Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, September 11, 2017

Last Email!!

Hey Mom!

My week has been really really good. Time is going by wayyyy too fast. This is really weird sitting here right now. This has honestly been a super fun week though! We were definitely able to see God's hand all throughout it just like the rest of my mission. Packing and getting all that ready was hard though. I didn't sleep much last night... haha! I don't know how much I'll sleep tonight but we'll see! 

We were able to find a family that we taught this week! That was super cool. ACtually, the story is sweet, we were going over to dinner with some members, but the dad was late from work, so we went out and worked until she was gonna text us when he came home. So we went out and contacted this guy that we had known for actually a few months now but haven't been able to teach! So we contacted him, (and it was raining pretty hard so we were wet) and he let us right in! We taught him, his wife, and their 10 year old son and they really liked what we shared about the restoration! it was a pretty good lesson and they invited us back for dinner! I won't be there for it, but it was cool to be able to be apart of that. 

We also saw a few more of our investigators this week, and KAren and her family are doing fantastic. They have started to read the Book of Mormon and have said that they want to be baptized! It's only a matter of time now. Seriously, investigators that come through working with the members are the greatest. They are the most solid! So that was cool to see. 

Other than that, it was just a solid week. Bad on my part, I didn't pick a ponderizing scripture yet... But i will! And I DO KNOW that this is the true church. I have come to know that the Lord leads and directs this work for HIs children. IT's such a blessing to be apart of it. I said a prayer last night reflecting on my mission, and I just felt peace. The same peace that I feel when I read the Book of Mormon, and take the Sacrament. The Spirit is real. And I know that God is there and wants to be apart of our lives. 

Thank you so much for all your support and love this whole time Mom! I guess I'll have a lot of stories to tell this week! 

I can now officially say, I'll see you soon! I love you so much!! 

Love you,

Elder Collier

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Church Is True!!

Hey Mom!

That is so exciting that Harrison and Jenni had their baby! I'm excited to meet them. And for sure I will go with y'all to BYU Homecoming! That'll be a blast to go see them. 

Things are just going fantastic over here in the Lightfoot ward. This ward is just on fire! It's been so cool to see the flames of missionary work just keep getting bigger and bigger as this ward has been forming. The members are just doing so well! This week, we were able to teach a family of some member's friends and they are great! They came to church last week, and I honestly think they are looking into this for real. They haven't had any problems with what we have taught so far so they are just solid. The fruits of working with the members are starting to come forth! It has been so cool. They're the ones we ended up painting the deck for last week! 

I did end up bearing my testimony yesterday. I was actually asked by the bishopric to make sure and go up there... haha! It was kinda really cool to be able to do that. I'm going to miss all the people in this area so much. It's weird knowing that this is the Last week. Plus we have stake conference this sunday, so that was the last chance I'll be able to speak in the Lightfoot ward! Side note: I do get to sing in Stake Conference next sunday though so that'll be really cool! It's going to be a few missionaries and we're doing the EFY medley, but with the Time is Far Spent instead of As sisters in Zion like how Zach had us do it that one time! I'm so excited. And that'll be really fun to sing with Zach in a few weeks! 

I can't think of very much else that is happening. I'm a little nervous to come home, and really sad to leave. But I'm also kind of excited to come home too... Is that bad? haha! I probably should think about getting things packed... 

My ponderizing scripture this week is a fantastic scripture. Moroni 10:4-5. "4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." I know for certain that this scripture is truth from God. I have seen this work time and time again for myself on my mission and for others. If we read from the Book of Mormon, with Real Intent, and pray and ask, He WILL let us know that it comes directly from Him. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God without a doubt in my mind. I read it every day, and I feel like every time I read it, the Spirit just almost turns on like flipping  a switch. It is miraculous! 

I can't think of much else that is happening, I guess I could just tell y'all pretty soon actually! But Mom I love you so much. I'm so thankful for your support and love and encouragement every week. I promise that this week is going to be no different for how hard I'm going to work than any other time on my mission. If anything, I'm just going to work harder! It's the home stretch, gotta give all you've got right? 

Anyway, I love you Mom! I can honestly say, I'll see you soon! I hope you have a great week. 

Love you! the church is true. 

Elder Collier

Monday, August 28, 2017

Two Weeks...

Hey Mom! 

