Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Last Week with Elder Jolley!

Week 8:

October 28, 2014:

Tuesday Oct 21st 2014

Today was the day of our apartment cleanliness check! Haha which wasn't a big deal cause our apartment is clean almost all the time, there's no reason for it to be dirty because we aren't in here that often. Haha and that took some time after district meeting which was about social meeting and how Elder Bednar said that we should "sweep the Earth as with a flood." With social media stuff that are good, authentic and uplifting messages. And of course use #sharegoodness on your posts! Social Media can be used for good if we use it right, and it should be used for the Lords work in uplifting and making people happy with (what I like to say) Christ like messages of goodness! It would a perfect training for me as I am about to receive training on Facebook so I can apply this training to my Facebook when I get it. It's gonna be interesting using a Facebook on a mission but it is definitely something that could be very very useful if it is used correctly and not abused. At this point in time, social media and technology is at its impetus for the gospels progression. We have so many accouterments to use that can be very beneficial to the Lords work but only if we use them unrequitedly. And when we don't... That's when the adversary jumps in, cause he will every chance he gets. Which gives rise to the saying, there is opposition in all things, whether we think so or not. To every Light there is a Darkness. It's funny how the Lord Has set up things, because natural light cannot be taken away... (Not including a black hole) It can be hidden... It can be covered... But not taken away. Darkness on the other hand, can be taken away, when a candle is lit, it takes that darkness away and fills it with light!! Why do you think that is so?!? Because that's just how it is?! Or how about because God is Light and can never be overcome, and Satan is darkness and can very well be overcome, all it takes is using the Light of Christ that we ALL possess. I have no idea why I had the desire to share that with all y'all I just thought I should. :)

Wednesday Oct 22nd 2014

Wow, not much at all exciting happened today. We had the usual studies, ate and then had a lesson with sister Kardel at the usual time and place. Then after that we biked to Amity's to have a lesson and that went well as usual, she is super strong spirited and can't wait to receive a call. It's great to see new members so active and we can only continue to keep her excited in this wonderful work. Then we just contacted potentials we had to see if we could set any appointments up with them. Then we knocked some doors as well, just to see if we could find anyone new. Not really any luck though! :( then later we had missionary correlation meeting and talked a little about our gators and how we can work to get them to come to church or to continue teaching them, or obviously to baptize them. But our main goal is get the, to feel the Holy Ghost so they can start the process to change their lives. Cause this gospel really does change people for the better and I know it has changed my life and they way I look at things. I just know EVERYONE can benefit from this gospel because it IS true!!

Thursday Oct 23rd 2014

So far this week has been really slow and somewhat stressful because appointments keep falling through and disappointments and stuff like that. One good thing that came from today was a lady we have been teaching named Faye. She has to lay in her bed and she has a wheelchair because she has polio. She is a nice lady and loves when we talk to her, sometimes she doesn't understand what we talk about so it can be frustrating because we are being as simple as we can, but some people just don't see it the same way we do. But we taught her and at the end we invited her to be baptized and she said she would!! It was a great thing that we were able to get her to recognize the importance of it and her blessings she has had in her life. She also said she had fell off her wheelchair a couple days ago and her shoulder was hurting and she hadn't moved it in a while or when she did it really hurt. So we asked to give her a blessing and in the blessing I felt the need to say she would feel better and after the prayer she tried to sit up and she said her shoulder wasn't hurting anymore. It was a massive boost to my testimony that this Priesthood is the power of act in God's name and if we are worthy and we have received it by the proper authority then we can use it to heal and comfort. It's so true, I am a living witness to that!! Things like that make the day no, matter what else happens!

