Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Baptisms and $70 Doughnuts : 12th P Day in Peoria-- 35th P Day in Phoenix Mission

Britney Lieze-Gahona baptism
Baptisms and $70 Doughnuts  :  12th P Day in Peoria-- 35th P Day in Phoenix Mission

Hello, family and friends! I hardly have any time to write this email,
so I apologize if it's really short. A couple of great things happened
this week. Here goes!

Wednesday: We went to the thrift shop again to help out. This time we
sorted through incoming donations and put them in their respective
places. It was super fun! After that we had dinner with Chris's uncle
and aunt. They aren't members, but they respect us as missionaries.
They took is to Texas Roadhouse! I got a really good sirloin steak! I
now know that I love my steak cooked medium. It was perfect! :)

Thursday: It was a great day! We had a big zone conference with three
zones from the mission. We got to hear from the mission presidency and
feel of their Spirit. They fed us delicious tacos from Waldo's Tacos.
It's a taco truck run by members. They fed our whole three zones!
Members then took us to a pretty nasty Chinese restaurant, but it's
okay! The members are awesome and I don't think they liked it either,
haha. We then went out finding. We got a reassignment from other
Elders. His name is Dion. We knocked on his door and he said, "WHO IS
IT?" We told him it was the missionaries, and he said, "What in the
H-E-Double hockey sticks?!? OH, MEN OF GOD, GET IN HERE." We went in,
and he had some questions. Long story short, he accepted our message
and invited us back. He's a pretty cool black guy. Lots of potential

Friday: We went to a youth fundraiser with a member. Britney was
there, so it was great to see her the day before her baptism! So after
the dinner, they had a dessert auction. Pies were going for like $70
to $100! So we couldn't afford anything, so a member INSISTED that she
buy us a dessert. So she bought us two dozen doughnuts. For $70.
Yikes. Haha! They are good, though! :) Oh, something funny was that we
met this lady there who was raised in Oronogo. She was so excited that
I knew where that is!!! So that was pretty cool.

Saturday: BAPTISM!! Britney was baptized at 11:30! She was so excited
to be baptized. She was confirmed Sunday. She is a new person. :)

We had a great week! I love and miss you all.

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards

Elder Jones and Elder Flynn

Newest member: Britney Lieze-Gahona with Elder Jones and Elder Flynn

companions- Elders Jones and Flynn

Multi zone conference

Multi Zone conference

4 zones conference

Elder Jones  and the 2 Peoria Zones...   check out the
The big guy, Elder Langi on the endLeft to right:
Elders Ashby, Owens, Ingham, Johnston, Canny, Davis, Safford (back),
Flynn, Rodriguez, Weston, James (back), Earl, Jones, Timm (back),
Langdon, Frost, Zaugg, Langi.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Service, Enchiladas, and More Service 11th P -day in Peoria, 34th P -day in Phoenix

Service, Enchiladas, and More Service  11th P -day in Peoria,  34th P -day in Phoenix

Dear family and friends,

This week has been great. I hope you all can say the same. The weather
is teasing us with random 75°F days, but other than that life is good!
Random note: I found BBQ flavored bologna at Walmart and it's
surprisingly delicious. Haha! Elder Flynn is on this protein shake
diet to lose weight. Meanwhile, I'm eating my body's weight in
jellybeans every week. :)
Here was my week!

Monday: The usual P-Day stuff. Nothing too special. After P-Day, we
had a really solid lesson with Leah. Sadly, she still doesn't have a
baptismal date. It's coming, though. I can feel it! Elder Rodriguez
from the Spanish ward (Agua Fría Ward) came over for exchanges with me
in my area. Elder Flynn went with the district leader, Elder Canny in
their area.
Temp: 91°F

Tuesday: I spent all day with my main man from Argentina, Elder
Rodriguez! He is hilarious. He also came out with me. We went over to
an elderly couple's home to help him move a freezer and a tv out to
the curb. After that he asked if we could mow his back lawn real
quick. We said of course and went back there. I had never used a
push-mower and neither had Elder Rodriguez. So I did it. It was rough
at the beginning but I got the hang of it. It looked pretty good if I
do say so myself. :) We then went back and studied and had Culver's
for lunch. Elder Rodriguez sure can eat—he ate a triple Culver's
deluxe basket with a chocolate shake. He's smaller than me. (Well,
shorter—he's put on a few pounds....haha) We went out finding for a
bit then had dinner with the Dutry's. The dad works for the Suns so he
was giving me an NBA update. Haha! I got to know Elder Rodriguez
really well which was great.
Temp: 93°F

