Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Service. Meetings. Service. 63 Weeks on mission, 61 weeks in Phoeniz AZ Mission,13 weeks in Glendale

Service. Meetings. Service.         63 Weeks on mission,               61 weeks in Phoenix AZ Mission,13 weeks in Glendale

Dear friends and family,

This week went by super fast. It was a shorter week, yes, but it feels
like just yesterday was pday! I guess that's a good thing! That
referral that my friend Elder Kaleb Claypool gave us from Las Vegas is
the definition of a golden investigator. I'll talk about it later in
my letter. Plus we did a ton of service...anyway, here was my week!!

Tuesday: Pday! We just hung out at home and emailed, napped, and
played chess. It was transfer week so we didn't do any activities.
After pday we had about 30 minutes until we had to meet some members
at the church for splits. So we decided to visit a recent convert and
a potential investigator who live in the same complex. So we set off.
We started with the potential investigator. We knocked and no one
answered. Knocked again, no answer. We turn around to go down the
stairs and a guy walks up. We talk to him for a second.

"Hey, who are you guys looking for?"

We tell him.

"Oh, they're not home right now."

"Oh, okay. Well, would you mind if we shared a video with you real quick?"

He accepted, and we shared "Because of Him" on his doorstep. He felt
the Spirit, and accepted a return appointment.

We realized we had just enough time to get to the church for splits.
We were feeling good! As we were biking down Butler, a lady who
appeared to be in her 20's waves and exclaims, "HI!!" So we stop and
talk with her too. She wanted to know what we do. We told her, and she
was very intrigued. She then told us that she has been looking for a
church since she's new to the area. She was very excited to see us and
she told us that we were an answer to her prayers! We shared our
testimony with her and got a return appointment.
There, in 15 minutes, two contacts turned in to two new investigators.
Talking to everyone works!! Unfortunately, both appointments fell
through, but one the lady (Chavon) still wants to meet with us next
Temp: 77°F

Wednesday: We started the day with service at a senior center. We
handed out food to people who needed it. It was super fun! There was
some leftover bread so we took some cinnamon raisin bread. I
looooooove that stuff. :) After service and studies and some finding,
we met with Elaine, the referral from Las Vegas. She told us her
story, and we shared a short message with her. We really just took
some time to get to know her. After that lesson we went out with
Brother Barton and visited some people. I wore a sweater!!!!
Temp: 72°F

Thursday: Today was super intense....haha. So a few days before we got
a call from some senior missionaries who are in charge of housing.
They told us that they were just coming to check for any repairs that
we may need. So we didn't clean up much for the visit. Long story
short.....they came to check for cleanliness. They told us they'd be
nice and come back in two hours. We had to deep clean the apartment.
So we changed and ripped the place apart and cleaned everything. When
they came back, they were taking pictures of how clean the place was.
They couldn't believe it. So they gave us coupons to restaurants. It
was pretty cool! I'm glad someone forced us to clean the place. I bet
this place hasn't been deep cleaned in a long time. We then celebrated
our accomplishment and went to Taco Bell for lunch. After lunch we
went to visit Cesar and a couple other people. Then dinner.....I was
still full from lunch. After dinner we had a great lesson with Elaine,
the lady from Vegas. She and her son, Aaron, came and we watched
Finding Faith in Christ. She loved the video and she said it helped
her a lot. We invited her to pray for peace and be baptized on
November 7. She accepted. We ended up moving it to November 14 because
of a stake broadcast on Nov 8. The Spirit was sooo strong in the
Lesson learned today: Don't put off cleaning!!
Temp: 77

Friday: I had a doctors appointment in Peoria! It went well. Then,
while in Peoria, WE WENT TO FREDDY'S. AHHH IT WAS SO GOOD. I hadn't
had Freddy's since I was home. We planned then had district meeting.
We watched the Restoration video with David, our recent convert. He
loved the video.
Temp: 81

Saturday: SUPER long day. We got up at 4:45 and headed to Avondale for
a Valley-wide service project. All of the Valley missionaries
participated in a painting project. Except the Glendale zone picked up
trash all over the city of Avondale. It was kinda lame that we didn't
get to paint, but we had fun!! We then came home and crashed. I
haven't been that tired in a long time. Then we went to meetings for
stake conference. President Griffin spoke about helping the
missionaries. He said,
"Quit feeding them so much. They're getting fat." That kinda shows
President's sense of humor. It was a great night, but I was so happy
to get home and sleep!!!
Temp: 86

