Tuesday, December 30, 2014

18th P Day in Phoenix! Cold cold cold cold

Hey everyone! I'm staying! Looks like I'll be here for almost 6
months. 1/4 of my mission will be here. CAN YOU BELIEVE AFTER THIS
TRANSFER I WILL HAVE BEEN OUT 6 MONTHS?? I can't. Anyways, I guess I
actually have to buy food and stuff so I'm gonna go do that. Love and
miss you all and it was great to actually TALK to and SEE you all on
Christmas! It was wonderful.

Hello everybody! I hope you all had a great week. My week was pretty
great. Tuesday P-Days are
always good once Monday night rolls around. This week is going to be
super short considering it's already a short week, plus, we have to be
in by 6 on New Year's Eve, and in all day on New Year's Day. Before I
know it I'll be writing another P-Day email. Here goes this past week!

Monday: Not much to report, we had a cool lesson with a family of five
kids. We're teaching their 10 year old getting her ready to be
baptized. We made gingerbread houses as a district activity and mine
was pretty pitiful.... Haha. We played some type of basketball game
and I was hitting every dang 3-point shot that I put up. I don't know
what has gotten into me! Haha.

Wednesday (not much happened Tuesday): Christmas Eve! The Holiday
season is not a very busy time for us missionaries. It SHOULD be, but
it isn't. So Tuesday was pretty slow. We were in by 6. We went to
Jamba Juice, though! Holy cow I missed Jamba Juice. It's sooooo good!
We had to leave after I finished mine so I put my half-full cup in my
bag and we biked to our next place. I then continued drinking it
hahah. After our dinner appointment we went to the church and played
hide-and-seek with our district! (Excluding the sisters). Oh, one more
thing. WE SAW A LAMB IN SOMEONE'S CAR. It was parked on our road and
we heard it baaaaaaaa and yes we were as surprised as you are reading

Thursday: Christmas! I got to talk to my family and a few others :)!
That was pretty awesome. 40 minutes goes by super fast. We had a
dinner appointment at a member's home and we played football in the
street with a bunch of their family. Most of them weren't members so
it was pretty funny to see them compete over the game. If you know
where I'm going with this...haha. Oh, and it rained without having
clouds. Yeah it was awkward.

Friday: it was like 30 degrees. What's up with that???

Saturday: We saw a truck that was lifted about six feet and had
monster truck wheels....driving down the road. It cut a few cars off
but what were they gonna do? Honk? Haha. A few appointments fell
through but we came in contact with an investigator! Hopefully some
good will come from That!

Sunday: We had a lesson with a part member family but the nonmember
was the only person there. So we got to know her a little better and
we will start teaching her! She used to be a member, but..yeah.
Connect the dots. We also had a lesson with a less active family whose
dad is deaf. It's pretty cool to teach them because the mom translates
into sign language. Sometimes it can be distracting though. :P After
that lesson I had to go to the bathroom (thanks, mom, I swear I have
your curse) so we went to a member's home and shared a quick message.
They're snowbirds, meaning they come to the valley during the winter.

Monday: We started off with 4 lessons planned and only one happened.
Two cancelled within 10 seconds of each other. The struggle is real!
On a funnier note, during studies, Elder Shurtleff's desk fell on him.
It's a regular desk with shelves that go on the back, and he
accidentally pulled the whole shelf down. Everything went everywhere
afterward. When I send pictures I'll show you what it looked like
after it fell! Haha.

Well, I'm not getting transferred so yay! I still have the same
address. Letters are always nice. Thanks for everything and I love you

Much love,

Elder Jones

Elder Shurtleff should NOT wear Kevin's sweater!

playing "the tie knows all"  It says Kevin will be transferred next!

Hot chocolate from the mug Jessica made him for Christmas!

