Monday, August 31, 2015

Beautiful Skies! 55 week on mission, 53 weeks in Phoenix, Az mission, 5 weeks in Glendale area

Arizona sunset.
Beautiful Skies! 55 week on mission, 53 weeks in Phoenix, Az mission, 5 weeks in Glendale area

Good day, friends and family! Pday is upon us once again. This past week was great. Today has already been pretty eventful. While we were studying President Griffin stopped by our apartment to lend Elder Rodriguez a violin so he can play it. So it was pretty cool to see him! Luckily out apartment was pretty clean. As we were taking the trash out, a guy in our complex stopped us and said, "Hey, guys, this is kind of embarrassing, but I just can't figure out how to tie this thing." He wanted us to help him tie his tie. We did, and he was very grateful. He called us "life savers" little does he know....hahaha ;)
So here was my week! 

Monday: It was a great day. We did the usual stuff then went to the church and played volleyball with everyone from our zone. (Except Elder Flynn and his companion.....if you're reading this, know we missed you....) Then Elder Ogden from Camdenton, MO cut my hair! He did a pretty good job. We went out and taught a couple lessons after our time off. We taught the Pope family and they're still doing great! Then we taught Martin, the guy whose sisters stopped us on the street to go talk to him. He's doing great. We taught the Restoration and he felt the Spirit. Pretty cool lesson!!
Temp: 105°F

Tuesday: No appointments cancelled! It was a Christmas miracle!! Brother Gomez went out with us all afternoon so we weren't biking much. We taught three lessons during the day and they all went great. One in particular stuck out to me. We taught a guy named Bill who has been baptist his whole life. He's an older guy, probably about 70. We shared the Restoration video with him. He said it was "inspiring." We biked all the way to the bottom of our area for dinner and they cancelled at the door. That was pretty lame. After dinner we had a lesson with Katie, a recent convert. She had forgotten about our appointment but she was sitting outside on the steps with a couple of her friends. She invited them both to come sit in on the lesson, and one actually accepted! His name is Chad. We were planning on talking about prophets, but we quickly changed our lesson to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we talked about the parts of the gospel: Faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end; Chad was very interested in baptism. He asked us, "I want to know more about baptism. I think that's the next step for me." So right there, having known him for 10 minutes, we testified of baptism and extended a baptismal date for him. He accepted. It was a great lesson.
Temp: 98°F (rainy)

Wednesday: Not much out of the ordinary. We taught a few lessons but nothing spectacular. We did, however, get to visit Mike, the guy we baptized a couple days after I got into the area. He's HILARIOUS. 
Temp: 104°F

Thursday: Weekly planning! As we were planning a pretty gnarly storm rolled in. Here in Arizona there is SO MUCH lightning during storms. So while we were planning, the lights went out. We looked around for a second and then, "BOOOOOOOM!!!" And the lights came back on. So that night we had dinner with Brother Gomez and some of his family. They made some killer ribs. After dinner we went out with our assistant ward mission leader, Brother Barton. He is the definition of funny. We made puns the whole night. It was glorious. 
Temp: 105°F

Friday: District meeting. I gave a practice teach over inviting people to sacrament meeting. After the meeting and dinner we taught Katie about the Word of Wisdom. She brought up that some of her friends were harassing her about being baptized a member of the Church. The Spirit immediately put into my mind a paragraph in the Joseph Smith pamphlet about his persecution. I read it to her:

       "So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation."
She said that it really helped her. I love the Spirit. As a missionary, it is so critical to stay in tune with the Spirit. If not, one could miss a critical moment to help somebody's own personal situation. 
Temp: 106°F

Saturday: It was a super good day today, but super hot. One cool experience did happen. Our last door we knocked on for the day finally opened after a day of no answers. Gary answered. He told us that he used to be Mormon, but is now a "non-believer." Then he told us he believes in Christ. Then he told us that he likes the teachings of the Church. Then he said he wants us to come pray with him. So he convinced himself to have us pray with him and come back once a week. It was a pretty cool experience. Then we had dinner with the Pope family! Before they left, they gave us something interesting. Kool-Aid pickles...they mixed the pickle juice with Kool-Aid powder. Then put the pickles back in the jar and they soaked. It was sooooo good. The pickles were red!!! We then taught two first lessons. One we referred to the Spanish elders. Good day!
Temp: 110°F

Sunday: Typical Sunday! Church, lunch, little nap. I woke up from my nap with a terrible migraine. Fortunately it went away when we ate dinner. Not much happened at night. Except a cooooool lightning storm. The sky was insanely beautiful.
Temp: 105°F

This week was great. Our whole district hit out mission's standards of excellence. That like never happens apparently. The Glendale zone is doing great, and I'm very happy to be a part of it. The work is hastening. He is making it happen. I am honored to participate in His marvelous work. Have a wonderful week, everybody!

Much love,

Elder Jones
Black Canyon Ward
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Weekly Selfie

Left to right: Elders Hunsaker, Richards, Bradley, Wheeler,
Ogden, Thaut, Gardner, Jones, Rodriguez,
Clough, Ockey

Bottom row: Elders Flynn, Price, Hermanas Zamora, Lamb

Add caption

Pretty sweet rainbow

The glorious horse monument.

Arizona dust storm/thunderstorm + sunset

My bro and me


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