It's weird that it's coming up so fast! I don't want to think about it, but I know I have to if I want to be at least a little successful at home I do need to think about it haha! But I want to make sure that this area is left better than when I found it. My goal is to just make sure that when I leave the work doesn't stop. Which it won't, but I want to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

But things are still going great! On saturday we helped some member's in the ward paint their friend's deck for  a service project. IT took 8 HOURS. But it was fun! I'm still sore from it. But THEY CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY. It was so cool! They aren't investigating yet, but they said we could come by soon! I'm excited for that! The rest of the ward is doing great missionary work too. It's so fun! 

I gotta share an experience from yesterday! Our car is in the shop and we have been biking and walking the past week, so yesterday we got dropped off in a northern part of our area and were walking around to contact people. And we were planning on just walking a few miles to another section, but we WAY underestimated how far it was and how long it would take. It was like a 5 mile walk and it was 8 at night! haha! We had a member that was gonna drive us home that night anyway, but we still had time before then! I don't know what we were thinking though so we just kept walking. And then about a mile in, a member pulled off the side of the road from another branch near us, and he said, "Elders! Get in the truck!" So we listened to him and he drove us where we needed to go! God literally rescued us. That's something I've learned, that when we do our absolute best, we'll still make mistakes, but God will rescue us when we need  rescuing. 
Other than that, things are going great! For some reason we haven't found any new investigators in a few weeks, but we're still moving forward! We've got a few that we think should come through pretty soon that we're excited about. Plus, the ward is just on fire and that's what I love to see! In time the Lighfoot ward is going to explode with success! 

This sweet little girl loves Elder Collier and wrote him a sweet love letter!
I'm happy that things are going well for y'all! I hope the baby comes soon! Maybe it's waiting for me... haha! That'd be a long time though! I was wondering, cause I haven't asked yet, what would I be doing for my job? I'm super excited and thankful for it! 

My ponderizing scripture this week is Alma 26:16 "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." As I've been reflecting on my mission a little bit, and I read this scripture and that is definitely how I feel about my mission. It's great! 

ANyways, I love you so much mom! thank you for everything that you do for me. I promise I will work hard for these past two weeks. That's what I've done my whole mission, and it's not gonna stop now! 

Have a  great week Mom! I love you! I'll see you soon. 

Elder Collier (Jonny, Not Sammy)

Monday, August 21, 2017

There's an Eclipse!

Hey Mom!!

Yeah it's super weird... how fast time is going. I'll see y'all pretty soon! I got my flight itinerary in the mail the other day. I don't know if you've seen it yet, but my plane is supposed to land in Portland at 3 pm on September 12th. I've got a 5 hour flight straight from Atlanta to Portland! That'll be fun. I'm glad you got those pictures! And we did see the eclipse today, one of the elders had the special glasses. We were about 85% in the zone. It was pretty cool!

That's weird that my talk is scheduled and everything... Ah well. I think that'll be fun if we could go to the beach together! And tell Brother Morgan thank you so much for helping me get a job! I'll be looking forward to that as well. Those would be sweet hours. What would I be doing? 

Things are still going well here! We didn't find any new investigators this week, and actually didnt' really teach a lot either, but it was a good week. For some reason the teaching seemed to slow down, but that's not gonna stop the Lord's work, so I'm not going to either. It was still good! We're also losing our car for most of this upcoming week cause it needs to get repaired in the shop, so that'll be fun! Back on the bike! 

Oh! I got a lot of pictures yesterday from your cousin Blair Christofferson of Grandpa when he was younger! It was really cool to see those. He gave me a folder so I'll be coming home with some!

We taught one of our investigators Travis this week! we lost contact with him for a little bit but he let us come back! He's muslim, but he's not currently practicing so he's been open to learning from us. Last night we kinda just laid everything on the table and told him that if he would just commit to reading the Book of Mormon, praying about it, and coming to church with a sincere heart to know if this is true, that he'd get his answer. It was pretty powerful. 

My ponderizing scripture this week is 3 Nephi 17:20-22 "And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.

21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.

22 And when he had done this he wept again;" I chose this one because our Elder's quorum president share this in Elder's quorum yesterday as his favorite verse of scripture, and when I read it it just hit me. The Savior just loves us each so much. The Savior literally couldn't hold back His emotions with the Nephites, just like He couldn't with Lazarus. And it would be the same with each one of us. I know He lives, and through Him we can live with our Father in Heaven! 