Elder Shurtleff's desk shelves fell off on top of him making a big mess.
District photo: L to R: Sister Wood, Sister Messick, Elder Snydergaard
 Elder Buckway, Elder Jones, Elder Shurtleff,  Elder Burgoyne, Elder Jensen

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mustangs: The New Finding Tool-- 17th P-day in Phoenix

Hello everyone! It's almost Christmas! I made sure everything works
and it does. My skype account is up and running and I got your friend
request, mom. I will be skyping at 1:00 AZ time, which is 2:00 MO/KS
time. It will be from my iPad at our house. Yay wifi! I got my
Christmas packages Friday. A big one and a larger, shorter, lighter
one. My heart is broken that Rondo got traded to the Mavericks. I am
now a Mavs fan. But still a Celtics fan too. Yes, a Mavs rondo shirt
would be marvelous! :) Do I have to wait till Christmas to open BOTH
of the packages? :( haha. Some kid in my ward got up and bore his
testimony about how the Arizona Cardinals would win the super bowl
this year in their own stadium. I bet he's regretting that.

Well I'm off to do my shopping and stuff. Wearing my Mizzou tie. Have
a great day! Email away! :) always accepting letters! :D

Much love,

Elder Jones

Dear family and friends,

Considering I'll be talking to some of you on Thursday, this email
will be kinda short and lame. My apologies! Haha. First off, Mom, we
all opened our T-shirts and will be wearing them at our district
activity today. (Another reason why this email will be short! Haha)
all of the other presents and stuff are wrapped and under the tree.
Are they all from you guys or friends as well?  Thanks again for
everything. You're all making my Christmas pretty amazing even though
I'm 1092 miles away.

We started off the week with a lot of teaching appointments set up. It
ended up being pretty slim. We have started
tracting....................you know my feelings toward that. It's
basically to show the Lord that we're willing to work for new people
to teach. Elder Shurtleff and I are getting along better than ever. :)
The gangsta that we're working with, Quinton, is making pretty good
progress and his baptismal date for January 24 is still set. Plus we
have a few other people we're going to begin teaching after the
Holidays. One of which is a huge family. (6 people over 8!)

The other person we're going to be working with is this new guy named
Ron. We went over to a member of the bishopric's house to share a
quick message and we ended up not sharing the message because Elder
Shurtleff mentioned that he loves Mustangs. Brother Goodwin, the
member, called up his neighbor to come over to show E. Shurtleff his
mustang. We ended up talking with him and we are going to start
teaching him after Christmas! He's super excited to learn more and is
VERY promising. Work is happening! I love it!

Transfers are the 31st so I will know if I'm leaving or staying by
next P-Day which, by the way, will be next TUESDAY. I really want to
stay because I love it here and I can't wait to watch people I have
taught progress.

Again, sorry for the short email, but let me know how everything is
going! I love you all. God bless.

Much love,

Elder Jones

Modeling their "DRIVE FOR FIVE" WC state T-shirts

At Mesa Temple eating lunch on the lawn

At old Country Buffett in Mesa, AZ

Package box arrived, safe and sound!

Member took them to Culvers!

Christmas tree from Seminary!
The way you eat an orange if you are from KS!  Just Kidding.

Elder Shurtleff and Elder Jones sporting their new T-Shirts!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Temple, Vacuum guy, and other stuffs 16th P Day in Phoenix

Hello all! It's p day! I'm going to try my best to send pictures today, but we have a zone activity at 1:30 so I may not get to. The temple was great. I can do everything in the temple by myself without help now! The Mesa temple was amazing. Probably my favorite day out so far. Our neighbor has his Christmas lights set to music so that's
pretty cool. He got the Moon Valley Spirit award. They're awesome!  They had some Frozen songs playing so you better believe I was singing  along haha. #tendermercy  Olivia - I got your package! It was awesome! Super comfy blanket! :)  I will get back to you all soon. I love you all and can't wait to hear  from y'all at Christmas!  WC IN THE HALL OF FAME OH YEAH. That's what happens when you play good  teams. HAHA. CJ. Losers! ;)

This week was super good! However, I don't have much time to write
this email so I apologize for its lameness and, very possibly, bad
grammar. I know. Shocker. Haha!

