Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Baseball and Tostadas! 16th P Day in Peoria, 39th P Day in Phoenix Mission

Baseball and Tostadas! 16th P Day in Peoria, 39th P Day in Phoenix Mission

Hello, friends and family! I hope all had a wonderful week. It was a
fairly mild week here in Peoria, but as I look in the forecast for
this week......not so much. Anywhere from 99°F—106°F all week. So
yeah, summer is here, my skin will soon be as red as my bike! Anyway,
here was my week:

Monday: P-day. The typical. We got haircuts from Sister Moore, so that
was pretty awesome. We had a lesson with Leah which went really well.
Since we've taught all of the lessons, she thought it would be good if
we read the Book of Mormon with her when we come by. So we did that;
we read 1 Nephi 11-12 with her. She really enjoyed the fact that Nephi
was receiving revelation about Jesus Christ while he was still in
Jerusalem. In other words, the Book of Mormon was testifying of what
was happening in the Bible. The prophets in the Book of Mormon—in this
case Lehi and Nephi—understood and prophesied of the Savior. Leah
thought that was pretty cool. After the lesson, we started an exchange
with the Spanish elders. Elder Goehring came to my area with me.
Temp: 88°F

Tuesday: I was with Elder Goehring (gare-ring) for the day. He's a
gringo and has been out 22 months. He is a VERY good missionary. I
learned a lot from him. He was in the drumline and played snare all
through high school, just like me. We got to talk about marching
band—something both of us can't do very much anymore! We played back
and forth on my practice pad. Yeah, we had a good time. Haha! We went
to the thrift shop and did some service there. After service we went
finding. Since Elder Goehring is a Spanish-speaking missionary, he
made a goal to find a Spanish person to talk to. As we were biking
through the trailer park section of our area, we saw a trailer with
Christmas lights. He said, "Oh, they're so Spanish. Let's knock on
their door." They weren't Spanish. Just really rude white people.
Haha! The Pottles took us to "Which Wich". It was VERY good. A million
times better than subway. After dinner we had a lesson with the Reese
family. We taught about prophets and Jesus Christ. Elder Goehring was
able to connect with them well. He even spoke some Spanish to Sister
Reese. :)
Temp: 86°F

Wednseday: We went to the thrift shop again to volunteer. We are doing
it on Tuesdays and Wednesdays now. As we were walking out to the zone
leaders' truck, I see a familiar face wave at me out the passenger
window. Elder Canny was on exchanges with Elder Safford!!! I loved
Elder Canny and when he was made the new assistant to the president he
had to leave that same day. So I didn't get to say bye to him. I got
to spend some good time with him and talk. It was nice! Had some good
Swedish meatballs for dinner. After dinner we had a lesson with Dion.
Lo story short, we went from talking about faith to talking about
whether or not there's life on other planets. Yeah. It was a fun
lesson, though. He's interested and seems pretty solid.
Temp: 91°F

Thursday: Weekly planning. We went to a graduation party for dinner.
It was kinda awkward at first, but we ended up having a good time and
talking to quite a few non-members. They have a mac and cheese cooking
contest and Elder Bradshaw and I got to be the judges. Elder Bradshaw
got to spar a bit with another person who did martial arts back home.
He got a pretty good grass stain on his shirt, though..haha. After the
party Chris had a few questions so we went over there and answered
Temp: 89°F

Friday: Four year anniversary of the Joplin tornado. It's crazy that
it's already been that long. We had district meeting and Elder
Bradshaw and I led a discussion on finding through out own efforts. It
went well. We got a lot of new ideas on how to find more people to
teach! We knocked on a few doors after the meeting and I went and got
new pedals for my bike. My old ones were demolished haha. Chris and
her family had us over for dinner. Her mom cooked authentic, homemade
tostadas. They were spectacular. We then had a great lesson with
Chris. It was such a beautiful night we held the lesson on their front
Temp: 83°F