Friday Oct 24th 2014

So today an investigator wanted to take us to lunch. His name is Juan and he is very religious studies a ton and talks about deep Bible doctrine all the time! Kinda funny actually, it's not contentious in any way, it's just discussion. But we really don't say anything cause we shouldn't get involved with any of that stuff. But he was still a cool guy fun hanging and talking about Church stuff with him for a little, then when we got back we just did the hour of Facebook, which I should be getting pretty soon. Sadly I am only allowed to add direct family members, and of course elders in my mission and investigators. And of course it's Friday so its weekly planning, which took super long cause we have a really busy week cause there is a huuuuge Halloween party that a member puts on for the community and we are gonna be there all day setting up and such. And even elders and sisters from our district will be coming to help. The members house is basically on a huge abandoned air strip. So it's way cool!! But that's the 31st, and it's gonna be cool. After planning we went to Bill and Scottie's and talked for a little but they were just heading out for dinner which was a bummer, but it's still awesome to talk to them even for a little because they are so fun to talk to, and we get along so great, so it's awesome. And apparently I look exactly like a friend of Bill's who was in the marines with him. Who was a machine gunner!! Haha which is super awesome to me, he said it's crazy how much we look alike. After talking with them for a while we decided to bike down to the south of the island and ended up eating at a Subway, and for those who do not know the South Island is the rich people! Haha So this subway is super nice! Haha but afterwards we met this amazing 95 year old man who did not look like it at all!! We were going to the bathroom in a gas station that was connected to the subway. He seemed to have life figured out, and could solve all the worlds problems. He was great, just so kind and loving! And then we biked all the way home and that was about time to be home, and with the time we had left we just laid out and looked at the stars. Parts made me wonder, there has to be a god, because Science just can't explain how this universe was made Ex Nihilo, it's just crazy. There has to be some higher power involved, no random explosion, all Gods power!! Its just crazy to think how we were all spirits and how if we live righteous to His commandments we too can create worlds someday.

Saturday Oct 25th 2014

So our Breakfast/Lunch was pretty interesting! Haha we sautéed some peppers and made some quesadillas, and put the peppers inside, which was delicious! Haha we also cooked some bacon in case it didn't turn out as good as we thought. Haha after we ate we went over to Jeans to have a lesson and she was just being very difficult. She just denies her feelings so much and her problems with her family is holding her back from getting baptized and it's a bummer. Not to mention I totally botched the lesson with her because I thought the story of Lehi would help but it was not a good one to use. So that really bummed me out, and my companion knew it. So what should we do to counteract my sadness... Tract apparently!! Haha but it turned out to be a little better, at least we met some okay people and a old Texan named King. Who said he reads the Book of Mormon and travels a ton and he's pretty interesting but said we probably won't be able to talk to him because he is never around. But it was good nonetheless. Jean was the first real disappointment I've had and it was hard, but I know there are many to come, for example when I gave Jean a blessing for some Kidney stones she was passing she said it worked and her pain went away and yet she still doesn't understand!! Ahhhh but it's not on my time, it's on the Lords time and that's something I need to understand. So that was tough, but the rest of the day turned out fine.

Sunday Oct 26th 2014

Well good news, Jean came to church today as she promised so that was good to see that she is making an effort. However it's hard when she doesn't feel the need to be baptized yet. But everything comes in the Lord's time, not ours. After church we had Ward council for a little and then they dismissed us and talked for a long time and we just sat out of the room and waited, cause brother Lasker was our ride and he was part of the meeting. But it was fine, got a chance to read some more. Then a couple hours after that we had a dinner scheduled at the Bishops house. They live north island so it was a bit of a ride, but it was worth it. We had pork chops, mashed potatoes, asparagus and some other vegetables and it was good. I love this Ward so much because they feed us and they are so kind and always making sure we are taken care of. Then we talked a little and headed out to see a family with a less active member, he was in a really bad car accident a while ago and is still in rehab kinda. But they are the Mclaughlins, he is a really funny guy and has lots of car stories, cause he is obsessed with older cars, I can't even count how many he's owned! Haha but we were able to have a lesson with him and his son (Adam) who is also less active, and a little later Adams friend came over and joined the lesson and we taught him a lot as well hand he was totally into it and we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and that was super great news. It was a good night, cause we taught a lesson to the Mclaughlins and the kid (Jake). So it was a good night, got some stuff done which is always fulfilling!