Anyway, this week was pretty sweet. Elder Shurtleff and I had our best
key indicator week since he's been here. We are doing pretty well and
we have a really solid investigator. Speaking of that investigator, I
think I mentioned him last week. His name is Quinton and he's an
ex-gangsta. He just keeps asking, "so when can I get baptized?!" He's
super excited and we hope he'll take the news of him having to move
out of get married before he can be baptized. Other than that he's
giving up alcohol and cigarettes so we're pretty excited for him.
Elder Buckway was on exchange the last time we taught him so Elder
Buckway loves him now haha. Sadly, his fiancé isn't interested at the
moment, but she still comes to church with him sometimes. Quinton has
a baptismal date of January 24. If I'm still here after this transfer
I may get to baptize him!! I'll for sure come back for his baptism if
I get transferred. :)

We got to go to the Mesa Temple on Thursday and it was honestly my
favorite day so far. First off, we were with the Goodyear/Buckeye zone
so I got to spend the day with Elder Watson! He's the man! We went to
the visitors center first and that was pretty cool. We then ate a sack
lunch on the temple grounds and honestly I was just excited to go
inside the temple. It's such a unique temple and it was pretty sweet
inside. We did a temple session which was amazing. Probably the best
I've felt the Spirit and understood how to do everything. Maybe that's
why I felt the Spirit more; I wasn't nervous because I felt confident
about what I was doing! Haha. We got to hug President AND Sister
Griffin in the Celestial room. I miss hugging people....so when I get
home I better get the best hugs ever from everyone!!! Haha. We then
went to a buffet and went to see the Mesa lights. They are phenomenal.
I'll include photos when I can. Definitely next week if not today.
Honestly, I have 15 minutes to write this email. Aren't p-days
supposed to be not stressful!? Oh well.

Okay so random note to explain the "Vacuum guy" part of the title:
We were biking around the Vaseo apartment complex and as we were
locking up our bikes, this weird guy with long hair rides by with
sunglasses, a backpack, riding a BMX bike, and carrying a vacuum. Yep.
I really didn't know what to say after I saw that. It was hilarious.

Okay so here's a forewarning: it is incredibly difficult to send
packages as a missionary....so Christmas presents may be letters. You
all know how much I want to send stuff but it's a pretty huge hassle
considering there isn't even a post office in my area. Haha. I STILL

We still haven't heard much from Dennis and Mary. We are trying to
talk to them regularly to keep contact, though.

On Tuesday, a priest who is my age came out with us. He's about to
turn in his papers so it was cool to get him over and bike with us. He
studied with us and went to a couple appointments. He said we biked a
ton. Haha, we only biked like 5-6 miles. My first day here we biked
25... :p

On a closing note, yeah that whole "don't open until Christmas" thing
is gonna be tough...but I'll try my best... Tell everyone to send me
letters! Letters are my favorite! Anyways, I love you all and can't
wait to talk to some of you on Christmas. It's coming quickly. My
skype name will be kevvstar95, I believe.

Much, much love,

Elder Jones

Elder Kevin Jones in front of reflecting pool at Mesa, AZ Temple

Beside reflecting pool in day time Mesa Temple

Another view of Mesa Temple, and Kevin

Christmas lights at Mesa Temple

Reflecting pool

Elder Jones nametag and reflecting pool and Temple

Elder Shurtleff & Elder Buckway with lights

Elder Jones and Elder Syndergaard
Elder Jones and Elder Syndergaard on exchange

storm on the way!

Monday, December 8, 2014

15th P Day in Phoenix- Contacting

Hello all! It's p-day! Seriously this week flew by. We have an
exciting week coming up. I'm going to the store and stuff so I'll
email afterward! I love you all and miss you. Elder Shurtleff is the
man. Seriously we're like best friends. President Griffin was at the
church yesterday before church talking to our stake president so we
saw him. He said Elder Shurtleff and I look good together. That's a
good sign that we won't be transferred on the 31st, but who knows?
He's pretty unpredictable. Haha. But for real, I'll be surprised if
Elder Shurtleff isn't my favorite companion by the end of my mission.
He's awesome hahaha.