Saturday: After we studied, we went over to Chris's home and Elder
Bradshaw helped her nephew, Dallin,  learn how to hit a baseball.
Elder Bradshaw had played baseball for like 8 years, so he coached him
a bit. Dallin really liked us and said that we should be his full-time
coaches. Maybe if we weren't full time missionaries...haha. Dallin's
mom was so grateful that E. Bradshaw was able to help him. By the time
we left, Dallin was hitting 3/4 of the pitches. It was a fun day. They
fed us lunch and we headed out shortly after. We changed and showered
and it was time for dinner again! We had burgers at a member's home.
They have 4 boys: ages 10, 8, 5, 1. We had a watermelon eating contest
with them. We won. Oh yeah! After dinner we had a lesson with Britney.
Of course, she's still doing spectacular. We taught about service and
enduring to the end. She seemed to like it a lot.
Temp: 83°F

Sunday: The typical Sunday, except we had ward council with the
Centennial Ward. After church we had lunch and studied. We were
supposed to have a lesson with Pedro, but he had to cancel. After we
biked all the way down to the corner of our boundary....haha it's
okay, though. We needed the exercise. :)
Temp: 84°F

The forecast isn't looking good for us in the next week. We have been
spoiled in that we had a very mild May. I guess it's time for the
desert to be the desert again. Highs for next week look brutal. I hope
you all have a wonderful week. Keep me in your prayers as I'm keeping
you all in mine. Stay awesome.

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards
Arizona Phoenix Mission

crazy picture

Elder Jones with Elder Bradshaw's hat

district picture: Goehring, Rodriguez, Jones, Merrill, Weston, Bradshaw


rearranged bedroom

zone leader locked keys in car so they waited 2 hours yesterday for someone from Ford dealership to come unlock the door.

gotta' keep the skills sharp!

Exchange with Elder Goehring

Helping teach investigators son to play baseball (Elder Jones is NOT the teacher!)

other Elders waiting to get back in the car!

Elder Bradshaw teaching boy to bat!  He is the teacher!

Elders Jones and Bradshaw and their student.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Biking in the Rain 15th P Day in Peoria, 38th P Day in Phoenix Mission

Biking in the Rain 15th P Day in Peoria, 38th P Day in Phoenix Mission

Hello, everyone! We had a great week here in Peoria! Apparently this
is the most rain we've had in Arizona I'm May for a long time. Well,
here was my week!

Monday: P-day! We did the normal routine then we went to the stake
center and played some sports with other missionaries. I then saw
three Elders playing the card game ERS and I joined in and dominated.
Haha! Then game went 50 minutes and I emerged victorious. We then had
a lesson with Alberto. Well—we were planning on having one. We showed
up at Bishop Crump's home and waited for Alberto to come. He didn't
show up. We learned later that night that his truck broke down in
Prescott so he had no way to get there. He's in Mexico this week, so
we probably won't be able to meet with him for a little while. We
talked to Bishop Crump about the Work in the ward instead.
Temp: 93°F

Tuesday: We biked around all day. Not too much luck, sadly. My back
and chest were hurting pretty bad. I'm not sure why but it put me out
for a little while. We had a lesson with the Reese family! The mother
and daughter are recent converts and are active, but the dad isn't
active. He has expressed his desire to become active again and to
advance in the priesthood. He feels it will help his family and
himself. We are teaching their family the missionary lessons weekly.
They set their goals toward the temple—I'm honored to be a part of
such a great goal. Brother Reese prayed at the end of the lesson and
it was one of the most powerful events that have happened during my
mission. Anyone who was there would have felt the Spirit as we did.
Temp: 92°F

Wednesday: We went and helped at the thrift store during the daytime.
We sorted through and hung up lots of pants, ties, and pajamas. My
companion for the service was Elder Bunn, the new zone leader. He's a
pretty cool guy. We had dinner with the Moore family and we had super
good fettuccine alfredo. After dinner we went out with a member to
visit some people. No one answered until we tried a phone referral we
got from Church headquarters. We had his name, phone number, address,
AND email address. We knocked on his door and seemed like he had never
even heard of us. He said that wasn't his name, but it was totally
him. Dude, if you hate us so much why did you request missionaries to
bring you a Book of Mormon? Haha. Oh well. It was a pretty funny
Temp: 90°F