Monday Oct 27th 2014

Today was an emotionally and physically exhausting day. So almost the whole morning we were just cleaning and packing the apartment for the move, which was tiring. We also had to pack all of our clothes in case we are being transferred. But luckily we had to do that anyways cause we are moving into a house. That took about half the day and then after a tedious process we decided to eat at a southern bbq place by our apartment called Sonny's. It was actually really good, I got a Beef Brisket sandwich which was amazing, especially when you put all the sauces they have. It a cool country restaurant environment to be in. Playing old country music and such, and the people are southern too so it fits. Haha Then after that we went to the Church to do Facebook. And that's always fun for an elder that doesn't have FB yet. Haha but then we got picked up by the former Elders quorum president Nick Lasker to take us to his house for dinner. And me and Elder Jolley were both happy cause we hadn't received a call from president that Elder Jolley was getting a leadership position. Which usually he doesn't call any later than 3 or 4. And it was 6!!! And so we were talking about that and what do you know, President calls and Elder Jolley is gonna be the new Zone Leader of the Gainesville area. Which means I get a new companion and I have to lead the area... Umm I've only been here a month and a half. Either president trusts me or he is crazy, and I hope it's cause he trusts me. Haha  so we were both super bummed at dinner because we get along so well and are really good friends, and we are about to get a car and the work was gonna pick up so well, and now in the blink of an eye I have to get to know someone else. Bummer!!! But it is what it is, it really sucks but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. So after all this we have to wait till 9 to listen to the conference call to see where we all are going and who our companion will be. Turns out my new companion is Elder Walt who is from San Diego, I've heard he is a very outgoing and cool guy and that he's nice. So I'm hopeful that we will get along and I hope all of this turns out well. But I know of I trust in the Lord he knows what's best for me. So my hopes are high, pray for me and pray for my mission y'all.

(three pictures above) This is as close to the beach as we can get

Elder Jolley and I at our last district meeting

A pretty view from a bridge

(Two pictures above) The first alligator in the swamp and 
now there's hundreds because of this guy, who is dead now!

a canoe and some pretty scenery!

with an alligator!

Monday, October 27, 2014


Week 7:

October 20, 2014

Monday Oct 13th 2014

Well today was a very spiritual day for me. After Pday we were able to
speak to two investigators! Which is very good!! Pday itself wasn't
very good. haha We didn't really do anything, we went grocery shopping
cause we needed too, and went to Chick fil a because a member gave us
a gift card for 10 bucks. Which was super nice of them! I haven't even
met the person! haha Then we came home and ate it and just sat around
to figure out what we should do. Eventually we decided to ask the
sisters if we could borrow the car for a little portion of the day.
They said we could from 4 to 6 so we went to the church to do emails
at that time, cause it was only 2. Then once we got the car we went to
a surf shop. Elder Jolley just wanted to see what was up. But
everything there was super expensive!! Like 60 dollars for a button
down Hurley shirt. haha no thanks!! Then we went down to the skate
park to see if we would see anyone we knew, cause we have a few gators
who skate. There weren't any of them there but there were a few guys
who we met at the skate shop there. One guy was really good and fun to
watch. But in my head he was no Tony Hawk!! hahaha jk he was good
though!! After that we went to a less active members house to say hi.
He is a funny guy who loves cars!! Especially old cars, he has bought
so many its not even funny! But then we had ti  give the car back ti
the sisters so we went back to the church. After that we proceeded to
talk to a lady named Shirley Raper where we had an extremely powerful
lesson with her! We watched Uchtdorf's talk from conference and talked
a little about that. She then said that It seems like when i talk
about the church that i have been doing it all my life!! That it seems
so easy for me. Which is an extremely good compliment to me!
Especially as a new missionary!! Then after that we went to a young
couples house where we talked to a guy named Jerrod!! Very nice guy!
We then had another powerful lesson with him!! He is struggling to
believe that its true and doesn't know if there is a God but we
convinced him to pray with a sincere heart to know if what we are
teaching is true!! He has the desire, but needs to put in the effort!
He will know that it is true and that there is a God if he just prays
sincerely!! Then we came home and cooked up a frozen pizza and now I
am here. And that concludes this Pday entry! haha