Sunday: Stake conference. Had another lesson with Elaine. She's the best.
Temp: 87

That was my week! Sorry the letter is a little late today. We went
mini golfing as a zone. I am so bad at it. I hope you all have a great
week! and CLEAN YOUR ROOMS! :)

Much love,

Elder Jones
Black Canyon Ward
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Weekly Selfie

Freddy's!  one of Elder Jones' favorites back home

Elders Jones and Rodriguez

Trash cleanup


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Rain, Hoarding, and Transfer News- week 62, 60 weeks in Phoenix mission, 12 weeks in Glendale

Rain, Hoarding, and Transfer News- 
week 62, 60 weeks in Phoenix Mission, 12 weeks in Glendale

Dear friends and family,

This week was long, but awesome. It was really rainy and a lot of cool things happened! IT'S COOLING OFF!!! In other news, I've been a missionary for over 14 months now. Yeah if that's not crazy I don't know what is!! Both Elder Thaut and I are staying in the area for at least one more transfer. Our roommates, Elders Clough and Rodriguez, are also staying together for a third transfer! Our apartmentship cannot be separated! We will conquer Glendale! Also, no one in the whole zone was transferred. We must be doing something right, or something wrong. ;)
Here was my week!

Monday: Pday. Played speed ball and went to Ross! I got a sweet new tie! (I'm pretty sure I acquired 4 new ties this week. I'm up to like 65) After our time off we made some visits. We saw a member family from Liberia. We visit them a lot because they're kind of recent converts and new to the area. It's a mom with six kids ranging from 2-13. Since they're all girls, we sat outside their apartment and everyone sat in front of us at our feet and listened to us teach. It was a really cool experience to teach the children and hear their simple testimonies of the Savior. 
Temp: 96°F

Tuesday: A pretty average day. A priest from another ward named Juan came out with us for the afternoon and we made some visits with him. He and I have gotten pretty close this last transfer. He's from Tulsa, Oklahoma so we reminisce about the Midwest. Haha! After dinner we went out with a member to visit David, who was baptized last week. We taught him about the priesthood and its power. Plus we talked about life which is always fun. He is really interested in how the missionary program works so we explained it to him!
Temp: 97°F

Wednesday: We helped the bishop's wife move a piano! It took six missionaries to do it. We moved it out of a member's house, into her truck, and unloaded it at the bishop's house. Then she gave us some of her famous homemade cinnamon rolls. Sooooo worth it! Probably the best cinnamon rolls of all time. We had a lesson with the Pope family that afternoon. We hadn't met with them in a while so it was great to see them again. After dinner we taught two guys named Jesse. One at 7, one at 7:45. Two different places, two Jesse's. It was kinda funny. We also weekly planned.
Temp: 100°F (...RIGHT?)

Thursday: Zone conference! Something funny happened during our morning exercise. So as we were walking down our street, we see two fit guys running down our street shirtless. At the same time, there was an older guy riding his bike on the other side of the street. The two guys passed us, and the older guy saw them, turned his bike around, and began biking in their direction with a creepy smile. Yiiiiikes. Hahaha! Anyway, zone conference was wonderful! It was really long. We talked about the importance of having a mission vision, but not only developing a vision, but establishing a mission culture. It was a pretty in-depth topic in which a lot went right over my head, but I think I got a lot out of it. Definitely something we can all work on as a mission. They fed us lunch after the meeting and we sang Happy Birthday to the people with birthdays! I got to sing it in Korean with Elder Jeong before he left! It was a cool experience. I'll attach pictures. I already miss my "dad", Elder Jeong. Then I got a flu shot. I hate needles! But I also hate being sick so I was conflicted!! That night we were on our own for our lessons. We ended up teaching 3 lessons that night, one was pretty cool. As we were biking down 27th Ave, (a pretty sketchy area at night) Elder Thaut stops to talk to a kid who is walking up the street. This is what happened:

"Excuse me, can we ask you just one question?"

"Yeah, sure. I have a minute."

"Awesome! If you could ask God one question, what would it be?"

He pauses a moment. "Probably where will I go after I die?"

"That's a great question. As missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ, we can answer those questions for you, just as if God was telling you."