Thursday: Weekly Planning. We took a little break from planning and
played some ERS. I was beating Elder Bradshaw 15 games to 0. He
finally beat me and was so happy. I think the record now is like 20-2
or something. Yes, Jessica, Elder Bradshaw has beaten me more than
you! ;) We didn't have a dinner appointment, so we ate at Culver's for
dinner. My craving was satisfied. Leah's lesson had to reschedule so
we went and knocked on Dion's door. He was there, and he saw it was us
and looked through the screen door and said, "OH, HEY FELLAS!...UH, IM
IS....UH....OH, JUST COME IN!" Haha so we went in and he was in his
underwear. He was so embarrassed but we assured him it was okay. He
gave us his cell phone number, told us that we'll meet next week, and
said he's going to keep Sunday open so he can come to church. It was a
HILARIOUS experience. He's a good guy. As we were leaving, Elder
Bradshaw saw that he had a thorn in his tread. He took out his knife
and pryed it out. We heard a pfffffff...... It punctured his tube and
he had a flat tire. We were about 3 miles from home, so Brother Pottle
came and rescued us. It was a pretty crazy night haha.
Temp: 82°F (WINDY.)

Friday: We had a great district meeting. President Juchau (pronounced:
"Jew shaw")  came to the meeting and led a very great discussion about
building bridges with members rather than walls. After the meeting he
drove us to the bike shop to get Elder Bradshaw a new tube. We had
dinner with the Hunsakers. He tried to stuff us with pizza. He's
notorious for insisting that the Elders eat a ton. We held our ground
pretty well! After dinner we had a lesson with Chris. We answered some
more of her questions. It was raining when we left, so we biked home
in the rain. We were pretty dang soaked. Haha.
Temp: 70°F (rainy)

Saturday: We went to Chris's house to help her and her parents move
pictures, clean/repair ceiling fans, and to change some vent filters.
It was pretty fun. Elder Bradshaw loves working on ladders so I left
that part to him. Haha! They fed us some fried chicken and strawberry
shortcake after we finished working. Thank goodness we didn't have a
dinner appointment; we were stuffed! We had a great lesson with
Britney at the church building. We taught about missionary work,  and
she told us of some experiences she's been having at work where she's
shared the gospel! She encourages all of her coworkers to pray. They
see the light in her eyes. It's hard to miss.
Oh—Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on the Alger's door and we opened ours.
They were pretty nice. They gave us a Watchtower thing. Pretty funny
Temp: 73°F (nice)

Sunday: Church...after church we taught Chris, we finally got into the
Restoration. We almost finished it! She made cookies, and I cuddled
with her dog. I'll attach pictures. :)

Arizona is awesome. I'm loving it here and I'm loving the experiences
that I'm having! I've been reading the Book of Mormon in Alma
recently. I just finished Alma 32. I encourage all of you to read it
or reread that chapter. It is always inspiring.
I love you all and appreciate all of the prayers and support. I can feel it.

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards
Arizona Phoenix Mission

My flower for Mother's Day?  In Elder Jones' yard.
My selfie I asked for

After riding home on their bikes in the rain... I think they got wet!

After a visit from another religion

Elder Jones decides he is best at HOLDING the ladder.

Elders Jones and Bradshaw teaching those that will listen!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Family, and More Cheesecake! 14th P Day in Peoria, 37th P Day in Phoenix Mission

Family, and More Cheesecake! 14th P Day in Peoria, 37th P Day in Phoenix Mission

Dear friends and family,

HELLO EVERYONE! Greetings from Peoria, Arizona! We had a pretty solid
week. It was slower than normal because of the transfer adjustments,
but it was great. My new companion, Elder Bradshaw, is awesome. I knew
him in my last area. It was kinda weird knowing my companion before I
was with him. We get to talk a lot about our Phoenix North adventures.
I actually went on exchanges with Elder Bradshaw in my last area.
Pretty crazy, right? Anyway, here was my week!