Tuesday Oct 14th 2014

So today I am in Folkston Georgia for the day because of exchanges. So
after district meeting we go back to my apartment to grab all of my
stuff and me and a companion from that area switch for the day. We got
a ride from some senior missionaries named Elder and Sister Strait who
are the coolest senior couple ever!!! haha Sooo funny, on the way
there we stopped at chick fil a and after we got ice cream cones and
Elder strait said"Wanna know how to make a saddle-horn?" Then he puts
his mouth over the ice cream cone and uses his lips to form a
saddle-horn in the ice cream! haha it was hilarious. I love them so
much, they're great! So Folkston is definitely a different area, way
more southern. But still not bad, from what i saw. We just went to an
old folks home and talked and visited with some people. This area
originally opened as a service only mission but with time the
missionaries were allowed to teach. So it is a very very new area. So
that is pretty cool. We also had splits with ward members, I went with
a Brother named Justin Fazen who served in the Jacksonville mission 4
years ago. Which had somewhat to do with why he moved back here. So it
was really cool talking to him and getting insight from him. He may
even know my cousin Daniel Stevens who served here as well! But I'm
not sure, could just be the last name was familiar. But then after
that we went home and got to bed. It seemed like a really quick day,
which is both good and bad in different ways.

Wednesday Oct 15th 2014

So today i came back from Folkston and we met at the halfway spot from
Folkston to Fernandina to switch companions. But I didn't get my comp
back, i got the other Elder, because we needed to do two exchanges
this week because the exchange reports needed to be turned in by the
end of the week. So I led my area again, and this time was a little
more frustrating because plans kept falling through and some
appointments rescheduled and it was annoying. But it was something
that all missionaries need to know and be able to adjust and endure
through it. We did have a dinner appointment with two older couples
where one was a member and her husband is nor. It was super good and
the guy is obsessed with trains and football. It was nice talking to
him and he was very respectful to us as missionaries and said he
really admires what we do. So that was really cool to hear. We then
met a couple of other cool people and one was at the end of the day.
His name was Johnathon and he was just outsude smoking and we talked
to him about the restoration and he was very accepting and liked it.
It was cool, he said he had a recent scare in his life and that he
prays and that it was good to hear what we had to say. Then we just
knocked a couple more doors and nothing really came of it, so by that
time it was time to go back home so we did, and that was pretty much
the extent of that day. haha

Thursday Oct 16th 2014

So after me and my companion get back together and get back to
Fernandina we had a lesson with a lady named sister Kardel. Very nice
older lady who got baptized a little bit ago, then after that we
figured out a way to fill out my companions exchange reports because
we need a computer that is capable to read a certain file and the
church laptop that we use sometimes cannot read that file. So we rode
to a members house who has a computer and we used theirs and it worked
out great. However it takes a couple of hours so that was the bad
part. Just time i use to look up talks or talk with the members or
watch mormon messages. haha After that we went to a gas station to see
if we could see a guy that works there that my comp has met before. He
is from Syria but is Christian so he is very accepting of us and wants
us to come to talk to him. It was a very cool experience and he even
reads his Arabic Book of Mormon that was left for him last time. Which
is really cool

Friday Oct 17th 2014

Today we had a Train the trainees meeting in Jacksonville. It was just
to see how the training was going and stuff like that, it was cool we
got fed lunch and I learned some good stuff, so it was awesome. And it
always good to see President, he's such an awesome person with an
amazing spirit. I love him and his wife and they are perfect to
inspire this mission and group of missionaries. It was a good meeting!
After we got home we did some planning and then went to lesson with a
new part member family the Smiths. We met her for the first time and
she is super funny, both of them are awesome and we are trying to get
her back to Church so Bill can come to church and hopefully be
baptized! They are both in the Military and are just great people!!
Today was a quick day because of the meeting but it was a very good
day and a powerful spirit was brought!!