Off to the store! Can you believe I've been doing my own laundry for
almost four whole months now? CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT ON THE 12TH I'LL
HAVE BEEN OUT FOR FOUR MONTHS?? Crazy. Elder Shurtleff just passed his
16 month mark. He thinks it's super hot here in the valley...he always
says, "holy crap it's hot today!" When it's like 72 degrees. Yes, it's
still 75 here almost every day. I keep forgetting it's winter in other
places. Seeing Christmas lights while sweating still isn't normal for

I'll Email soon! I love you all!

Elder Jones

Dear family and friends,

So this week was a so/so week. Elder Shurtleff and I couldn't be
getting along better, though. I'll just go through my week and explain
what happened each day! Thank goodness for journals...haha.

Monday (night): We had two lessons: one with a less-active
family(Evans family), and one with an investigator(Eliza). I love the
Evans family! The dad is a recent convert and they're all returning to
church! It's great to see them show up at church every week despite
their busy work schedules. They have three boys, the oldest is a
sophomore. He's a big kid, but reminds me heavily of Michael Vanslyke
back home. By the way, if you're reading this, HI MICHAEL! Haha. Eliza
is 10 and really wants to be baptized. Her mom is a less-active
member. She's really hyper but it's always a blast teaching them.

Tuesday: We had a lesson scheduled with the Senreiso family, but it
fell through again. I really want Elder Shurtleff to meet them, but it
just isn't working that way! They're such a cool family but they just
can't commit to be baptized. We're working super hard on them, though.
We ended up teaching three lessons that night after the Senreiso's
fell through. They were all member lessons, but that's okay. We were
able to ask for referrals and get them to commit to do their own
missionary work!

Wednesday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! Yes, it was my wonderful dad's
birthday. Today we were on exchange and Elder Buckway was in my area
with me. I LOVE Elder Buckway. Seriously, he's so awesome. We get
along so well! Haha. We were supposed to have two lessons that day,
but they both ended up not happening....I swear this is a plague in
missionary work. Quentin really wants to be baptized, but if he keeps
canceling, it's not going to happen as quickly as he wants it! By the
way, Quentin is a new investigator and is a former gang member. He's
super awesome and truly wants to turn his life around. He's the man.

Thursday: Weekly planning. Yeah, that about sums it up. Elder Buckway
was over most of the day because his companion and the zone leaders
were at MLC all day. (Missionary leadership conference). We went
around contacting people with the "He is the Gift" cards. This
initiative is huge. One old guy we contacted said that he belongs to
"The Original Church of Christ". We were so tempted to ask when he was
baptized—we refrained. Haha. Elder Buckway was pretty sick so we
didn't go out much that day. Of course, another cancelled investigator

Friday: We were just biking around a neighborhood and an SUV stopped
beside us and if was an investigator family, the Sayegh's. They had
just cancelled the day before but invited us in and we taught them a
little bit. Ramsey, the dad, sure can get off topic. Somehow we were
talking about mummies in Egypt...yeah don't know how that happened. We
got to bear fervent testimony at the end after Ramsey tried to stump
us. It was pretty cool and the Spirit was there. We had the Shaw Butte
Ward Christmas party. We got to meet some less active members who
came. That was pretty cool!

Saturday: We had zone meeting! I love zone meeting. I get to see all
of my favorite missionaries and get to learn how to become better. I
need it! :p We ended up teaching a less active family whose dad is
deaf. They're a super cool family and it's interesting having his wife
translate into
Sign language as we speak. It's kinda distracting! Haha.

Sunday: FAST SUNDAY. After church, Sister Simon had her family over
and was having baby back ribs....they smelled so good. Too bad we were
fasting! Haha nah, I know that the Lord will bless me for not giving
in to the ribs. Yeah Sunday's are always pretty crazy because we are
at church for 7 hours. Two wards rocks! Haha. For dinner we are at a
member's home and they made this DELICIOUS chicken, stuffed with cream
cheese, jalapeños, and wrapped in bacon. WOW. Best fast-breaker ever.
The Christmas Devotional was amazing. I loved it!