Wednesday: After studies we went and volunteered at the thrift store
in Sun City. We sorted hangers and sorted books. There were some
interesting books. Hahaha! Afterward we went through the store and
browsed their items. I found three awesome ties for $1 each. Then they
gave us half off for volunteering. So I got three ties for $1.50.
Score!! We had dinner with the Gonzalez family. Brother Gonzalez is
one of the funniest people I've ever met. They have a sweet 1980 VW
Rabbit convertible. I wanted to drive it so bad!!! Haha. After dinner
we went out with Brother Wincek to visit some people. We visited this
old lady who asked for help from the bishop. She's not a member, but
the bishop told us to go tell her to come to church Sunday and
he'd meet with her. She is the definition of crazy. She was all over
the place. She came to church...stay tuned. Then we visited this lady
who turned out to be a practicing Neo Nazi. Good thing she wasn't
home; only her roommate was. Haha. Pretty interesting day.
Temp: 84°F

Thursday: Happy birthday, Olivia! 19 is old! :)
We did a service project in the morning which was alright. It was
almost a bust. We helped homeless people around to different stations
to get them help with what they need. We acted as guides around the
church campus. There were way too many volunteers, so Elder Flynn and
I greeted people at the DES entrance. It was a pretty lax job haha.
After the service I had a pretty bad headache. We had dinner with a
younger couple. After dinner we met with Britney and went over the
baptismal interview questions. Yeah, I don't think I'll ever see
anyone as solid as she is.
Temp: 76°F

Friday: Our old phone was really bad so we got a new phone from the
mission office. It was the first time I had been there in 8 months! It
brought back memories. We had a great district meeting. It was all
about how we can prepare to the max to go back online in the near
future. We also learned how to control our thoughts better and be more
focused on the Work. I really got a lot out of the meeting. After
that, Britney had her baptismal interview!!! She passed, of course.
Her baptism is still set for Saturday, April 25thl. We had
Guatemalan food for dinner. Nope. Never again. We then had dessert
with Chris and had a lesson. She had a great spiritual experience and
is on the path once again. She loves her Elders!!
Temp: 82°F

Saturday: We had an early start to the day! We got up at  5:30am to go
help The City of Peoria clean up the New River Wash. Our whole zone of
Elders went. It took about 2 1/2 hours to finish. We covered about a
mile of wash. I was pretty drained after it! Thank goodness I wore
sunscreen. We then studied and weekly planned. We had dinner with a
member and it was the best food I've had on my mission. She made
homemade, authentic chicken enchiladas. I could eat those every day
for the rest of my life. Then they gave us this delicious chocolate
tuxedo cake. There are no words. SO delicious. We then had a lesson
with Britney and we went over her baptismal program and paperwork.
Still solid!!
Temp: 90°F

Sunday: Church was great as usual. Elder Flynn played a piano solo in
the Oakwood Ward. It was awesome! It's an arrangement of "We'll Bring
the World His Truth." Britney came to church and the Bishop announced
her baptism. There will be A LOT of people there. We came home, ate
lunch, and studied a little. Then we had sweet and sour meatballs and
rice at a member's home. It was good! However, their experimental
jelly bean cookies were....yikes. Haha! They even said they're gross
and we didn't  have to eat them. We then went to a fireside at a
member of the stake presidency's home for investigators, new members,
etc.. It was great! Chris and Leah went.
Temp: 93°F

That was my week. I hope everyone had a wonderful week as well. This
is one of my favorite scriptures:

3 Nephi 11:6-10

6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they
heard; and it said unto them:
7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have
glorified my name--hear ye him.
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up
again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of
heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood
in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned
upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another,
and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had
appeared unto them.
9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto
the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come
into the world.

