old times when my grandparents lived with us! The
    Dazley's brought their friend to church this Sunday, too!!

    Temple:
    I'm sure you've all heard me talk about one of the recent converts in
    our ward, Christine. She has terminal cancer and was baptized 10
    months ago. The doctors were predicting she would pass away last
    September, so she has long outlived their expectations. She got some
    good news this week! The First Presidency approved her to go to the
    temple two months early to receive her endowment. So she will be going
    to the temple next Tuesday, Feb 23rd! And she invited us to come too
    and we got permission to go! I am so excited for her. I believe she
    has held on this long for the opportunity to go to the temple in this
    life. She is one of the most faithful people I have ever met! Pray for
    her this week!!

    Valentine's Day:
    Well, for Valentine's Day I wore a pink tie. That's about the extent
    of my celebration. :)

    Weather:
    The title of my email sums up the weather for this week. Mid 80's. No
    sweaters needed. Next week it will hit 90°F. The heat is back! Woohoo!

    Transfers next week:
    I should be safe from transfers next week as Elder Young still has
    another transfer of training. Our next pday will be Tuesday, but I
    won't have a lot of time to email as we are going to the temple with
    Christine around 2pm-ish.


    That was the extent of my week! I hope all of you haven't forgotten
    about me! I'll be home before you know it. Goodbye from Sunny Arizona!


    Much love,


    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission


    District picture

    weekly selfie
    Chef Plourde


    0 0

    --Citrus Attack!--
    Week 80- 78 weeks in Phoenix Mission- 30 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    Hello, wonderful family and friends of mine! This was a great week.
    The work here in Glendale is going great and I'm excited to be here at
    least one more transfer. Oh yeah—im not getting transferred. Neither
    is Elder Bryan or Elder Plourde, but they're getting another Spanish
    missionary. They'll be in a tripanionship this transfer. Here was my
    week!


    Housing
    We got a very welcomed phone call on Thursday morning. Right after
    studies we were just talking to our roommates and our phone rang. We
    answered, and it was Elder Petty, our housing coordinator. He told us
    that he was getting us out of our nasty apartment ASAP. He told us to
    go look for another place to move, so we did! We found a super nice
    complex in our area with some openings. Elder Petty came down and
    signed some papers and made it official. He said, "I don't care if I
    have to pay for a vacant apartment, we're getting you out of there."
    We will hopefully move in on February 29th! Boom!!

    Reunited
    We had a trainer/trainee meeting in Peoria on Friday. I got to see a
    lot of the missionaries I miss dearly at the meeting. A couple I got
    to see were Elder Thaut and Elder Rodriguez! It was great to see them.
    At the meeting President Griffin gave some great training regarding
    the most important things we do as missionaries. It was really
    inspiring and made me want to do better!!

    Fruit Picking
    We participated in "Glendale's Day of Service" with our ward. Our
    group was assigned to pick grapefruit off of trees in a local park.
    The fruit was then donated to a local food bank. It was so fun to pick
    all the fruit! We picked alongside of the Conn family, members of our
    ward. We got to talk with them and build more trust! My arms were all
    scraped up from the pointy things on the tree, though. Worth!!!

    Exchanges
    I was able to go on two exchanges last week! One with Elder Bryan (DL)
    and one with Elder Gardner (ZL). While I was with Elder Gardner, we
    visited Mike and Cindy, a recent convert and his girlfriend who isn't
    a member. Well, not girlfriend anymore. THEY'RE ENGAGED! So that's
    super cool!! I will send out a picture of them. Cindy is struggling
    with the desire to be baptized, so we asked if she has truly prayed
    about the Book of Mormon. She admitted that she hasn't, so we
    committed them to kneel together as a couple and to pray to know if
    the Book of Mormon is true. She said she would, so we'll find out how
    that went this week!

    Winding down
    I only have 4 transfers left on my mission. AHHHH IM NOT READY FOR
    REAL LIFEEEEE

    Weather
    Whelp, it hit 90°F in February. It's gonna be a fun summer. #PrayForFlagstaff


    That's about all that happened this week! We had some good lessons
    with converts and less-active members, and we got two super good
    self-referrals we will be following up on this week! Hopefully I'll
    have some good news next week! :) OH, we finally got our new ward
    mission leader after 7 weeks of being on our own. Brother Taylor, who
    was the YM president is now our new ward mission leader. Yay! :) can't
    wait to work with him.

    Have a great week!


    Much love,

    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission


    weekly selfie

    Elders Jones and Young 

    Elder jones

    Deciding to buy a steak over a cheeseburger
    write this on the calendar!

    eating his yummy dinner... Thanks Chris!

     Elder Plourde, body builder

    Me with Mike and Cindy!

     Mike and Cindy's engagement! Super cool!!


    Elder Bryan on our exchange


     Elder Thaut and me.


    0 0

    Temple Miracle---
    Week 81, 79 weeks in Phoenix Mission, 31 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    It was such a wonderful week full of miracles. Hopefully we will be
    moving sometime this week. I can't wait to get out of this apartment!!
    Then our neighbors who think we're loud can have actual loud
    neighbors! Anyway, here are the highlights from my week.