Right there, on a busy 27th Ave with cars whizzing by, we read with him Alma 40:11-13 which goes over where we will go after we die. The Spirit was strong after we testified and invited him to learn more. He gave us his name and address, but it turns out the address was wrong. But we shared and testified nonetheless, and if missionaries ever run into him again he will undoubtedly remember this experience. 
Temp: 98°F

Friday: I experienced the nastiest thing I've ever experienced. We went to a service project in the morning that we were told was "yard work." We met a guy who worked for the city of Phoenix. He then proceeded to tell us the "situation." We were going to clean up a compulsive hoarder's back yard. He had shovels, wheelbarrows, rakes,MASKS, gloves, and all sorts of other tools. There was crap piled up to his windows. It was a decent sized back yard and only two missionaries could fit back there with him. Shout out to Elder Dennis and Elder Bradley for being back there the whole time. There were cockroaches, rats, lizards, and—prepare for it—dead cats. The whole place reeked of cat pee and poop. It was absolutely disgusting. He kicked us out because he couldn't stand to see all of his stuff being thrown away. (It was basically just old papers, dirt, dead things, and various parts to random things). I enjoyed serving, but I was glad to get out of there. There were bees and wasps flying around everywhere. *shivers...* so anyway, then—after taking a long, much needed shower— we had a short, hour-long district meeting after lunch. We then went to a lesson with a YSA member named Spencer because we thought this guy was YSA age. Spencer doesn't have a car, so we biked to his house and walked to the lesson. It was about a 20 minute walk. About half way to the lesson the winds pick up. I feel the first raindrop. Then the dust hits me. Yep, we got caught in a dust storm. Haha! Luckily the investigator was there and we had a great lesson with him. When we left, though, it was pouring down rain. We called our roommates and they were free so they picked us up. Not much else happened in the afternoon. After dinner we went with Juan to visit Mike, a recent convert. He always has snacks and soda for us. It's nice. :)
Temp: 91°F

Saturday: Chris came to our area and took Elder Thaut and me to Culver's! It was really great to see her again and talk to her. Went finding, and did a lot of street contacting. Had a great lesson with a couple great recent converts. 
Temp: 87°F

Sunday: A pretty normal Sunday. Ward council and Church. There was a kick-butt lightning storm after church while we were out so that was fun! We visited a lot of people and ended with a visit with David. The Patriots vs Colts game was on in the background and I commented that I like the Patriots and he said, "Maaaaan! And I've been letting you into my home? Leave!" Just kidding, of course. He's hilarious.
Temp: 86°F

Monday: Non pday Monday. During studies we got a call from some missionaries giving us a referral. Elder Thaut answered the phone, and took the referral info. The missionary asked Elder Thaut if his companion was Elder Kevin Jones. He said yes, and handed me the phone. Lo and behold, on the other end of the phone was Elder Kaleb Claypool from my home stake serving in Nevada Las Vegas West!! Their investigator is moving to Phoenix and we're going to teach her! It's so cool that I got to talk to my friend from the YSA Branch back home!!! Anyway, We then went out with a member to lunch then we went on some visits with him. Had dinner, had a pretty normal lesson with the Popes. They really like to talk. Haha! We got the transfer news and we are all excited to stay together one more transfer at least.
Temp: 83°F

What a great week! So I'll be home today if anyone wants to email me...haha. I'm very excited to be here with a Elder Thaut for six more weeks. The members are excited too. Everyone tells us that they can tell we get along. President Griffin told our zone leaders that we would stay together because we are working well together. I'm a happy camper!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Much love,
Elder Joeng and Elder Jones
Elder Jones' "dad" (trainer),
he goes home to Korea today)

Elder Jones
Black Canyon Ward
Arizona Phoenix Mission

catching up at multi-zone conference

crazy pose multi- zone conference

Weekly selfie!

waiting on a lesson

Elder Thaut and cat

Elder Ogden's drawing

Elder Jones and Elder Thaut at Culvers

Elders Jeong and Jones singing Happy Birthday in Korean,
one last time.

Lunch at zone meeting

Elder Jones w/ 3 of his 5 companions-
Jeong, Flynn, Thaut

Oficial multi- zone conference

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

From the Mailbox to Baptism -- week 61, 59th week in AZ Phoenix mission, 11th week in Glendale

From the Mailbox to Baptism -- week 61, 59th week in AZ Phoenix mission, 11th week in Glendale

Dear friends and family,

What a week. After about two months of teaching him, David was
baptized on Saturday! It was a wonderful event. I'll talk more about
it later in my email, though. We taught a lot of lessons, found some
new people to teach, and had a great time. We have also been putting a
renewed effort on talking to everyone on the street. We've been seeing
a lot of success from doing that. Even if we don't see the effects
right away, the Lord will bless us for our efforts to invite EVERYONE
to come unto Christ. Here was my week!

