Monday, June 22, 2015

19th Pday in Peoria and 42nd P day in Phoenix Mission part 2! HOT.

19th Pday in Peoria and 42nd P day in Phoenix Mission part 2!


a gem he found looking at family history!
Hey, I was browsing our family line, and my 4xGreat (I think)
Grandmother's sister's grandson is Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). He's
on mom's side. It is Obidiah Tate's wife.

Pretty crazy, huh?

Elder Jones' "Air Conditioner"  (the FAN"
Hello, everyone! As you can tell by the title of my email, it is HOT.
Like, really hot. This week is going to be worse! But that doesn't
mean I'm not having a great time here in Arizona. When we're biking
around and its 110°F, attitude is everything. You can bike and
complain and be hot, or you can be positive and joke about being hot.
Either way you're going to be hot and gross; however, the temperature
doesn't have to affect how negative your thoughts are. That was my key
learning from this week. Anyway, here was my week!

Monday: Pday, and day 300 on the mission! I can't believe it's already
been this long. We got a pretty sweet referral from a member in the
ward. Excited, we knocked on their door in the evening. They weren't
there. So we decided to try back the next day or the next time we were
out finding. I'll get to that later in the email. I was told I'd give
a talk on Sunday so I prepared it during studies. I haven't ever given
a 20-minute talk in church so I didn't really know how to start, but I
did my best and received revelation on the topic. We had dinner with
the Centennial Ward bishop, and their dog just had 8 puppies. THEY ARE
SO CUTE. I'LL ATTACH PICTURES. After dinner we helped Chris and her
parents move some furniture, then we had a little lesson with her.
Plus cake. Cake is always good.
Temp: 106°F

Tuesday: We went to the thrift shop to volunteer. We helped move some
donations inside and sorted through them. Then we arranged and sorted
incoming books. Somehow we always get stuck organizing the books.
Haha! After service we cleaned up and headed to dinner at the
Hunsakers' home. Brother Hunsaker usually tries to force us to eat a
ton because he thinks it's funny. It's like a battle—who can overcome
the other? Haha. It's a friendly battle, though. "Here, Elder, you
need another piece of chicken." "No, I think I'm good, but thanks." He
turns to me, "Here, Elder, show your companion how it's done. Take
another piece of chicken." "No thanks, I'm full too!"...battles like
that. :) After dinner we visited Dion and talked with him a little bit
and set up a return appointment.
Temp: 91°F

Wednesday: It wasn't really that hot but it was still a pretty
miserable feeling. While helping at the thrift store a huge moving
truck came in. They were picking up donations. We unloaded the whole
truck. There were tables, couches, dressers, mattresses, and other
random things. The truck was about 20 degrees hotter than outside.
After service we showered and went out. We visited the sweet referral
we got. They answered and were NOT happy to see us. They were very
confused when we said that their friend told us that they were
interested. The member told us that THEY requested a missionary visit.
So yeah. That was a bummer. We had dinner with a member and then went
out with a member of the Elders quorum. We visited some members and
potential investigators. 3/4 of them opened up which was great!
Temp: 95°F

Thursday: Average Thursday—we weekly planned. We decided that we
should focus on part-member families because the work here is getting
kinda slow. We had dinner with the Parris family. They just moved into
the ward like 4 days prior. So we ate on their couch. :) They made
suuuuper good chicken, pepper, sausage, and shrimp skewers on the
grill. We went to our lesson with Angel, but she wasn't there. Again.
Sigh...we visited Chris and shared a message with her.
Temp: 100°F

Friday: District meeting! Our first one in three weeks! I led a
discussion on the importance of getting our investigators to sacrament
meeting. An insight that I read is that when the people we teach stop
coming to sacrament meeting, it gets easier for them to miss other
commitments like reading the scriptures and praying. When they come,
their progress is multiplied tremendously the next week. For instance,
Britney. She was pretty closed for the first few visits—until she came
to church. There, she was fellowshipped and opened up to us the very
next visit and set a baptismal date. Attending church is important. No
wonder it's a commandment! After the meeting Elder Bradshaw had to get
a new bike tire. He installed it, and we went out for a little while.
Chris took us to a pizza place for dinner because our dinner
appointment cancelled on us last minute. We then had a really solid
lesson with Britney. We taught the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit
was there. Our tongues were loosed as we testified of eternal
families, and His eternal plan for all of us.
Temp: 102°F

Saturday: My 10 month mark! To celebrate we went to Culver's for
lunch. Elder Bradshaw got a deluxe triple. He regretted it
later...haha. When we went home we looked through our paper area book
to see if there would be any potential. We found a couple people in
there and will be contacting them this week. We then went with Brother
Wincek to a lesson with Dion. Surprise, he wasn't there! So we went
visiting some people who Brother Wincek wanted to see. We had some
success there. Then the Winceks took us to a delicious deli. I ate the
whole sandwich really fast. Haha. We ended the night with a wonderful
lesson with Leah.
Temp: 104°F