I testify that Jesus Christ appeared to the people in the Americas.
The Book of Mormon brings the good news that God loves all of His
children equally—everywhere in the world. It brings the good news that
He does, indeed, inspire and call people to His holy work at this
time, as in times of old.

Have a great week!

Much love,
Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards

Elder Jones and Flag lane:4. This hill had tons of flags. #'Murica

Zone leaders apartment

Elder Rodriguez and Elder Jones on exchanges.

P day zone activity

 Elder Canny, our district leader. (Elder Rodriguez's companion.
He's from Norway!! And 6'6"!)

Helping sort books at the thrift shop.

My, my bike, and flags

 Laundry (today)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I'm So Happy 10th P day in Peoria, 33rd P day in Phoenix

I'm So Happy   10th P day in Peoria, 33rd P day in Phoenix

Dear family and friends,

Hello! Greetings from Arizona. We had a pretty great week, like usual.
"Relatively cool temperatures. Can't complain, really." But yeah, we
had a mild week! We even had some service opportunities! And we have a
baptism coming up! I'll stop rambling. Here was my week:

Monday: P-Day. We went to a recent convert family's home for dinner.
They're great. We had some bomb pulled pork sandwiches! They make this
homemade barbecue sauce that is DELICIOUS. they never disappoint. Oh,
and their daughter is in Girl Scouts so they have a ton of cookies
left over. They gave Elder Flynn and me two boxes. Each. :) We then
had a lesson with Chris. We showed her Elder Holland's talk from this
past Conference. She really enjoyed it.
Temp: 84°F

Tuesday: After studies and lunch we went out finding. When I say
"finding," that means going out and biking around, visiting potential
investigators, investigators, less-active members, etc.. In case y'all
were confused on what that meant. Haha. We didn't have much luck
during the day. We then dropped some pants off at a member's home to
fix for us. She offered to fix any of our pants! One pair of my suit
pants needs fixed, but Elder Flynn had two pairs that needed fixed. We
then went to dinner at the Hunsakers'! We had some really good
chicken. Brother Hunsaker is a hoot; he taught seminary for 12 years
so he always tells us to ask him a "deep doctrine question." He loves
studying and talking about that stuff. Typical seminary teacher. ;)
After dinner we had a GREAT lesson with Britney. She is very excited
to be baptized on April 25th. She has had some great experiences with
Conference, prayer, and the Book of Mormon. She just keeps saying,
"I'm just so happy!!"
Temp: 82°F

Wednesday: After studies we went with our zone leaders and another
pair of Elders to volunteer at a thrift store in Sun City. For those
of you who don't know, you have to be 55 or older to live in Sun City.
So, needless to say, there are tons of old people. Haha. The average
age is like 80. Their wards don't even have an organized primary or
Elders quorum. Just High Priests and Relief Society hahaha. Anyway, we
priced things and moved items out to the floor. It was a blast. We
asked one of the guys who works there how high we should price the
items. He said, "Psh, I don't care. Use your best judgement." Hahaha.
We are going back this week to help again! I started to get a migraine
while there, but of course I didn't have my medicine. So I took some
when I got home and slept off the migraine. Chris brought us
Chick-fil-a because we didn't have a dinner. Chris told us that if we
don't have a dinner, we have to call her. Haha, she takes care of us!
:) After dinner we went out with Brother Wincek to visit a LA family.
They taked. And talked. And talked. And TALKED. We finally got out of
there and went home. Haha!
Temp: 78°F

Thursday: Weekly planning. We had a really good planning session. We
were able to come up with more ways to make our splits with members
more effective. A member brought us dinner because his kids were sick.
We went out with Brother Hunsaker for splits and he told us all about
how he combated Anti-Mormons and their 'material.' It was a hoot.
That's about all that happened.
Temp: 81°F

Friday: We had zone meeting! It's basically like district meeting, but
with three districts and it's led by the zone leaders. Basically
instructions on how to be better missionaries. They gave us ties they
didn't want. I got a sweet orange tie. Oh yeah! After zone meeting, a
member brought us dinner because her kids were sick, too. Guess what
they brought us? Chick-fil-a. No complaints. We then went and taught a
less-active Sister. It was a great lesson.
Temp: 84°F