Monday: It was a great pday! For me, at least. Elder Thaut was super
sick all day so we just hung out at home. Elder Clough told me he was
a champion at ERS (card game) so we played each other. I beat him 2
out of 3 times. So after pday we did exchanges with our roommates so
Elder Rodriguez could interview David for his baptism. He passed! I
went with Elder Clough in the Spanish area. It's so hard to stay awake
during lessons when you can't understand a word that's being said. It
was good though. I got to drive!
Temp: 83°F

Tuesday: I didn't write in my journal....I was sick but it's okay. We
had a couple lessons and did some finding. Not too much happened.
There was a crazy flood! Our street was under water!! I'll send a

Wednesday: It was another pretty normal day. There was a short span
where I was sick again during the middle of the day, but luckily it
passed. We did some visits in the afternoon and then went out with
Brother Barton in the evening. He is probably my favorite member in
this area. Top 3 in my mission, for sure. The weather was wonderful!!
Temp: 83°F

Thursday: Weekly planning. Went to visit Cesar, a member in our ward.
He lives in a rehab facility and there was a new resident there who
sat down and said he had some questions. He proceeded to bash us very
politely. He would bring up a point and we would show him where it's
wrong and that happened a few times. When he found out we could
explain all of his misconceptions he left. People who try to bash
always make me laugh. It's getting hotter again nooooo...
Temp: 91°F

Friday: We got back late and planned late so we had to rush to get to
bed so I didn't write again...I went to Peoria for a doctors
appointment so that was fun! We then had a great zone meeting. We
focused a lot on talking to everyone and the importance of it. I led a
discussion on "working hard" with an emphasis on talking to everyone.
It was wonderful! It got me pretty psyched to recommit myself to
talking with more people. It's something I've been working on and it's
worked out!

Saturday: BAPTISM!! David was baptized! It was such a special service.
Brother Barton, his main fellowshipper, performed the ordinance. I
gave a talk on baptism. David's story on how he met us is a testimony
to me on why talking with everyone is so important. David had just
moved here to Arizona to help take care of his brother who was sick.
He said something kept telling him that he needs to go to Arizona. So
he did, and a month or so later, he went to check his mail. We went to
check the mail at the same time. We talked to him and he invited us
back. The rest is history. He is a loving, funny guy who just wants to
do the right thing. I'm so glad I got to see him progress through the
conversion process. I'm excited to see his continued progression!
After the baptism it was a pretty normal day. We knocked on a
potential investigator's door and a guy answered. The person we were
trying to see wasn't home, but we were able to set up a lesson with
the guy who answered. Again, talking with everyone works!
Temp: 96°F

Sunday: David's confirmation. It was a pretty stressful morning! We
tried to call and text David to tell him who was picking him up for
church but he didn't respond. I went with a brother from the ward to
pick him up and he didn't answer. His neighbor told me that he had
already left for the day. GREAT, he's gonna skip his
confirmation....so we rushed back to the church and there he was,
sitting by Elder Thaut. Phew!! He had lost his phone on the bus the
night before and decided to walk to church. I'm just glad everything
worked out. He was welcomed into the ward very warmly. After church we
did some visits, not much luck.
Temp: 95°F

So that was my week! It was wonderful. The mission is changing my
life! I love watching other people take steps to be closer to God and
Jesus Christ. It strengthens my own testimony about how much They
truly love me. The Lord blesses us as we show our faithfulness to Him.
Let's all do a little better! :) Have a wonderful week, everybody!

Much love,

Elder Jones
Black Canyon Ward
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Flash flood! That is our street. That curb
 is 3 inches. It's up to 
the sidewalk.

Left to right: (top) Elders Flynn, Gardner, Dennis,
Rodriguez,  Jones, 
Ockey, (bottom) Wheeler,
Ogden, Bradley, Clough, Thaut, Dwigans
Left to right: (top) Elders Flynn, Gardner, Dennis, Rodriguez, Jones,
Ockey, (bottom) Wheeler, Ogden, Bradley, Clough, Thaut, Dwigans

 David's baptism!!!

The "Dirty South" district won this month's
competition.  Here is 
our trophy. :)

Being silly waiting to go into a lesson.