    Temple with Christine
    As I mentioned last week, one of our recent converts, Christine, went
    through the Phoenix temple and received her endowment. Christine is
    terminally ill and pretty much bedridden. Doctors were predicting she
    would pass away last August. Despite her terrible condition, she made
    it all the way through the session. Everyone was so patient and it was
    truly a special experience for all who were there—especially
    Christine. After the temple, we all went back to her apartment to
    congratulate  her and have cake. She had to go straight to bed because
    she was in such bad shape afterward, but she said it was so worth it.
    I'm so grateful I got to witness such a miracle. Christine is not
    doing well now. She could pass on any day now.

    Tripanionship
    Our roommates, Elders Plourde and Bryan, got an extra companion for
    this transfer. Now there are five elders living in our apartment. The
    new Elder is Elder Benolerão from New York City. He is Filipino and
    hilarious. Luckily we're moving to a new place this week because it's
    getting pretty crowded in here!!

    New Investigators
    This week we broke our dry spell and picked up two new investigators!
    The first is Jamie, who we have taught before, but she just turned 9
    recently so she is now "officially" an investigator! She is seriously
    the smartest kid I have ever met. It amazes me how much she takes in
    and understands. She committed to be baptized on May 13, which is her
    late mother's birthday. It's really far away, but we didn't want to
    spoil that special day for her. We know that day means a lot to her.
    Our other new investigator is who we're super psyched to be teaching.
    Her name is Michelle and she is a self-referral, which means she got
    online herself and requested missionaries. She had talked to the
    missionaries before in Nevada, but had lost contact. We stopped by
    with our ward mission leader, Brother Taylor, and had a great lesson.
    We basically just set expectations and asked about her past with God.
    She just broke down crying and said she is so grateful that she found
    the Church again. Right there, 5 minutes after meeting her, I felt
    impressed to invite her to be baptized. I did, and she accepted the
    invitation. She will be baptized on March 26, if not earlier. She is
    the definition of a "golden investigator".

    Zone Service Project
    On Friday, our whole zone participated in a service project in a really
    ghetto neighborhood. We helped the City of Phoenix clean up an alley.
    It was a really small alley and it took two hours to clean it up. But
    dang, it looked great(er) when we were done. We picked up trash, and
    other things that probably shouldn't be mentioned by a missionary. We
    also weeded the whole alley. Seriously, there were some pretty nasty
    things left in that alley. No worries though—we wore gloves and masks.

    District Meeting
    We do a district meeting every week, but this one was really good! I
    have a discussion on how to overcome big problems we have on our
    missions. Some struggle with testimonies, homesickness, girls, etc..
    And the best way to overcome those obstacles is to focus on
    eliminating the smaller problems such as getting up on time, eating
    healthier, using time wisely, etc.. When we work on those problems,
    the Lord will trust us and help us with our bigger problems. I know it
    really helped me!

    Weather
    It was about the same. About 82°F and sunny every day. It's getting
    pretty warm! #PrayForFlagstaff


    Well that was my week. I'd love to hear from you all! Very few people
    understand how much an email from someone back home really means to a
    missionary. Just over 5 more months and I'll be back in MO. Until
    then, I'll be rocking it here in PHX.

    Seriously though—email me! Now or sometime during the week! Not that
    I'm demanding or anything... :)


    Much love,


    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    With Elder Young at Phoenix Temple

    Blurry zone picture in the alley we cleaned up.
    Left to right: Elders Buckway, Bradley, Davenport, Katz, Plourde, Young, Gardner, Dawson, Conover, Jones, Bryan, Benolerão, Jones, Cespedes, Diamante

    District pic. Top row: Jones, Dawson, Young, Diamante, Jones,
    Cespedes Bottom row: Plourde, Bryan, Benolerão

    Us with Frank, a recent convert.

    Elder Young with a cat that hangs out by our apartment.

    weekly selfie


    0 0

    The Chipotle Miracle!
    Week 82-  80 week in Phoenix Mission-  32 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    We had a pretty normal week! Sorry if this email is super lame. But
    I'll do my best to make it great! Here goes.

    Baptisms
    The French Sisters had two baptisms on Saturday! Two more of the
    Mwanamulenda family were baptized. So far the four of them have been
    baptized and there are more to come. They are truly an amazing family.
    The two who were baptized, Christine and Macinda, are 12 and 10. They
    only speak Swahili!! As if there wasn't a big enough language barrier
    with French! The ward is doing well with accommodating their needs,
    though. Raphaël, the first to be baptized, was just called as the
    French gospel principles teacher. I see a French branch coming really
    soon. I am so grateful to be a part of this incredible miracle. The
    gospel will be preached to everyone; the Lord's promise is being
    fulfilled here in the Black Canyon Ward.

    Chipotle Miracle
    So I know this is a really lame thing to put in my email, but it was
    pretty funny how it happened. Two days ago we got a coupon in the mail
    for a free burrito from Chipotle. We were figuring out who would get
    it since there are five of us in the apartment. Elder Plourde won the
    coupon after we drew names out of a hat, so we headed out. We saw
    another coupon on the ground, and two more on the top of the trash!!
    So that left one person not having a coupon. Elder Young volunteered
    to pay for his, so we were in line getting our burritos and a guy from
    the back of the line comes up and says, "I'm paying for all five of
    these guys." Just a tender mercy!! Such a nice guy.