So yeah, Last week was pretty great.  On Thursday we get to
go to the Mesa temple all day and do a session and see the Christmas
Lights! So excited! Plus we get to go with the Goodyear/Buckeye zone
which is where Elder Watson is! Super psyched!

Oh, I have another request for my package. A BIG bag of Swedish fish.
:) thanks!! Transfers are December 31st, so send mail and packages
sooner than later! I love you all! Email me! :)

Much love,

Elder Jones

Elder Jones and Elder Buckway on exchange
Cool Elders Jones and Buckway

Elder Shurtleff festive


Christmas lights!

Monday, December 1, 2014

14th Pday in Phoenix- Thanksgiving x2!

Dear Friends and Family,


This week was pretty good. Nothing spectacular, but still good. It was my first full week with Elder Shurtleff and we are getting along great. Our humor is almost identical and he's definitely a stellar missionary. I'm already learning a lot from him. 

As far as my Christmas package goes, I would like to request some solid black Nike long socks (like the socks I would wear back home) and a State championship shirt for me and Elder Buckway. (M & XL) And, if you want, Elder Shurtleff wears a size S if you really want to get him one too haha. oh, and a lighter brown belt if you can find one. size 29 or 30. Oh, and Subway cards are always appreciated...c:

Our Thanksgiving was pretty great! We had a lunch scheduled at 1pm and a dinner scheduled for 5pm. It sounds perfect, right? Well, our lunch didn't end up happening until like 2:30, so we didn't get out until 4. We had approximately 30 minutes to recover before eating at our dinner appointment. Needless to say we were extremely stuffed and the bike ride home wasn't fun. Speaking of bike rides, both of my tires went flat--at the same time. I have no idea how, but we had to patch the tubes. Then my front brakes wouldn't work properly. A member of our ward fixed the brakes for free but then the tires went flat again. I ended up buying thorn-resistant tubes at Walmart today. I'm looking forward to riding my bike without worry of a flat. Haha.

Sister Simon put up all of her Christmas decorations the other day. She was actually on the roof putting up lights...we asked if she wanted our help and she said no, she wanted to do it. Luckily she's okay and could get up and down the ladder like a champ. 

This week was filled with cancelled appointments! Even the members cancelled a few times and we showed up to a dinner appointment and the guy wasn't there...that was a first for me. Haha oh well, we ended up just eating at Subway. A cancelled appointment did turn into a success, though. While biking through an apartment complex, I spotted a former investigator sitting on a ledge with her boyfriend. I went and talked to her and she invited us in to share a message. We shared a Christmas message and she wants us to come back. The cool thing is that there were four people in there, so we could get four new investigators next week! OH YEAH! 

Moon Mountain Ward got a new bishop! The current bishop had been there for 5 years and got released. The new bishop is Bishop Lillie and I totally called that he'd be the new bishop. He had a lot of anxiety in his eyes as he stood up. It was kinda funny but I know he's the man for the job. He'll do great!

I'll just close with something funny that happened to us today as we got lunch at Taco Bell on our way home from the store. Before we ordered, this guy walks in, grabs his food, and looks at Elder Shurtleff and says--rather bitterly--"Just so you know, the Law of Chastity ruined my life." and stormed out of the restaurant. I turned to Elder Shurtleff and said, "That's a new one." We--including the guy at the register--were laughing so hard. Not at the fact that it 'ruined his life', but at the fact that it was so random and the guy was SO upset. Elder Shurtleff said, "Wow, even us merely standing still in the middle of a Taco Bell can make someone mad."

Anyway, I am enjoying Phoenix and all that I have experienced. I still wouldn't want to live here, but it's nice that I keep forgetting that it's winter. It feels like September in Missouri. :)

God loves you, and I love you.

Much love, 
Elder Jones


Kevin says the found a pumpkin and a machete and used that to cut up the pumpkin!
 Elder Shurtleff is showing us how to hold the machete. 

Kevin enjoying studying a little too much?

In honor of Turkey Day, GO HOKIES!  (has on his Hokie tie!)

After second Thanksgiving dinner and bike ride home! FULL!