Saturday: We did more service! We went with Brother Alger over to his
friend's home to help him get rid of old medical records. He is a
podiatrist, so he has tons (like 20 boxes) of medical records that
needed to be taken out of their folders and shredded. Us and about 10
young women helped out. It took us about two hours to finish the
project. We filled three of those road-side trash cans completely to
the top. Plus, it was pretty cool to see some of the X-rays. I've
noticed there are tons of podiatrists here. I guess Arizonans have bad
feet! We went to the Lloyd's for dinner after studying for a bit. We
had food from Boston Market. It was great! After dinner we taught
Britney again. We finished up the commandments. She is SO ready to be
baptized. She can't wait and I can't wait! Her interview is Friday.
Again, she kept saying, "I'm just so happy!!" And smiling ear to ear.
It's inspiring, really. :)
Temp: 85°F

Sunday: We had a great day at church. It was busy! Pedro got the
priesthood!! To give you an idea of church, here was my 6 hours:
-Greet people for Oakwood sacrament meeting
-Rush to Centennial ward council
-Come back to finish Oakwood sacrament meeting
-1/2 Oakwood gospel principles
-Greet people for Centennial sacrament meeting
-Rush to teach a brief lesson in Oakwood Relief Society
-Finish Centennial sacrament meeting
-1/2 Centennial gospel principles
-Rush to stand in on Pedro's priesthood ordination
-Get the sacrament in the YSA meeting because we missed it
-Centennial Elders quorum

Yeah, it was a crammed day at church! Haha. Britney came to church
again and invited everyone to come to her baptism. She just kept
telling the people, "I'm just so happy!!" Oh, and she called us, the
missionaries, her 'Angels.' It's pretty funny! We were also excited
that Pedro got ordained to the office of a Priest! He's the best!! We
had a lesson with him after dinner which was great.
Temp: 84°F

What a crazy week! Britney will be baptized here in a couple weeks! I
appreciate all of the love and support that you all give to me. I want
to apologize to my friend, Jon Tracy, for misspelling his name in my
last email. I'm glad he pointed it out. ;) Have a great week,
everyone! Stay righteous.

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards

I members pool in his backyard!  I want this backyard!!!

Roman Soldier stabbing Elder Jones at the Easter Pageant

Elder Jones and Elder Flynn chillin'

On the road again!

Not sure about that face?


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

General Conference—Easter Edition! 9th P-day in Peoria, 32nd p-day in Phoenix

General Conference—Easter Edition! 9th P-day in Peoria, 32nd p-day in Phoenix

Hello, friends and family! I hope everyone who got to see Conference
enjoyed it as much as I did. Conference as a missionary is especially
special. I'll get to that, though. At this moment I sit on the couch
in our apartment. This week I will hit my 8-month mark. It's crazy to
think I've been out that long. Well, here was my week! :)

Monday: Typical P-day. I took a much needed nap. We taught Chris in
the evening after dinner. We are going over the Restoration with her
to help strengthen her testimony. Yeah, that's about it--pretty boring
Temp: 96°F

Tuesday: After studies and lunch we headed out to find some people. We
didn't have much luck, but we tried hard! We went at it for about
three hours. I had forgotten what it was like to be super sweaty after
biking outside in the hot sun. I'm remembering now!! Haha. A member
fed us homemade deep-dish pizza for dinner. It was spectacular! We
then had a lesson with Britney. She is solid. We committed her to live
some of the commandments. She had no problem with the Word of Wisdom!
She had a few questions, but she readily accepted it. She has been
prepared by the Lord. We reset her baptismal date for April 25th. We're
pretty positive that's going to happen. So is she. Her bird is 20
years old. It's a cockatiel with red cheeks!
Temp: 93°F

Wednesday: Not much happened in the daytime. Just more biking in the
hot sun, trying to save souls--you know, the usual. We had dinner with
Chris. Her parents cooked us some burgers on the grill. They were
delicious! I really hope I keep my metabolism while I'm out on my
mission. If not I'm going to get fat. :) After dinner we went out with
a member to visit a less-active sister. We shared an Easter video with
her and invited her to watch Conference and to come to church the
following week. She accepted. Biking outside all day makes for a tired
Elder Jones. It never fails!