Sunday: I gave a talk in the Oakwood sacrament meeting. It was 20
minutes. I haven't given a talk since I left, and I've never given one
that long. It went well, though. Chris got some pictures of me so I'll
send them. We had dinner on the other side of our area so that was
pretty miserable. But it was super fun. We had some delicious BBQ pork
which made up for it. After dinner we went finding. Not much luck, but
we tried!
Temp: 106°F

Monday: Non pday. We had a lesson with a new investigator, Paulo.
Elder Bradshaw and Elder Goehring contacted him at CVS Pharmacy and we
taught him the first lesson. He's YSA age, but it was great to get to
meet and teach him. We then had dinner and a lesson with Chris.
Temp: 111°F

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Keep in touch. I really
appreciate all of your prayers.

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Back row: Elders Weston, Bunn, Melsen, Ashby, Bradshaw, Jones, Langi,
Rodriguez, Langdon, Wolfgramm
Bottom row: Elders Earl, Safford, Goehring, Merrill, Owens, Gonzales,
Zaugg, Timm  ( Elder Langi who is standing next to Elder Jones is the big guy from Tonga that BYU has recruited to play football after his mission.  He is 6'7" i think and weighs 415 pounds.  He makes Elder jones look pretty small!)

His favorite!  Splurg!

look what they found in the church freezer!
New puppies
weekly planning break

Chillin' with Punnin'Head

Lone Elder- waiting to give a talk on Sunday!

Service car wash...

Or a way to stay cool?

Get that car CLEAN!

Monday, June 15, 2015

19th P day in Peoria, 42nd in Phoenix Mission- It's Transfer day..... Will he stay or go? Find out later this week!

Hats from a 50th Birthday party 
Elder Jones and Elder Rodriguez

zone party

Elder Jones modeling lady's sunglasses

Elder Bradshaw modeling lady's glasses

Elders Jones & Bradshaw

Elders Jones and Flynn

Elders Jones, Flynn and Chris (I love this picture!  Doesn't everybody look extra happy?

Elder Jones gave talk 6/14/15

Poor guy having to sit all alone on the stand.

The Lone Elder!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Setting Tables + Lightning 18th P day in Peoria, 41st P day in Phoenix Mission

Setting Tables + Lightning  18th P day in Peoria, 41st P day in Phoenix Mission

Good day, friends and family! Sorry it's a bit late, but we have been
pretty busy today. It has been a pretty good week! Nothing miraculous
or spectacular, but still great! Well, something miraculous happened
today. As I was reaching into the freezer at Walmart to grab a box of
Hot Pockets, I felt our phone buzz. I answered the unknown number.
"Hello, this is Elder Jones." It was Sister Tanner from the Centennial
Ward. She then told us about someone's friend from e temple who wants
to hear from the missionaries. Their names are Randy and Ranae.
Apparently they felt prompted to ask their friends if they could be
taught by the missionaries. They want us to go contact them this week.
Soooo...that was a miracle for us! We fasted for missionary work this
Sunday and look! The Lord answered our prayers. Anyway, here was my
week! :)

Monday: Pday. Went to Ross and Which Wich. We then went to the stake
center and played volleyball and frisbee. I made it known to everyone
that I'm a terrible volleyball player. I hit it over the net once and
everyone freaked out and cheered and picked me up. It was pretty
hilarious. Elder Langi gave me a chest bump and I almost died because
he's so big hahaha. Chris fed us dinner and we had a great lesson with
I'm not kidding. Haha! It was amazing. The Spirit was so strong. I
almost cried. Almost. :p
Temp: 102°F

Tuesday: It was a good, hot day. So none of the missionaries went to
the thrift shop for service today and didn't tell us until we asked
who was picking us that threw off our plans. Kinda
aggravating, actually. An older couple needed some help pulling some
weeds in their back yard so we went and helped them. At like 1 pm. It
was pretty dang hot! Brother Murri said I we looked ready to work! It
was pretty fun and hot. They got us Burger King afterward. I miss
eating fast food a ton....since I basically lived at Taco Bell my
senior year. We showered and got ready for the evening. We had a
wonderful lesson with Brother and Sister Reese. It got kinda off
topic, but we were productive. Brother Reese shared some really cool
experiences he has had recently. He said that his prayers are all
being answered and that he's ready. SO exciting.
Temp: 101°F