Weekly Selfie



Monday, October 5, 2015

Spiritual High week 60, 58 weeks in Phoenix Mission, 10 weeks in Glendale

Spiritual High  week 60,  58 weeks in Phoenix Mission,  10 weeks in Glendale

Dear friends and family,

Man, after this week I'm on a spiritual cloud nine! Last week was so
awesome. I was able to strengthen my testimony in multiple ways. By
the end of the week the temperature has gotten really nice. Yes, still
warmer than Missouri and most places, but nicer. :) We have a pretty
open day today so I'd love to hear from as many people as I can. So
email away!!
Here was my week:

Monday: Pretty dang good pday. We did the normal stuff then we went
bowling as a zone! So that was super fun! I'm awful at bowling but I
still love doing it. I think my high score was a 92 but I did get one
strike. Yeah, so I'm kinda a big deal....just kidding. After pday we
had a great lesson with Javier, a recent convert in the ward. He fed
us cake and we got to play with his new puppy, Dwight. That little guy
is so so so so cute!
Temp: 102°F

Tuesday: It was a really good day! And really hot! I've just about had
enough of you, summer! We went finding during the day but didn't find
too much luck. We talked to some people and tried visiting a lot of
potential investigators. We had two lessons in the afternoon which
went really well. Christine, the recent convert in our ward who has
terminal cancer, gave us some names to take to the temple! (We were
going this week) After dinner we went out with a member of the Elders
quorum. We taught another recent convert, Katie. She has been
struggling with everything except her faith recently, so we read out
of the Book of Mormon with her about overcoming trials. We read
Helaman 5. It was a very It was a very powerful lesson—there wasn't a
dry eye in the room. I truly felt like a representative of Jesus
Christ. Those moments drive me.
Temp: 103°F

Wednesday: So our downstairs neighbor has a leak right above our
bathroom, so a maintenance guy came in and found a leak in the pipes
behind our toilet. So he was working on it while we were studying and
then he disappeared. We figured he went to go get a tool or something.
Nope. He ripped our toilet out and left it in the middle of the
bathroom. Right in front of our sink. It was really confusing. We
didn't want to move it and mess anything up so we just left it there.

Thursday: GREAT DAY!! We went to the temple super early and we had a
great time. We went with out roommates. Christine gave us four names
to take to the temple so we each got to do one of her family names! It
was a really special experience to participate in their ordinances.
The temple is so wonderful. After dinner we went to visit David and we
discussed his baptism. He's all set for October 10th!!!
Temp: 102°F

Friday: It was a good day! Elder Thaut was pretty fed up with the
whole toilet situation so we called the apartment office. The lady in
the office was furious that that happened to us. She sounded like she
was on a mission to get it fixed asap so that was reassuring. Sure
enough, 20 minutes later a guy came and put our toilet back in.
Hallelujah. Then we had district meeting. I gave a training on how to
help our investigators overcome their concerns. It went pretty well. I
made a Titanic reference so that was pretty funny. We spent the
evening with Juan, a priest in the stake. He goes out with all the
missionaries in the stake because he's preparing for a mission. We
biked to our two lessons with him. They were both recent convert
lessons and they went really well. One was with Katie. Lessons with
her have been really powerful recently. It's cool to get Juan in there
and let him experience those powerful moments himself. I wish I would
have experienced some of those moments back home before my mission.
Temp: 95°F

Saturday: General Conference!! It was spectacular. If you didn't get
to see it, go watch it. It was inspiring. I am so grateful that we are
taught by modern day prophets and apostles. I'm also pretty impressed
with myself that I knew who the new apostles were! They weren't new
names to me! Then again, I wouldn't have known who they were before my
Temp: 92°F

Sunday: General Conference again! Woo! David was able to go to Brother
Barton's home to watch Conference with his family. David said it was
just what he needed. We promised him that if he listened to it with
real intent, there would be personal revelation just for him. And he
said that President Eyring's message in the Sunday Morning session was
what he needed to hear. He was moved as President Eyring spoke about
the Holy Ghost. After Conference and dinner we went out and made some
visits with Brother Barton. It was a great night.
Temp: 88°F

Wow! What a week full of revelation. With a temple trip and General
Conference happening all in one week, it was truly a spiritual high
for me. Keep up the good work and I thank you all so much for your
prayers and support. I love you all. Have a great week!!

Much love,

Elder Jones
Black Canyon Ward
Arizona Phoenix Mission

 All of Elder Flynn's companions who are still in the field! And
we're all in the same zone! (Bowling) Elders Thaut, Jones, Flynn,

At the temple! Elders Jones, Thaut,
Clough, Rodriguez (morning)

Afternoon at the temple.

Me and Elder Thaut!

At church watching Conference!

Weekly Selfie!