I do know for sure that you and Dad have testimonies Mom! Y'all are seriously one of the biggest reasons that I even have a testimony! So thank you for your examples. 

I love you mom! thank you for everything. Have a great week!

Elder Collier

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back to a Duo!

Hey Mom!!

So this past week was super fun. Being in a trio is just super fun every single day! We just had a blast being together all three of us. I think the hardest part is that sometimes it's a bit harder to stay serious sometimes... but it worked out! Elder Oldroyd and I are now going to have to learn how to work with just the two of us! haha! Elder Gardner is going to the mission home today and then going to fly home tomorrow. It's soooo weird cause I was in the MTC with him, so it's starting to hit me pretty hard that my time is coming up. But it'll all be okay. 

This past week was honestly a blast though. Elder Gardner worked hard until the very end, and that was just great. We continued to find new investigators, and we taught a few people this week as well! It was just a good all around effort this week. Honestly, I think I'm just a little nervous to keep the work up how he did. He was honestly so great, one of the best missionary's that I've been able to work with. I hope that I can help keep things up in the ward! Although the ward doesn't seem to need any help with that. The Lightfoot ward is just awesome. They are missionary minded, and i'm pretty sure we're going to see a lot of new investigators start to come from the members pretty soon! And if not, at least they'll start extending more invitations! that's the most important part. 

This past week seemed to fly by, I can't think of anything too specific... We did start teaching this couple! They've got three young kids, and the husband's brother got baptized into the church a few years ago! They have been super fun to meet with. They are really intrigued by everything, but are definitely hesitant to make any solid commitments. But, in they're prayer last night, they thanked Heavenly Father for us coming over to "teach them a better way of life." It was really cool! There are prepared people out there! We just have to find them. 

One thing that's great about a companion going home is that all the members want to have you over! So we were able to meet with a ton of the solid missionary-minded families in our ward! It's been super fun to do that! We've started to practice scenarios with them and it gets super funny. I just love this ward so much. 

We saw our investigator Bob again, and he's a super knowledgeable guy. He just can't get past the Apostasy. But he really just wants to find out if the Restoration is true, because he knows that if it's true, then he has to believe it! It's just hard to get our lessons focused sometimes, but it's good. If he just starts to really study the Book of Mormon, he'll find out that it's true. That's what I did! 

My ponderizing scripture this week is D&C 97:8 "Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me." This is a sweet promise from the Lord to us. All He asks is that we be willing to keep our covenants, and to sacrifice, and he promises us that if we are willing, that we are accepted of Him. I believe that is true! This is definitely His work that we are apart of! 

Anyway, things are going great here! It sounds like things are pretty crazy for y'all! I'm glad that you are staying busy that's for sure! And thanks for that insight about Zion's camp too! 

I love you so much Mom! Time won't slow down! Have a great one, I'll talk to you next week!

Love you,

Elder Collier

Monday, August 7, 2017

In a Trio!

Hey Mom!

Yep 5 weeks left... it just still doesn't feel real though. I'm definitely excited to see y'all! It just doesn't seem like it's actually happening! We have started Elder Gardner's last week so it's really weird... Especially because we were in the MTC together! But we're now in a trio! Elder Oldroyd is with us, and we'll all be together until next Monday, and then it'll just be me and Elder Oldroyd! It's been SO fun this past week. We just have a blast, all three of us! Elder Oldroyd hasn't been a Zone leader before either so we get to show him the ropes a little, but he's great. He's going to do so well here! 

I got to use a machete to do some service. I cut down a small tree. It was fun!
And here's downtown Toano! It's a little town we cover. Yep, that's everything. 
I got to see Elder Ciminski at transfers! Probably the last time I'll see  him before I go home since he's in NC

Elder Gardner and Elder Oldroyd while we were out proselyting.
Had to go get some Cookout one night. It's a great place to eat.

I can't believe it's been that hot out there! It does that every once in a while I guess! It's been super hot here too so don't worry about me... haha! 

Sammy I bet is having a blast in those new MTC buildings! Elder Gardner and I watched the virtual tour last monday... it looks beautiful! I'm definitely jealous because they get to see the sun a whole lot more than we did when I was there haha! 

This week was great. It just seemed to fly by in the trio! Elder Oldroyd seems to fit in great. We're still working out the kinks of teaching with three of us, but it's going better. But by the time we get it figured out elder Gardner will go home so.... ah well haha! Things just seem to be going well though! 