    Doctor
    I went to urgent care again this week because I have had the same
    cough for about 3 months. When I told the doctor how long I had the
    cough, she looks at me and says, "Don't you think that's a little
    long??" I told her that the last urgent care said I was fine. She said
    that was stupid and she put her stethoscope to my lungs and told me to
    cough. She said, "OH YEAH, you're sick" and she prescribed me
    antibiotics. I guess I had bronchitis after all! So I'm feeling a lot
    better now. The cough has almost stopped. Woohoo!

    Investigators
    Our investigators are all still doing well. Not much to report on
    them. Mike and Cindy got new jobs paying double what they were making
    before, which is great for them since they've been struggling a little
    bit! He said the Lord is blessing them more than they can comprehend.
    I hope Cindy will notice those blessings and become even more
    interested in the Church.

    Weather:
    The weather has cooled down a little bit. Every day has been the upper
    70's and sunny. Yep, we're spoiled. Not for long, though!

    Moving
    So we get to move tomorrow! I'm so excited to get out of this
    apartment! This new one is so much better. I can't wait.


    Well, that was my week. We have a ton of meetings/trainings/other
    stuff going on next week so it should be jam packed with cool stuff!!
    Have a great week, everyone!


    Much love,

    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    Elder Jones and Elder Young at Culver's w/ Chris

    waiting for meds

    Dr. checking him out

    Not sure what she is doing

    waiting for meds

    trying to look happy

    Me and my best friend, Sammy. I love little dogs!!!
    I'm the only 
    missionary she will come up to.

    Elders Bryan and Benolerão with their ukes!

    Elder Jones and Elder Jones! They are in the same district!

    Weekly selfie



    0 0

    Crazy Week!--
    week 83-  81 weeks in Phoenix Mission-  33 weeks in Glendale


    Dear friends and family,

    HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY TO ME!! Yep, I'm 20 1/2 today. ;) It was such a
    crazy, long week! But SO worth it! We didn't have the opportunity to
    teach a lot this week because of all of the other stuff we had to do,
    but we still taught some good lessons and got a lot done. Anyway, here
    goes!


    New Apartment
    As I mentioned in my last letter, we moved apartments on Tuesday!! We
    didn't want to draw out the process, so we bit the bullet and did the
    whole move in Tuesday. We got to the new place just as the workers
    were finishing the place up. (That's how newly renovated it is...) New
    sinks, countertops, floors, bathtubs, toilets, appliances—everything.
    It's truly a miracle! Haha. Things just feel better here. It's safer,
    quieter, and smells better. Definitely a better place to feel the
    Spirit. Plus, the young men's president is our (kind of) neighbor! Too
    bad he lives too far away to use his wifi, though!!

    Mission tour
    The day after our move we had mission tour. Half of the mission
    gathered together to hear from a member of the First Quorum of the
    Seventy, Elder Arnold. Let me tell ya, he's the next Elder Holland. He
    was very bold and told us how we need to be better. Although he was
    bold, he was still very loving. He focused a lot on getting the
    members involved in the work and asking for referrals from everyone!
    Things we already knew, but needed to be told again.

    Investigators
    We are still working with the same people, but we picked up a couple
    potentials this week so we will be seeing them more next week. The
    golden investigator we found a couple weeks ago, Michelle, is
    completely MIA. She's never home, doesn't reply to texts or
    calls—nothing. Hopefully she'll respond back soon. Rusty and Liz are
    still doing great. We met with them on Friday and reviewed the
    baptismal interview questions and they understand and believe all of
    the doctrine contained in the questions. They just need to get married
    and boom! They'll get baptized!!

    Miracle Sunday!
    We were kind of bummed because we didn't get to see a lot of our
    investigators this week due to moving and meetings, so we weren't
    expecting a very large turnout to sacrament meeting this week. Well,
    were we wrong!!! While we were at choir practice Rusty and Liz walked
    in super early, which is normal for them. Right before sacrament
    meeting started, Mike came in with his fiancée Cindy, who we're
    teaching. The Sesay family came and brought their friend, Tru, who
    were also teaching. Then, right before the sacrament, Jamie and her
    mom and dad walked in!! We've been trying to get them to church for
    months! Jamie is 9 and is an investigator, and her parents are
    less-active. Our only concern for them has been resolved! Plus a
    couple other less-active members we've been working with showed up. It
    was a great Sunday to be a missionary! Also, we heard that Sister
    Casagrande, the French missionary from France, will be transferred to
    the Phoenix North Stake to open a new French area. I know she will do
    well there, but we will definitely miss her being in the ward! All the
    members just love her.

    Exchange
    On Saturday I went on exchanges with our roommates, Elders Plourde and
    Benolerão. Elder Bryan went with Elder Young in our area. It was the
    first time I've been in a tripanionship other than when Elder
    Fernandez left me companionless for two days when he went to
    Argentina. The exchange was a blast! We taught some people—well, they
    taught some people; I watched—and we just had a great time. We have
    some great missionaries serving in this zone. I'm fortunate to serve
    around them!

    Weather
    Yep, it's been in the mid 70's all week. We couldn't have had more
    beautiful weather for the move.


    That was mostly what happened this week! I doubt many of you read this
    far in the letter anyway haha. Love and miss you all! 5 more months
    till I'm home!