Saturday Oct 18th 2014

Well today was rather eventful! We had a service project for Amity at
her house doing massive yard work. We mowed, trimmed, cleaned her roof
(of course I was on the roof haha), ripped down some old fences,
cleaned up brush and beautified!! Haha and here in Florida it's okay
to burn all the clippings and fences, and stuff!! So we had a massive
bonfire basically!! And our loving Ward mission Leader brother Lasker
caught on fire!! It was intense, it was for a quick second and we were
all laughing after it was over and he was okay. Haha After that he
said, "well I guess that makes me the coolest member of the ward!!"
Haha it was fun and the project turned out awesome and it was very
cool to see Amity happy and see the wards love for her and the
fellowship. Then after that we had to do our weekly planning which
took a very long time as usual cause it's planning for the next week!
But it went really well and I led that so its a little harder and I
have to really go by the spirit in order to know who I need to plan
for and what we need to teach them and hopefully we feel the same way.
It's very important for us to be in sync and be on the same page,
because it really helps and unifies us as a companionship as well! So
that was essentially our day but it was very exciting with the whole
fire thing! Ohh and while I was ripping down a fence at Amity's and
there was a snake right in front of my face, and that was pretty
scary!! But it was no biggy, just a slightly startling experience!
Haha but that was my Saturday, fun day, good to do some service every
once and a while!

Sunday Oct 19th 2014

Today we woke up and of course went to Church and we were able to
confirm Amity and give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which was an
amazing thing. Elder Jolley is so in tune with the spirit it was a
very powerful blessing and it was great!! I am thankful to be trained
by him and learn from him and the spirit that he brings! Then after
Sunday school I was able to teach Young men's on the spot because they
didn't have a teacher. Haha so me and Jolley played Rock Paper
Scissors to see who was gonna teach and I lost, just my luck. Haha but
the lesson actually went very well, it was on gratitude and always
giving thanks to our Lord about all that we have, no matter how small.
It went well and I'm glad I'm getting comfortable teaching on the
spot, it's crazy to think how far I've come in such little time! It's
great!! Then after choir we had a dinner appointment at a members home
named the Colemans who are awesome. She is an amazing musician and
singer and is our choir leader essentially, haha and she's cool
(raised in Hayward ;) haha and he is a Nuclear Submarine Commander
which is waaaay cool!! And amity and her daughter Aria were there
because we are starting the new member lessons with her. Dinner was
great, and then we went out on the back porch because it was a
beautiful day and had a super awesome lesson about the restoration.
Once it got dark we were teaching by candlelight which was cool! Haha
Then after an hour or so lesson we had another member lesson with a
member named brother Johnston who is younger and has lived here for
five months now. He works in Epidemiology, which is something I
haven't really heard of! Haha but he is way cool and super sincere
about the gospel! We had something set up with Jerrod but he wasn't
there so we didn't get to teach him sadly. Cause it would have been a
great lesson! But then we just tracked a little in our apartment
complex for a little but didn't have any luck. :( then it was time to
go home and call all the other Elders and Sisters in our district for
their weekly numbers. And now I am in bed for the night, goodnight
Friends and Family!! Love you all!! :)


So this was a service project we did, tearing down fences, hardcore
weeding and, just all around fixing the yard. And as you can see there
was a huge bonfire!! Haha that's what's cool about Florida, we can
just burn all the clippings and what not. It was for a recent convert
we just baptized. We did the big stuff so she can manage the little
stuff on her own. And as you can see I got an artsy shot of Elder
Jolley. The fire was so so hot on the group picture, we were far and
it was like we were standing in it cause it was so hot! Haha and our
mission leader accidentally set himself on fire briefly haha but he is
okay, just a little whoopsie accident with a gas can. Haha