Wednesday: Whatta ya know? Everyone cancelled on going to the thrift
shop. Last minute. Again. Sooo our plans were thwarted twice in a row.
We went out finding and met a guy named Sean and set up an appointment
for Friday. He was a pretty cool guy. After more biking and knocking,
we had dinner with the Babbels. Sister Babbel makes such good food. We
then went on visits with Brother Wincek and met a lady named Angel. We
set up an appointment for her for Thursday. A couple more visits, but
no more luck. Sunscreen is my best friend. :)
Temp: 101°F

Thursday: Weekly planning. It was overcast all day which was really
nice. We plan in the church because the A/C is better. We kept hearing
noises in the church so we had to keep investigating. We didn't find
anything, though.....we then had dinner with the Dutsons, a recent
convert family! We had lasagna with homemade bbq sauce in it. Sounds
gross, but it was SOOOO good! I never thought bbq sauce would be good
with lasagna. I stand corrected!  Angel wasn't home when we went to
her appointment! After that it was just a bunch of doors. Sad.
Temp: 95°F

Friday: Another pretty bland day, Sean wasn't home when we went by for
his appointment. It poured down rain most of the day, so we were in
and out of the church. We didn't want to go far in case we got
stranded. We did our best to stay productive. We had dinner and a
lesson with Chris again Friday. After our lesson we helped her set
tables for a party of 40 for the next night. We did a pretty good job,
if I do so say so myself. Elder Bradshaw mainly helped cleanup the
plates and stuff and I put them on the table. Oh yeah. :) They were
playing some cool percussion music that sounded a lot like what we
would do in percussion ensemble. It was fun to hear that music again.
I couldn't control it, so might as well enjoy it...we then biked home
in a lightning storm. It was pretty sketchy hahaha. I was saying
"Heavenly Father, please let us get home safely." Over and over. Haha!
Temp: 90°F (rainy and humid)

Saturday: We had zone meeting. The main focuses were weekly planning,
nightly planning, online proselyting, and developing relationships
with ward and stake leaders. It was a pretty good meeting. I didn't
really get a ton out of it, but it was still good! We had dinner with
a pretty weird, witty family. It was good. Then a lesson with Britney!
Her spirit is just as strong as ever. It definitely recharges any who
meet her. We then stopped by Chris's to grab a homemade green chili
burrito. SO good. I had two! :)
Temp: 94°F

Sunday: Fast Sunday. BROTHER REESE CAME TO CHURCH!! Yes!! It was a
miracle. He's doing so great. After church we got a text from Brother
Pottle in the bishopric asking if I could speak next Sunday. So, if
any of y'all would like to learn what I'm learning, I'm speaking for
20 minutes on "The Parable of the Sower", a talk given by Elder Dallin
H. Oak sin this past Conference. I wrote it all in studies today. We
then had dinner with the Foulks. I told them about my family's green
bean sandwiches. They're going to try them. I said I promise they'll
like them!! We then had a lesson with Leah. It went well! She asked
her mom about baptism and her mom isn't too thrilled, but she'd let
her do it. Hopefully she'll get baptized before she goes to college in
Temp: 100°F

So that was my week! Thanks for all the prayers and support. I love
you all! Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Waiting for a rainstorm to pass

Still waiting!

new watch

P day

Elder Bradshaw wearing Elder Jones' shirt!
I don't think they can share clothes!
Elder jones hiding under the curtains!
Setting tables

Lookin' Good!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

It's This Car!! 17th P day in Peoria, 40th P day in Phoenix Mission

Elder Stafford (zone leader) wearing Elder Langi's suit coat
Elder Bradshaw trying to study!
It's This Car!! 17th P day in Peoria, 40th P day in Phoenix Mission

Hello, friends and family! I had a pretty wonderful week. While the
Midwest is experiencing a lot of rain and storms, we're experiencing
really HOT weather. Mother Nature is ticked off! I guess this is what
we get for having an extremely beautiful May. OH WELL! I'm pretty
excited to say that I served through (and biked through) a Phoenix
summer! Anyway, enough rambling. Here was my week!

Monday: P-day. 'Twas fun. It was extremely eventful. We played
ultimate frisbee and flag football at a park in Peoria North stake.
Elder Wolfgramm (Elder Langi's companion, also a Tongan) TRUCKED our
zone leader, Elder Bunn, on accident. He was pretty shaken up. It took
a while for him to stand up. After that we got locked out of the
Spanish Elders' car so we had to wait for a while. Yeah, it was a
pretty full pday. Sorry again that I didn't get to talk to you all
much last week. We went finding at night, not much success because
everyone was partying haha.
Temp: 91°F