    Much love,

    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission


    Our last night in the old apartment. ALL SLEEP IN THE LIVING ROOM!

    A member's cat likes me.

    Elder B thinks he's buff

    Our balcony of our new place! Taken today.


    0 0

    Multi zone conference w/ General Authority
    Defying Mission Boundaries!--
    Week 84-- 82 weeks in Phoenix mission-- 34 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    Greetings from Glendale! We had a really great week. Lots of meetings
    and other fun stuff, plus 5 new investigators! Here was my week!


    No Boundaries
    Here in the Arizona Phoenix Mission, we know NO BOUNDARIES! This week
    I went out of the mission...twice! Elder Young was with our roommates
    at a Spanish specialized meeting so I was with the zone leaders for
    the day. President Griffin asked the zone leaders to go to Central
    Phoenix to give someone a blessing in the hospital. Sooo.....I went to
    central Phoenix! It was a fun day with the zone leaders! I rode a
    hover board at their house and I owned it!  Later in the week we had a
    service project just south of our mission boundaries. We helped the
    City of Phoenix clean out an alley in another rough neighborhood. We
    painted over graffiti and cleaned up a lot of trash. It was fun!

    Interviews
    We had interviews with President Griffin this week. I asked him what
    his plans are for me for my last 3 transfers and he said, "I'm not
    sure yet, but you've been in your area for a coon's age!" Hahah! I
    love President Griffin. He is the man.

    New Investigators
    On Tuesday we went out with Brother Acedo, a member in the ward. Our
    appointments fell through so we visited Amanda, who was a referral. We
    knocked on her door and she answered and said, "Wow, crazy timing—my
    dad just died today and I've been really sad..." We told her about the
    Book of Mormon and gave her a copy. We invited her to read it and we
    would be back next Wednesday. So that was a miracle!
    The elders who cover the Rose Lane ward met a family who is interested
    and is in our ward. We taught them the first lesson on Wednesday.
    Their names are Lichelle and Devon and they are very interested in
    learning more. Heck yeah!
    Our roommates were walking through a complex in our area looking for a
    Spanish guy, and they were searching for a dumpster to throw a bottle
    away. They found the dumpster, threw it away, and heard someone yell,
    "Hey Elders!" They went over to the guy, and it turns out Tony and
    Cindra had just prayed asking to know what church they should attend.
    Talk about a miracle!! So they had a great lesson and they came to
    church on Sunday! They're looking to get back on the right path and
    they are excited they found the Church. Such nice people. Oh—Tony grew
    up in Joplin, MO. #Connections

    Bon Voyage, Soeur Casagrande!
    Unfortunately, Sister Casagrande, one of the French sisters in our
    ward, got transferred to open a new French area in the Phoenix North
    Stake—just over the I-17. It was sad to see her go! We have become
    pretty good friends in the 4 months she was here. I know she'll do
    great opening the new area.

    Cool contacting
    We did a lot of street contacting this week, and a couple really stuck
    out. At the beginning of the week we were visiting a returning member
    named Jesse. His downstairs neighbor was sitting outside with his wife
    and jokingly offered us a beer. I said no thanks, and struck up a
    conversation somehow. We just talked for a good 15 minutes about what
    missionaries do and he invited us to come back to talk to him more. It
    was a really good meeting with him. Turns out he's looking for another
    church to go to.
    Another contact was on our way out of Jesse's apartment complex. We
    talked with her and she said she's from Virginia. I told her my family
    originates from Virginia and she told us she's from ROANOKE! Her
    accent reminded me exactly of my mom's and grandma's. She was ecstatic
    when I said my family is from there. She invited us back right there.
    Making connections is one of the most effective ways to get invited
    back! Crazy how many connections happened this week.

    Weather
    Lots of biking, and temps all the way up into the mid 90's. CRAZYYYY.
    And it's only March............. #PrayForFlagstaff


    Well, that's all that happened for the most part! It was a great week.
    I hope all is well with everyone. Sorry for the late email. We've been
    bowling! I'll attach pictures in a separate email. Love you all! :)


    Much love,


    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    Zone Conference w/ Pres Griffin



    lunch

    Zone

    silly zone




    French sisters- Bon voyage, Seour Casagrande! Left to right: Sisters Paul,
    Casagrande, me, Elder Young

    Zone Bowling activity

    weekly selfie w/ a little photo bombing going on



    0 0

    Trying Week!-- 
     Week 85-  83 Weeks in Phoenix mission-- 35 weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    I hope all had a happy Easter. The Easter season is always a great
    reminder of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This week has been a tough
    one for me. This letter might make a lot of people realize that
    missionary work isn't always just miracles and happiness! Sometimes
    everything goes wrong and everything seems to get on your nerves. This
    was one of those weeks! But have no fear—The Lord never gives us
    challenges or trials we can't handle. Boy am I thankful for that
    knowledge!

    I'll try my best to highlight some of the good things that happened:

    Lichelle & Devin
    We are teaching a new couple, Lichelle and Devin. They have struggles
    with the word of wisdom and are kind of beat down by that. We went
    over there this week and shared a message on the Atonement of Jesus
    Christ and how It can apply to healing addictions. Lichelle had a hope
    in her eyes that was undeniable. She felt the Spirit, and has a strong
    resolve to change. It's a great sight to see.

