Wednesday, August 12, 2015

G-Town Throwdown : 52 weeks on Mission, 50 weeks in Phoenix mission, 2nd P day in Glendale

G-Town Throwdown : 52 weeks on Mission, 50 weeks in Phoenix mission, 2nd P day in Glendale

Hello, friends and family! Greetings from the Glendale zone! This week
has been super good. I got my 4th baptism this past Saturday. His
testimony and story was extremely moving. I'll write more about it in
this letter. Our week consisted of a ton of lessons to recent
converts. Since this area has had so many baptisms recently, that's
what has been the focus. However, we are still finding new people to
teach almost every day. I'm really enjoying my time ever even though I
miss Peoria. It is definitely a lot different, but I'm adjusting well.
Places we wouldn't visit at night in Peoria are equivalent to the
nicer areas in my area. That's okay, though! People here are super
prepared. Anyway, here was my week!

Monday: was great! We have to use the apartment washers and
dryers because the individual apartments don't have their own. There
are 8 washers, so we used them. We used them all at the same time. I
feel sorry for anyone who needed to do their laundry because we took
all of them. Haha! We then went to Walmart to do our shopping. Walmart
here is a nightmare. It's super busy and there are tons of people
asking for money and stuff. Plus the store is huge and super
confusing. We spent way too long in there. Plus, the registers were
all acting up. So yeah that was lame. We then played a card game
called Munchkin for the rest of pday. It was a great day. After our
fun, we went and visited a recent convert/part member family, the
Popes. We taught them about the importance of church, prayer, and
reading our scriptures. They had some really great input. As we were
crossing a crosswalk in one of our more sketchy areas (35th Ave. &
Dunlap), this guy as high as a kite was just crossing the crosswalk
and harassing us and a family saying, "IT'S HER BIRTHDAY TODAY. A
WOMAN. A REEEEAAALLLLL WOMAN!!!!" and he was throwing his hands in the
air and just being crazy. Don't do drugs, kids. We then visited some
other potential investigators and then came home. One of the best
pdays in a while.
Temp: 108°F

Tuesday: LONG DAY. All of our appointments fell through so we were
biking outside all day. It was super hot. Probably did about 30 miles.
No one was home, and we had a priest biking with us just in case we
got in to a home. I felt sorry for him because he biked with us from
like 1-4. So yeah. We were gross after that day.
Temp: 110°F

Wednesday: It was a great, busy day. We went out with Brother Gomez,
recent convert in the ward. He's like 70 but he does so much for us as
missionaries. A little back story on him: he was going to church with
his wife for 20 years because she wanted him to go. He wasn't a
member. After 20 years of that, Elder Gardner was super bold with him
and challenged him to read and pray and to be baptized. Brother Gomez
said that when E. Gardner said that, he felt an overwhelming feeling
go through him and he said, "okay, yeah, I can do that!" And he did,
and he was baptized a couple months later. And his testimony is
unshakable now. He does so much for us. We had a couple lessons during
the day, one with Christine. She's a recent convert who is about to
pass away from a terminal illness. She has such a strong testimony and
spirit. She's in her 30's, so it's sad to see her like this. She is
staying strong, though. We then had a great lesson with a guy named
Cesar. He's having some troubles too and we meet with him a couple
times per week. We shared a chapter with him out of the Book of
Mormon. He loves to sing, so we sang two hymns with him: "There is
Sunshine in My Soul Today" and "Abide With Me, Tis Eventide" (one of
my personal favorites). As we sang outside the little group home, we
got a little audience. I felt the Spirit and I hope more than the four
of us felt it as well. Brother Gomez couldn't get over how beautiful
the Spirit was in such a normally sad place. It was great. We then met
with a member African family who just moved in from Ohio. They really
wanted to know where the church was but just couldn't figure it out.
They saw us walking around their complex right after they were praying
to know how to find the church. We talked to them and told them where
the church is. They came! Such a cool family. They don't have
furniture or a table or anything, but their spirit radiates from each
one of them. Pretty great day—we were in a car almost the whole day!!
Temp: 107°F

Thursday: Weekly planning with some Munchkin breaks worked in. I'm
really enjoying living with another companionship. It's a lot more
fun. We had a dinner mixup which actually turned out to work great for
us. Haha. Our dinner apt. was going to pick us up at the church at 5.
At 4:50, someone else who thought they had us for dinner dropped by a
pizza. So we put that in the fridge, went to our actual dinner
appointment, ate, came back, and took the pizza home and ate it later
that night. Score! We had a great lesson with Brother Gomez after
dinner. We taught him the Plan of Salvation. He's just great. Words
can't even describe him! We decided that we're going to focus more on
finding this week. We have people to teach, but we could have way
more. When we were inside for the night, we were planning and we heard
someone yelling outside our window. Two people were fighting over a
money shortage from what I assume was a drug deal. It was super funny.
We listened and then went to bed. Life is good in the hood.
Temp: 102°F

Friday: Zone meeting. I forgot to write in my journal for this day
so......yeah. It was a great zone meeting. That's about all I
remember. Moving on..
Temp: Not sure....but it's safe to assume it was HOT.

Saturday: BAPTISM! Mike was baptized and it was the most powerful
baptismal service I've ever been to. It was probably one of the most
powerful testimonies I've ever heard. Mike has had a rough life, and
he actually found a Book of Mormon while he was in prison. He read it
and was converted. After his baptism he shared his testimony. He read
some of his journal entries from 2012 where he mentioned he cannot
wait to change his life and join the Church. He remained faithful as
he waited to be released. He remained faithful as he waited to be
cleared to be baptized. There was not a soul in that baptismal service
who was not deeply moved by his inspired words as a new, clean
disciple of Jesus Christ.
On a more funny note, we got two new investigators! One of whom wins
the prize of funniest name I've ever heard. One was Maria, and the
other was Quanishiana. (Pronounced: Quah-nee-shee-ah-nuh) We taught
them the Restoration and they both accepted it. It was a great night
and a great day.
Temp: 101°F

Sunday: Mike was confirmed at church. I had the pleasure to stand in
the circle while he was confirmed by Bishop Mecham. Mike brought his
girlfriend to gospel principles and she commented a ton during class.
She had a lot of great input. We will hopefully begin teaching her
very soon. He had dinner with a member of the bishopric and his
family. We then visited some people with him after dinner. We set up a
lesson with two people, one of which will be a new investigator next
week! Then we stopped by one of our new investigator's house and her
husband was there and is interested too! It was a wonderful day! Oh,
and I come home one year from today! Hump day!
Temp: 106°F

I love it here. Being a missionary is super fun. I look forward to
hearing from you all. Keep me in your prayers! Love your hair, hope
you win! :)

Much love,

Elder Jones
Black Canyon Ward
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Elder Jones found Mucho Mango in gallon size!

Cuddle session with Elder Clough, Elder Rodriquez's
trainee, He is awesome.  Plus Elder Rodriguez doing bunny ears.

Here is a photo of us WINNING. We beat the south district in Baptisms
and member present lessons for the month of July. Oh yeah.

Left to right: Elders Wheeler, Price, Thaut, Dennis (DL), Gardner
(ZL), Jones, Ogden (ZL), and Flynn

2. Elder Rodriguez's creepy face

3. Random chicken walkin around Cesar's group home

4. BAPTISM!! Left to right: Elder Garnder, Mike, Elders Thaut, Jones, Ayimadu.

 HUMP DAY!!! 1 year down, one year to go.

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