Tuesday: P-Day, Elder Flynn packed all day and I sat around all day.
Chris took us to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and it was
delicious. It never disappoints. Chris took Elder Flynn's leaving very
hard. There is good news, though. I'll explain soon.
Temp: 84°F

Wednesday: Transfers! My new companion is Elder Bradshaw. He has been
out six months and he's from Pearland, Texas. Just outside of Houston.
He was in my zone in Phoenix North, so I know him pretty well. When
President Griffin put us together, we both stood up and cheered. Haha!
It's gonna be a great companionship. A member couple took us to Texas
Roadhouse (go figure haha) for dinner. I got a pretty good steak. :)
After dinner we went around and visited a couple people, but Elder
Bradshaw got to meet our ward mission leader in the Centennial Ward
and our ward mission leader in the Oakwood Ward.
Temp: 88°F

Thursday: Weekly planning. Had dinner with the Winceks. They're a
hoot! Definitely one of my favorite families since I've been on my
mission. They're awesome. We taught Leah after dinner. She's
progressing a lot, her mom just needs to be more open to the idea of
baptism. Leah is 18, but she still wants her mom to support her. She
is golden, though. They gave us ice cream after the lesson, so that
was nice. :)
Temp: 84°F

Friday: We helped a member move in the morning, then came home and
went to district meeting! It was Elder Rodriguez's first district
meeting as the district leader. He did great. He's a natural!! We then
came home and studied for Britney's lesson. We had dinner with a
less-active/recent convert family. They told us they want us to come
teach them the new member lessons! The mom and daughter are the
converts, and they're active. The dad has been a member his whole
life, but is less-active. He said he wants to come back and advance in
the priesthood and eventually be sealed in the temple. He has his
sights set on the prize so we're excited to teach their family once a
week! They're really a great family and it makes me happy that they
will be united eternally soon. :) We had a great lesson with Britney
after dinner. We held it in the church and talked about the priesthood
and the temple. She is excited to do family history and go with her
son to the temple to do baptisms for her ancestors. Her spirit is
Temp: 72°F (yesssssss)

Saturday: Typical Saturday. We had an open afternoon to go finding.
Chris fed us lunch at Culver's. (She knows I love Culver's, so she
takes care of us haha) We talked to her for a while and answered some
questions. We then went finding, but not much luck. I got to show
Elder Bradshaw around, though. So that was good. We then went to the
Oakwood Ward youth fundraiser/auction. The Winceks got us in and we
had dinner there and Elder Bradshaw got to meet the ward. The auction
was pretty funny. After a while one of the kids went up to be the
auctioneer, and he was like 7. He didn't really know what he was doing
but that was the funny part. We had Navajo tacos. Pretty good!!
Temp: 80°F

Sunday: Mother's Day! And Charles's 27th birthday! I got to Skype home
which just made the day perfect. I got to see my family and some
friends! I'll attach some screenshots I took and the "family photo" my
mom sent me, haha. Elder Bradshaw said that six hours of church is too
long! It's pretty long, but he'll get used to it. :) Dinner was super
awkward. Enough said. We then had a lesson with Chris. Here's the cool
part. So Chris was baptized in the Phoenix North stake in the Royal
Palm ward. So she usually attends church there. Chris was very upset
when Elder Flynn left, but we got Elder Bradshaw. He just came from
the Royal Palm ward! So he knows Chris! It was great to see her not as
sad. I think having a friendly face come in was comforting to her. It
was a great, powerful lesson on repentance. Progress is being made!
Temp: 88°F

That was my week. Fairly mild temperatures. Can't complain, really!
Hope everyone out there had a wonderful Mother's Day. I know I did,
and my mom did too.

Love you all!

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Skype session on Mother's Day!

We tried to get a Family Picture.  I needs to do a little photoshop work on it.

we tried to get a picture of Olivia and Elder Jones.  Last time they will see each other for 19 months.
trying to get a kiss from Elder Jones!  Not quite the same!
Elder Bradshaw, Elder Jones, Elder Thaut, Elder Flynn
Elder Jones' old and new companion, and Elder Flynn's old and new companion
Chris, Elder Flynn, Elder Jones at Cheesecake Factory

Elder Bradshaw and Elder Jones at Culvers

Elder Jones studying?