    Church
    It was a great Easter service. Probably the best part, though, was the
    first speaker. Raphaël, the first French convert in the area,
    delivered a powerful talk on the Atonement. Sister Haymond translated
    the whole talk as he delivered it in French from the podium. The
    Atonement has changed that family's life. They are living examples of
    the word "convert".

    Trials
    This week was full of trials. Almost all of our lessons cancelled this
    week, and I have felt pretty homesick the past couple of weeks and
    honestly, I am getting super burnt out in this area. It's a great
    place to serve, but I feel like I'm getting cabin fever in this little
    chunk of the city. I've been here for nearly 9 months. I'm definitely
    praying for change, but I will always accept God's will over mine.
    Like I said earlier, the Lord never gives us too much to handle. We
    just have to find a way to handle it.

    Exchange
    Probably the highlight of the week was getting to go on an exchange
    with Elders Plourde and Bryan in their (Spanish) area! Plus I got to
    drive a little bit, which is a rare occurrence... It's
    interesting—every time I go on exchanges in a Spanish area I seem to
    pick up more of what is being said. This time I even prayed in Spanish
    at the end of a lesson. I guess that's what happens when you're
    surrounded by Spanish 24/7.

    Easter dinner
    We had dinner with the Bleyl family. Sister Bleyl is Tongan, and a lot
    of their family was there! Needless to say there was a ton of food.
    Sometimes I think that "Tongan food" is just "a lot of food." That's
    what I've gathered so far.

    Weather
    Too hot for March. Enough said.


    That's about all that happened this week. Please pray for me to be
    able to finish my mission strong. I don't want to coast, but it will
    be so easy to do so. Have a great week everyone!! I love you!
    #PrayForFlagstaff!


    Much love,


    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    Easter dinner with Tongan family

    Elder Bryan with palm tree leaves...don't ask

    Rare photo of Elder Jones driving!

    Happy Easter!! :)

    weekly selfie


    0 0

    Freetown -- 
    86 Weeks, Week 84 in Phoenix Mission, 36 Weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    I had another great week here in the APM. General Conference was
    wonderful. If you didn't get a chance to watch, give it a look. You
    won't regret it. We were able to teach quite a bit this week and have
    some super fun experiences.


    Freetown
    This morning we received the reward for accomplishing our zone-wide
    contacting goal for the month of March. The reward was getting to
    watch a movie with President Griffin as a zone. He came with movies
    and we chose to watch "Freetown," which is about 6 Liberian
    missionaries who had to escape Liberia due to rebel groups. It was
    awesome hearing of how the Lord protects His missionaries. Those
    Elders escaped with their lives multiple times. It was a super intense
    movie. President bought us doughnuts so we ate as we watched.
    Definitely a super fun morning spent together.

    General Conference
    Of course, General Conference was wonderful from beginning to end. We
    spent 10 hours total listening to living prophets, seers, and
    revelators deliver us the word of God. General Conference as a
    missionary is even more special. Even though some speakers speak on
    finding a wife, getting married, and dating, each speaker delivers a
    special spirit to missionaries. I'm so grateful for living prophets in
    this day to instruct us. God has not shut the door. God has not
    forgotten His children. He does not love His children in the past more
    than he does now. He is literally "the same yesterday, today, and
    forever."

    "Thank you, missionaries!"
    We had a very tender, special moment when Elder Young and I went and
    taught Jamie, our 9 year-old investigator. We rode up and locked our
    bikes like we always do, and knocked on their door. Jamie opened up
    and asked if we saw the picture she drew in chalk on the driveway. We
    didn't pay much attention to us, so she took us out front to show us.
    She had spent 2 hours drawing us a picture that depicted the 3
    kingdoms of glory (we taught the plan of salvation the week before and
    drew pictures) and above it said, written in big, blue letters: "Thank
    you, Missionaries!" It was impossible to wipe the smiles off our
    faces! It was so precious! She said, "Wednesday's are usually the
    worst days for me at school, so I always look forward to the
    missionaries coming over and teaching me a happy message." She is Sooo
    cool. I'll send a picture of her chalk drawing.

    Investigators
    I just told you about Jamie. Needless to say she is doing great! We
    are now teaching a guy named Rob. He is the husband of a member of the
    ward. She isn't active, but they want to be married in the temple and
    are willing to do anything to do so. They really enjoyed conference!
    We are going to invite Rob to be baptized on a specific date tonight.

    Weather
    Go away summer....this week it is supposed to be in the mid 90's. We
    haven't seen rain since January. Ha.


    Well, that was my week! Sorry my letter was kinda short. Just a lot of
    Conference! I hope everyone who watched came away with their
    testimonies strengthened. I know I did. Thank you all for the prayers
    on my behalf. Just 4 more months to go and I'll be back on good old
    MO. I'll know transfer news by next pday which will be next Tuesday.
    #PrayForFlagstaff


    Much love,


    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    Elders reading menu at Culver's

    Apartmentship being fed by their favorite member Chris!