Tuesday: A LONG day. We woke up and went to help Britney paint one of
her closets. After being there for a while, we went home and grabbed a
quick bite to eat, then went to Eve's Treasures. They didn't have much
work for us so we left early. We then studied. Studying in the middle
of the day is the hardest thing ever. I don't know why. It's so hard
to stay focused. We then had a DELICIOUS home-cooked meal. They
invited some less-active members to eat with us. It was great to talk
with them and testify of the Atonement. That's the best part of being
a missionary. (Testifying, not the home-cooked meals...:)) After
dinner we had a lesson with Brother Reese. His wife and daughter
weren't there, so we shared a message about Joseph Smith and the Book
of Mormon with him. He's progressing so well. I hope I'm still in the
mission when their family gets sealed in the temple. I want to be
there for that. Dion left us a HILARIOUS message on our phone. He
said, "Hey, guys, this is DION. Just wanted to tell you I have started
reading the 'Mormon book.' I would like to meet sometime this week. I
gotta go, I'm runnin' out of minutes on my Obama Phone. Love y'all.
See ya."
Temp: 94°F

Wednesday: It was a rough day. I was pretty sick up until dinner time.
I still went to Eve's Treasures to help out, though. Our job was
throwing away some stuff that was set aside. There were some crazy
things! I found a brand new leather wallet, so I snagged it. They said
I could just have it. After service I had a pretty crazy headache and
stomach ache. I took some meds and took a small nap. The next thing I
knew, Elder Bradshaw was waking me up at 4:45........and our dinner
was 20 minutes we booked it! Somehow we made it on time.
We had dinner with the Lloyd's, and on Sunday they asked us what we
wanted, and we couldn't decide. They said to think about it and call
them with our decision. We forgot to call them, so they just guessed.
Sister Lloyd said, "Well, you guys never told us what you wanted, so
we just grilled you guys steak." OH DARN. :) It was goooooooolod
steak. After dinner we had a lesson with Leah. We read through a
couple chapters of the Book of Mormon. She's progressing well. Her
spirit is so strong. It's so amazing to see how far she has come. She
said she went to her old church last week with her grandma, and she
told us that—with the knowledge she has now—her old beliefs just don't
make sense. She says she understands God's plan more now. Good day!!
Temp: 96°F

Thursday: Wonderful day. We had a zone training meeting with our zone
and President Griffin. We did a group meeting, then interviews. They
catered Jersey Mike's Subs for lunch. I LOVE Jersey Mike's. We were at
the church until about 4pm. We then had to leave and had a quick
dinner with a member. After dinner we went out with Brother Gonzalez
to visit some people. He is absolutely hilarious. He needed sugar
after our visits and took us to Sonic. For those of you who know me
well, the fact that I hadn't had Sonic in almost 10 months is INSANE.
Temp: 99°F

Friday: Weekly planning. Before planning, we had a quick lesson with
Pedro. It went well. He's still super solid and doesn't have many
questions. He blesses the sacrament every week and I'm pretty sure I
saw him teaching in priests quorum. Since he graduated, he's available
more. I hope they call him as a ward missionary. We exchanged with the
Spanish elders. I was with Elder Rodriguez in his area. Oh yeah—I GOT
TO DRIVE. Elder Rodriguez can't drive yet so I got to drive! (I'll
attach pictures :))
Temp: 101°F

Saturday: Driving! Driving! More driving! I was super nervous to drive
again, but I did just fine. We did a lot of finding. Too bad I
couldn't understand a thing that was going on. Haha! We had some
weird, but good, Mexican food with a member. I ate so much I almost
got sick right there! Haha. One cool experience: we had a lesson with
a recent convert family, and they only speak Spanish. In the middle of
the lesson, Elder Rodriguez looked at me and said, "Could you hear
your testimony on temples?" Surprised, I bore testimony in English.
They understood everything I said. The Spirit is real.
After the lesson we rushed home only to find out we were locked out!
We then waited for Elder Merrill and Langi to come open the door. They
were on exchange. Elder Langi gave me a hug and I disappeared into his
massive chest Hahahahaha.
Temp: 104°F

Sunday: It was a Sunday full of meetings. At Church, Elder Bradshaw
gave a great talk on grace. Then stake general priesthood meeting. Our
stake president gave a wonderful talk about addressing the Church
members' problem with pushing young men to serve missions RIGHT when
they can. He said it's one of the biggest problems in the Church. He
spoke a lot on making sure we're prepared to do His work. He also
spoke about honoring our priesthood. They gave us pie and ice cream!
Oh yeah!
Temp: 107°F

So yeah. It was hot. But I got to drive. :)
I hope you all had a wonderful week. Stay awesome.

Much love,

Elder Jones
Oakwood / Centennial Wards
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Pday fun... volleyball

P day selfie

new shoes, he wore out the others, too much running

Monday temp
Elder Jones gets to drive after almost 10 months

the car!

companions for the day Elder Rodriguez

Elder Rodriguez point of view!