Somebody got my phone on Mother's day!

Elder Jones is either hiding, or looking at his map?
I think these two are going to be a fun companionship!

Elder Jones & Elder Bradshaw

Glad to see I can get more pictures from Elder Bradshaw!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Transfers, 100°F Day, and Connections! 13th P day in Peoria, 36th P day in the Phoenix Mission

Transfers, 100°F Day, and Connections! 13th P day in Peoria, 36th P day in the Phoenix Mission

Dear friends and family,

Hello, everyone! We had a great week. It was LONG. But good! We got
the news yesterday that Elder Flynn will be transferred out. He has
been here for 9 months, so it was expected. I will miss him, but I am
excited for new opportunities! Oh, and congrats to Olivia on getting
her mission call to Modesto, California! I wish I could have been
there to witness it, but I am still proud nonetheless. California will
be lucky to have her. Here was my week!

Monday: Extremely packed P-day. Again, I apologize for the pitiful
email. We had to do the normal stuff: laundry, lunch, haircut, emails.
Then we had a zone activity! I'll attach the zone photo. It was fun!
We played basketball, glow in the dark dodgeball, and chair soccer. A
member brought us Barro's Pizza for dinner which was delicious. We had
a great lesson with Leah. She finally told us her concerns about
baptism. She really has the desire to be baptized, but her mother
isn't very supportive. Her dad is, but her mom isn't. We told her to
pray to soften her mom's heart. She said she felt relieved that we
weren't upset with her or anything. In fact, we were relieved that she
WANTS to be baptized. We were worried that she didn't want to anymore.
So, good lesson. We got a picture with Leah and the Pottle family.
I'll attach it. Olivia got her mission call! Again, I'm so proud! I
went over to the other Elders' apartment for exchanges with Elder
Canny. 'Twas an interesting night over there, but I'll spare you the
details. Hahahahaha!
Temp: 80°F

Tuesday: It was a LONG day. We got up and changed into service
clothes. Elder Canny and Elder Rodriguez are the "moving Elders,"
which basically means they help the building coordinator move
missionaries in/out of their residences when needed. We had a moving
assignment, so I tagged along since I was there. We rode down to West
Maricopa to an apartment complex to move some furniture out of the
apartment and into the trailer. It was pretty easy; everything was
already out and ready to be moved. Plus, the apartment was spotless so
we didn't have to clean anything up. (Apparently the apartments aren't
always clean, haha) Elder Nolan, the building coordinator, took us to
Costco for hotdogs and sodas. It was pretty good, haha. While we were
there we met this lady who was from Columbia, MO! She noticed my Webb
City football MO state shirt. I told her I'll be attending MU after my
mission and she seemed pretty excited to meet someone else from
Missouri. She wasn't the only one who was excited! I was! After Costco
we rearranged one of the storage units. It was HOT. When we got home I
was as sore as I've ever been on my mission. No lie. We then had a
lesson with a Spanish guy named Alfredo. I didn't understand a word
that was said, but I could feel the Spirit. So yeah, long day!
Temp: 91°F

Wednesday: We went to the thrift shop to volunteer. We sorted and hung
up clothes for most of the time. We got to talk to one of the
volunteers there for a while. She had no idea we were out of high
school and out on a mission. I guess the name tags didn't give it
away! Haha. A member brought us Chick-fil-a for dinner because she had
some sick kids. Can't complain! We went out with a member to visit
Dion but he wasn't there. He walked up as we were leaving, and we got
to talk to him for a minute or so and set up a time to come by again.
We contacted a Jehovah's Witness, which was surprisingly fun. We
talked to her and she said she knocks on doors, too. I asked her how
their missionary program works and it was pretty cool to learn about
how they do things. She was very friendly. Obviously, not too
interested, though.
Temp: 93°F