    Drink line

    Elder Jones

    Elder Jones

    Elder Young

    Elder  Benolerão,

    Elder  Plourde and Elder Bryan

    Elders Benolerão,, Young, Jones, Plourde, Bryan

    Zone: After watching "Freetown" this morning!
    Left to right: Elders Gardner, Bryan, Diamante, Buckway, Benolerão,
    Dawson, Davenport, Katz, Jones, Plourde, Conover, Jones, Cespedes,
    Young, Bradley.

    Jamie and her picture!

    Selfie


    0 0

    10 minutes after we found out I'm getting transferred. Elders
    Rodriguez, me, and Bryan.

    Juan! He just put in his mission papers! A convert of 2 years.
    Gonna miss him.


    Right before Frank's ordination!
    Normal zone picture


    Zone

    Brother Taylor, our ward mission leader.

    Rusty and Liz have a lot of cats. I said, "bring me your favorite
    cats." And we took a picture. :)

    The Stanleys! One of my favorite families!

    Bye, Cesar!

    Rusty and Liz after stake conference. I'm going to miss these people so much.

    The Sesay crew! (Missing 6 of the crew...hahaha)

    New Experiences

    Week 87,  85 Weeks in Phoenix, 37 Weeks in Glendale

    Dear friends and family,

    The time has finally arrived that I will be leaving Glendale and transferred to another area. On Friday, President personally told me that I will be leaving. It was a pretty funny experience—I will write it out in this letter. As the title states, this week was full of new experiences for me. And the future will also hold "new experiences" according to President Griffin. Here was my week!


    Trainer/Trainee Meeting
    On Friday, we all loaded up in our roommates' Corolla and drove up to the Peoria North stake center for the trainer/trainee meeting. I always love meetings where we get to be instructed by President Griffin. The meeting really focused on being obedient and not complaining when hard things arise. "Putting your head down and working." President Griffin took the last 30 minutes of the meeting to instruct us. At the beginning of his discussion, he said, "Elder Jones, come up here." I was sitting in the last row with Elder Rodriguez. I was a bit puzzled, because it was extremely random that he told me to come up. I get up there and he puts his arm around me and looks out at the group of 40-ish missionaries. He says, "Everybody, this is Elder Jones. You probably don't know much about him, but he's a good missionary. He's a quiet, gentle missionary. And he's been in his area for quite a while—BUT HE'S GETTING TRANSFERRED. He's just finding out a little before you all." I was shocked. He continues, "And how long have you been a biking missionary?" I said, "My whole mission—20 months." He looks at me and smiles, "And HE'S GETTING A CAR, TOO!" Then I gave him the biggest hug ever. In front of everyone. Haha! He then went on to explain how no one has the right to complain about being on a bike. After I sat down he added a comment, "He never complained to me once—you think your President doesn't notice that stuff. He does. Thank you, Elder Jones." 
    It was a very interesting experience I definitely won't forget!! 

    Bedbugs scare
    One morning in the beginning of the week I woke up with nine crazy huge bites on my arm. Over the course of the day my arm swelled up big time. It was one of the worst experiences of my life! They itched like crazy, and my whole arm felt like it was going to fall off! We called the housing coordinator about having our apartment sprayed. He hooked us up with a member who did it for free for missionaries. So he came, flipped our beds, and said that he didn't see any traces of bedbugs, so we either didn't have them, or they're really fresh. He said either way it should be easy to treat them now. Phew! Luckily I haven't gotten any more bites—we were seriously contemplating going to the ER. I'm seriously allergic to whatever bit me.

    Ordination
    We had stake conference this week which is always wonderful. I had a very, very special experience after the conference. One I will never forget—another new experience for me. Let me tell you a little about Frank Gomez first. He is a member in our ward who has been married to a member for 27 years. He was always a die hard Catholic. He was one year away from becoming a Catholic Priest. He would attend church with his wife for 25 years. He was well known at church, just not a member. Well, about a year ago, a bold missionary told him he would be baptized. He said, "okay" and he said he felt a rush go through him. He had accepted a baptismal date. He was committed. He was then baptized last May. I got to the ward in July and have been teaching him the new member lessons since then. He and I have grown very close. Anyway, he was presented before the Conference to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. After the conference we all gathered in the little bishop's office and he said, "Elder Jones, I would be honored if you would ordain me into the Melchizedek Priesthood." I was shocked. His baptism missionary was there. His absolute best friend is the bishop and he was there. And he chose me. It was such a special experience to bestow the Priesthood upon someone I love so much. I met with him that night and gave him a copy of my line of authority. 

    Stake Conference
    We had a really wonderful stake conference. Elder Johnson of the Seventy came and addressed us. One thing really stuck out to me during the Saturday session. He was talking about having "No other Gods", the first commandment in the 10 Commandments. He started talking about English, so I naturally perked up. :) He said, "There are no such things as PRIORITIES." You can not have plural priorities. If you do, then you don't really have a priority. If God isn't your priority, you are breaking His first commandment. Wow! What a profound statement. The Spirit definitely spoke to me that I need to continue trying to make Him my first priority. Always. 