Thursday: Weekly planning, yay! On our way outside to plan, Elder
Flynn grabbed the doorknob and it just fell right off. I'll attach a
picture that I caught of the moment. We then spent a little time
putting it back on before Brother Alger saw the doorknob off the door,
haha. Satan never fails to put obstacles in our path to disrupt our
planning sessions... So for dinner we had home made pork tacos with
cole slaw on top. Yeah, they were heavenly. Enough said. :) We then
had a lesson with Leah at a member's home. We taught her about
temples, baptism, and following the prophet. Her questions are better
than a lot of the older members--and she's 18. It was a wonderful
lesson, like always. I don't think we've ever had a bad lesson with
Temp: 85°F

Friday: What a GREAT day! We went to the Mesa Easter Pageant with
Chris and the Brewer family. Bishop Brewer is our centennial ward
mission leader, and Chris's main fellowshipper. Before the pageant
started, I saw my cousin, Jayden (Elder Mullins), who's serving in
Mesa! It was great to see someone I actually knew. It's the first time
I've seen family/friends in 8 months. Crazy! I'll attach pictures. The
Pageant was wonderful. Words cannot explain how beautiful it was.
Chris couldn't put it into words, either.  We got back pretty late so
we just crashed when we got home.
Temp: 85°F

Saturday: General Conference!! We got up and went to the first session
at the stake center. Armed with note-taking supplies and two PB&J
sandwiches, Elder Flynn and I were on cloud-9. My favorite talk from
the morning session was Elder L. Tom Perry's talk. My favorite quote
from it was, "We now live in a world of temporary." He said that our
culture is making good morals and Godly principles seem "out of date."
It's important to know that we must not be deceived by what the world
is throwing at us. God's laws don't change with man's laws. My
favorite talk in the afternoon session was undetermined, but I really
liked what D. Todd Christofferson had to say. He said that we should
make our body an instrument--not a ruler--of our spirit. He also said,
"NO ONE is predestined to have anything less than all the Father has."
God has made us so that we ALL can receive His great blessings. Not
just some of us.
Temp: 87°F

Some other quotes/thoughts I liked:
-Elder Ulisses Soares: "Teach truths, don't try to prove."
-Larry M. Gibson: "Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words."
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "Many of the things you can count,
don't count; and many of the things you can't count, do count."
"The Church isn't a showroom; it's more like a service
station...Aren't we all in need of a repair?"
-President Henry B. Eyring: "We will be rewarded on HOW we serve."
-President Thomas S. Monson: If we live worthy of the Priesthood, the
blessings will flow through us.

Sunday: General Conference again! Some thoughts I had from the two
sessions Sunday:
-Sister Rosemary M. Wixom: Christ does not leave when I have
questions. "It may not be a perfect offering of knowledge, but it's my
-Elder José A. Teixeria: "Life is not confined to a four-inch screen."
-Elder Brent H. Nielson: Talking about those who have strayed: "Even
though we can't embrace all their choices, we can still embrace them."
-Elder Jeffry R. Holland: His Atonement will grasp us before we fall.
"He is always extending His grace with wounded feet and pierced
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "Salvation cannot be purchased with the currency
of obedience--it must be purchased with the blood of Christ." He also
stated, "Living the gospel is not a burden; it's a preparation."
-Robert D. Hales: "Jesus Christ used His agency to do the Father's will."
-Elder Russell M. Nelson: "Faith in God leads to a love for the
Sabbath; faith in the Sabbath leads to a love for God."
Temp: 87°F

I really enjoyed Conference. As my friend Elder John Tracy said in his
letter home this week from Bolivia: "It was 10 hours of pure
I hope we can all take what we learned at Conference and apply it into
our lives. It was a great way to celebrate His Resurrection. Christ
lives, and God lives. He lives because He loves us. That's his plan.
I hope you all have a great week. Keep in touch! Love you all more
than anything. Your prayers are keeping me going. Stay righteous :)

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards

a wash Elder Jones goes by everyday

Getting ready to go to the Easter Pageant in Mesa

Cousins!  Elder Jones meets Elder Mullins at the Easter Pageant

Elder Flynn holding the door knob that fell off into his hand

Elder Jones with an investigator's dog in his lap