We found a new investigator family that is really SOLID. I'm so excited for them! The dad's brother got baptized in Georgia 2 years ago, and we just stumbled across them! They just seem so prepared by the Lord. When we taught about dispensations and the Restoration she just said, "Wow. THat makes so much sense!" It was such a good lesson, and they were so excited to have us back over tonight. Plus they've been reading the Book of Mormon since we saw them last. So things are going well there! 

Wednesday was a pretty crazy day! We went down to Portsmouth to Get Elder Oldroyd and bring him back, but the Assistants couldn't help a lady move cause of transfers so we went to help someone in Portsmouth to move and it was crazy! There wasn't a ton of stuff, it was just super disorganized and stuff was everywhere... haha! but once we got it figured out and packed into boxes it was good. Theyy were very appreciative so we were glad to help. 

But yeah things are going very well here it seems! The work is great and we just keep pressing forward like normal. My ponderizing scripture is Jacob 5:71 "And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come."  When I read this the other day, the part about the end being nigh at hand hit me super hard of course coming to the end of my mission. But I know that if I labor with my might, I'll have joy with Him who sent me here. I'm know for certain that this is the Lord's work that we are a part of! i'm so thankful to be here. 

Thanks so much mom! And I just can't believe that so much is happening right now! Super exciting for sure! I'm always so glad to hear that y'all are doing well. I love you so much! 

Have a great week Mom! I'll talk to you later! 

Love you,

Elder Collier

Monday, July 31, 2017

6 Weeks Left!!

Hey Mom!

Can you believe I only have 6 weeks left?? Time is seriously flying... I started my last planner today. It's so weird! But honestly, I'm going to work my hardest to the very end, and I feel confident that it'll be okay even though I'm a little nervous for when that time comes. 

The weather has been super weird recently... It was super hot and humid (like close to triple digits) at the beginning of the week, then on Saturday it stormed and dropped to 67 degrees, and now it's not humid at all and it feels amazing! That humidity is brutal... haha! 

But things are going great here! Elder Gardner and I are staying together until he goes home in two weeks, and we will get a third companion, Elder Oldroyd, who is a new zone leader! That's going to be super fun. Then once elder Gardner goes home, Elder Oldroyd will be my last companion! It's so weird. I'm excited to be with Elder Oldroyd though, I was actually with him in a trio in New Bern when my companion went home there, so it'll be fun to serve with him again! He's been out for about a year, and I think he's from Cedar City, but I'll let you know next week for sure! So things will definitely be changing this week! 

We've had some really cool experiences this week. I went on two exchanges, both with some younger missionaries, and they are doing awesome. I think one of the reasons I'm in this area is for sure to help the younger missionaries around me in my zone. There are two new trainees coming this week too so that'll be fun. 

We had to drop a few of our investigators this week and that was sad... They just weren't keeping commitments! We said we'd still visit them though. But when we did that, we found some new investigators! One was Bob who we saw yesterday and he is honestly seeking to know if this is true! He's a devout baptist, and he was a little hurt when learned about he restoration because it meant that his church was false... but the fact that he understood that right away and he still wants to learn was awesome! He just really wants to know if the Book of Mormon is true. We also met a guy named Jesse who isn't religious at all, which is rare for this area haha! But it was cool because he prayed for the first time at the end of the lesson! It was powerful! I love having these experiences. 

I wasn't able to pick a ponderizing scripture but there's actually a funny story why. Last night we had a dinner with the Bean family, and we shared a message with them adn they are just a great family. Brother bean was gonna come to a lesson with us, but it wasn't for another 30 minutes to we wanted to meet some of their neighbors before our lesson, and someone was moving in! It was perfect! We ran over, dropped off our stuff on the grass, and helped them for a little bit before we had to go! But then when we had to go, and we jumped in the car and drove off to go see Bob. But then, when we got there, we didn't have our scriptures or anything! So we walked in there with a Book of Mormon and a Bible from the  back of our car... it was good. But we didn't have enough time last night, so the beans still have my scriptures... haha! Anyway, it was pretty funny!

That's so great that Rachel got baptized! I'm so excited for her. And it sounds like y'all are doing well on your vacation too! that sounds super fun.

anyway, I'm doing great! I hope you have a great week Mom! thank you for everything. I love you! 


Elder Collier (Jonny, not Sammy)