    Zone Meeting
    As you can tell, we had a week full of meetings. Sometimes that can be sad and boring, but I enjoyed every one of them. As the zone leaders Elder Gardner and Elder Katz were presenting their discussion, they randomly said, "Who in here wants some Taco Bell?" Of course I raised my hand. Everyone but a few raised their hand. They told everyone who wanted Taco Bell to go into the library. The zone leaders came in and gave each of us a pass-along card. Some were yellow, but Elder Plourde got a red one, and Elder Conover was denied one all together! So we went into the commons room where a member was taking our cards to enter the room with Taco Bell. Elder Plourde was denied access to the room because his card was different. And Elder Conover couldn't enter because he didn't have a card at all. As we are partaking of the glorious Taco Bell, we know there are others who unfairly didn't receive any. They likened it to us as missionaries. Sometimes we deny people the gospel by not talking to them. By not inviting them to partake of the tree of life which is the gospel. Another profound lesson learned.

    Impact
    Although I am so ready to get transferred, I have been reflecting on all of the lifetime friends I have made here in this area. Those friends range from youth, adults, missionaries, leaders—everything. This area has taught me to be patient. It has taught me to not judge others according to the circumstances they're in. It has taught me to be a better teacher! Sometimes you don't  know how much of an impact you've made until you're packing up and leaving. I will hopefully be returning a few times to witness the baptisms of those I have taught. Jamie will be baptized in the beginning of May, and Rusty and Liz will be baptized soon too. Plus a couple more. I love being a missionary. There's no place I'd rather be right now. 

    Exchange
    Elder Bryan and I went on one last exchange last night. He is someone I will for sure stay in contact with after the mission. We get along so well. Most likely the next time I'll see him is in the mission home when we go home. On our exchange while I was gone, Elder Young put one of our investigators on a baptismal date. Yep, the area is in gooood hands. :)

    Baptism
    This week we had another French baptism. This time, the daughter of Raphaël, Louise. She was very excited to be baptized and anyone who was there could have felt that sweet spirit. It's been amazing seeing this family of FAITH come into the Church. They have had way more trials than they deserve, but the Lord works in mysterious ways. He knows what he's doing. And this family has benefited from their perseverance through their trials. 


    Well, that's about what happened this week! I have to pack today and I'm not feeling too well so I might not get a chance to email much. But I'll do what I can. Hopefully next week you'll hear that I'm in Flagstaff :)
    #PrayForFlagstaff


    Much love,


    Elder Jones
    Black Canyon Ward
    Arizona Phoenix Mission


    Note from Momma- Elder Jones is being transferred to Buckeye, AZ.  It is SW of where he is now and is the most western city of the Phoenix area.  It has a population of 6,500!    We will have an address next week.






    0 0

    Buckeye Fever!--
    Week 88-  86 weeks in Phoenix- 1 week in Buckeye

    Dear friends and family,

    Greetings from my new area in Buckeye, Arizona! I love it here! My new
    companion is Elder Sumsion. He goes home in six weeks. We get along
    really well!! Here was my week!

    Transfers
    Well, I knew where I was going so transfers were pretty low stress.
    All of my favorite elders in Glendale came by to say goodbye before
    Elder Bryan and I left... I was really happy when I found out that
    Elder Wille was going to my old area. The ward will love him.

    Buckeye
    So I am serving in the Buckeye 1st Ward and the Sundance Ward. Buckeye
    is a lot different from Glendale. Fewer crazy people, fewer methheads,
    fewer crazy drivers, and the list goes on and on. We live with a
    member family, the Maxwells. They have 6 boys, the youngest two are 16
    and twins and they still live at home. The rest are grown. The area is
    half rural, half suburbs. Almost all of the houses are in brand new
    developments so that's pretty cool. I am the driver, and I have the
    privilege of driving a 2015 white Ford Fusion! So much better than
    biking! And just in time for the summer. President Griffin said I'll
    be here for the rest of my mission so that's good.
    So far my time here has been great. We've spent a lot of time visiting
    ward leaders to introduce me to them and to ask who we can visit.
    Elder Sumsion has only been here 6 weeks and was doubled-in with a
    trainee. So we both don't really know the area all that well. We have
    been able to find some part member families to work with and get to
    know a lot of the ward leadership. They seem to like me which is good.
    When they ask us how long we've been out and I say 20 months and Elder
    Sumsion says 23 months, it almost instantly builds trust. Two
    veterans! Haha.

    Mullets
    On Sunday we were just sitting down right before Buckeye 1st Ward
    started and in walks 5 people: an older guy, his wife, and three
    boys—ALL of them had mullets except the mom. I turned to Elder Sumsion
    and said, "Hooooooly mullets.." He laughed and the bishop's wife went
    up and talked to them. She turned to us and mouthed "they aren't
    members!" So we talked with them and got their info and sent their
    info to the zone leaders. They're excited!!


    I can't really remember much about what else happened, but know that
    I'm doing well and I'm enjoying being out here "in the sticks" as
    someone at church described it. My new address is:

    Elder Kevin Jones
    23429 W. Hopi St.
    Buckeye, AZ 85326

    You can send letters, packages, anything there and I will get it. I
    love you all and hope you keep being awesome! Just 3 1/2 more months!

    Elder Jones
    Buckeye 1st & Sundance Wards
    Arizona Phoenix Mission


    Elder Jones w/ his new companion Elder Sumsion

    Bye, Elder Plourde!

    Bye, Elder Young!

    Bye, Elder Bryan!

    My home for the rest of my mission!