Thursday: Weekly planning. Had dinner with a couple who is serving a
service mission! They're great. After dinner we went out with Bishop
Brewer, our ward mission leader, to visit some people. We taught two
people, one of whom we will be teaching weekly now! He expressed
desire to advance in the Priesthood after being inactive for many
years. I gave him a blessing to comfort him in his work transition.
Very successful day.
Temp: 99°F

Friday: We had zone meeting. We focused a lot on setting reasonable
goals and the importance of setting goals. Elder Flynn and I led a
discussion on doctrinal study. It went really well; the zone leaders
know how much Elder Flynn and I love our doctrinal study, so they gave
us that discussion. So it was pretty easy to prepare and give. After
the meeting, the Winceks took us to dinner. We went to a restaurant
called Rubio's. They're famous for their fish tacos. I can see why.
They were delicious. Best fish tacos I've ever had! President Griffin
called and talked to Elder Flynn about a medical question, and he told
him that he'll be transferred. So we've known for a few days now.
Temp: 100°F

Saturday: After studies we went to a lesson with Dion. He wasn't
there. :( sigh. We will keep trying! Brother Wincek took us around
visiting less-active members, but no one really answered. We tried,
though! We then took my bike over to the bike shop to repair the
brakes. They were almost nonexistent haha. He put new brakes on and
sent me on my way in about 15 minutes. I love that guy in the bike
shop. He's a great guy. He always makes sure the Elders are taken care
of. We then had dinner with a member. He is like 80 years old and he
has a 14 year-old kid. I don't even know. And his wife isn't young
either. Haha! It was a pretty awkward dinner, but still good! We then
had a lesson with Britney. We held it in the church because her A/C is
broken. We watched the Restoration movie on one of the big screen TV's
the church has. The Spirit was strong as Britney bore her testimony
about the Restoration.
Temp: 98°F

Sunday: Church. Same old, same old! 7 hours of church! I found a sign
in the young women's room that had a misspelling. I had to take a
picture of it. I'll attach it. Haha! We had a great break-the-fast
meal with a couple in the Oakwood Ward, the Babbels. (Pretty cool
name, huh?) They told us they used to live right outside Atlanta, GA.
I told them my uncle lived in Snellville, and Sister Babbel told us
that's where they lived! Turns out they were in the same ward and were
actually good friends with my aunt and uncle! We were just talking
about connections when you're Mormon haha. Anyway, it was a great
dinner. We then had a lesson with Alberto at Bishop Crump's home. We
got a picture and I'll attach it too.
Temp: 94°F

Monday: Monday work days are always rough! But we made do. We got the
official news that Elder Flynn is leaving, along with Elder Ingham and
Elder Canny in our district. Elder Canny was made the new Assistant to
the President!! The other elders told us he was freaking out and
basically crying because he just couldn't believe it hahaha. He'll do
great, though! :) We had a lesson with a less-active sister after
dinner. She complimented Elder Flynn and me on our teaching unity. The
Spirit was there. During and before the lesson, a pretty big storm was
rolling it. The wind and familiar rumble of thunder gave me a little
taste of nostalgia. I got a pretty cool picture on our way to
appointment with the clouds in the background.
Temp: 84°F

So that was my week. I'm looking forward to meeting my new companion.
Love and miss you all. Keep in touch!!

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Elder Jones with a storm brewing in the background

Alberto and Elder's Jones and Flynn

Elder jones says "Elder Flynn doing what he does best!"

Elder's Flynn and Jones

Leah and the Pottle Family

Elder Jones declares that "towards" isn't a word, I disagree!
I told Elder Jones that in my dictionary it could be "toward " or "towards", this was his response to me.... this REALLY describes him to a "T"!
"Just like God's laws, some people may think the rules can change
because of the ignorance of others. But in reality, the laws don't
change. So it applies in grammar."

Elder Jones with his new copanion Elder Bradshaw from TX

Members in ward Brother and Sister Rawson

Elder Jones with brother and Sister Babbel- they used to live in Snellville, GA and knew Richard and Suzanne family (my brother)

Elder Jones with Elder Canny, he is Norwegian.