    Our area. :)

    weekly selfie


    The district! Left to right: Elders Weston, Ockey, Thaut, Price, Jones, Sumsion

     

    0 0

    "How Did You Know That?!"

    Week 89- 87 Weeks in Phoenix Mission--  2nd week in Buckeye

    Dear friends and family,

    We had a really great week here in Buckeye! Lots happened and we
    reached most of our proselyting goals! I'll try to put everything into
    words.


    New investigators
    We found two new people to teach this week!! Both are pretty cool
    stories. The two people we found are James and Stephanie.
    -James: James is the new husband of a member. He is a really cool guy.
    He works on bicycles and is really good at what he does. James was in
    a very serious car accident a few months ago which has hindered his
    mobility. He can still get around, but he's very slow and steady. The
    accident didn't affect his funny personality, however. He cracks
    jokes, laughs, and still has a great time. He came to church last
    Sunday and had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and Joseph
    Smith. We were able to teach him the Restoration and he understands it
    all now. He is excited to learn more.
    -Stephanie: Okay, this story is pretty cool. Monday night we were
    visiting the Hert family, who are less-active. We park, go inside, and
    sit down and talk for a little bit. Right before we say the opening
    prayer, someone knocks on their door. Sister Hert answers the door and
    then says, "Uh, Elders, the solar salesman wants to talk to you." We
    go over there, and the solar salesman, Jared, talks to us. He said he
    saw us walk inside. He had just finished selling solar to a lady up
    the street and he had a great conversation about the Church with her.
    He told us we should stop by and give her a Book of Mormon. So...we
    went by the next day! She answered and was a bit confused about who we
    were. We told her we were missionaries and Jared sent us. She let us
    in and we talked with her for a little bit and set up a return
    appointment. We went back on Saturday and she was there waiting for
    us. She invited us in and we had a great lesson with her. She had read
    the whole Restoration pamphlet and had started reading the Book of
    Mormon. She had lots of questions about it so we did a brief rundown
    of the book. As we were talking about Moroni burying the plates, she
    said, "Oh! Moroni is the son of Mormon, right?" Mine and Elder
    Sumsion's jaws dropped. We both laughed and said, "How did you know
    that?!" She said that she remembered it from reading. So this must be
    what it's like to have a solid investigator. Haha! We continued on and
    taught a little more about the Book of Mormon and set up another time
    to visit her. Yeah—she's solid.

    Exchange
    I was able to go on an exchange with Elder Thaut in his area. It was
    great getting to be his companion again, even if it was just for a
    day!! He serves out in west Buckeye, the third biggest area in the
    mission. They live with members in the middle of nowhere—off a dirt
    road, and off THAT dirt road. It was super fun riding around in the
    middle of nowhere. There are lots of crazy people out there. I'm glad
    I serve in the more affluent part of Buckeye. :) We taught a couple
    lessons and reminisced about when we were companions.

    Working out
    For those of you who don't know, my companion, Elder Sumsion, is a big
    workout freak. I've always wanted to get bigger, but never had much
    motivation to work out. With Elder Sumsion's help, I have started
    working out morning and night! I'm not doing anything too intense, but
    enough to feel and see results hopefully. Well, it's not very intense
    for Elder Sumsion...it's pretty intense for me! Needless to say I'm
    not very good at working out, but he's helping me a lot! My arms are
    almost always super tired. So that's that.

    Yard work
    We went over to one of our investigator's house to help her with her
    yard. She's an older lady with a lot of health problems so she can't
    get out much. She is a smoker, so every time we go over there to teach
    we always have to come home and change and shower before we go out
    again. Anyway, we were just pulling weeds and trimming her hedges when
    a van pulls up. Two ladies got out and walked in. They were Jehovah's
    Witnesses! They didn't really see who we were because we weren't in
    our shirts and ties, just our tshirt and shorts. We went in to get
    some water and they saw our name tags. After we introduced ourselves
    one of the ladies said, "Well, we were just finishing up anyway. We'll
    see you folks later." And they left hahah! I guess that's all it
    takes. I kinda wanted to sit in on their "lesson"...would have been
    fun. :)

    Weather
    It has been pretty hot this week! Man, being in a car makes the days
    go by so much faster. I feel like I'm able to get more done too. Like
    nobody walks the roads here in Buckeye so it's not like we miss
    talking to very many people. Sometimes Elder Sumsion and I get out and
    walk around a little to talk to people. It's pretty fun!


    So that's about all that happened this week. We got to teach quite a
    bit and do some service. I'll attach a couple pictures of our zone
    hike this afternoon. Hopefully we'll have another successful week this
    week. Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be here
    to speak to our mission on Thursday afternoon....hopefully he doesn't
    send me home! Just kidding, Mom, calm down :) Have a great week
    everyone!


    Much love,


    Elder Jones
    Buckeye 1st & Sundance Wards
    Arizona Phoenix Mission

    Looks like Arizona. Dirt, dirt, random brush, cacti, dirt

    Elder Weston gave me a piggy back ride!

    Bolo tie!

    Elder Thaut's area (the boonies)

    On exchanges with Elder Thaut (THE CAR IS NOT MOVING DON'T WORRY.....)

    weekly selfie!
     

older | 1 | 2 | (Page 3) | 4 | newer