Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, December 28, 2015

2016...Is That Even Possible???

Hey there Mom! 

It was so great to talk with ya'll on Friday. Dinner afterwards was great. The Robertson's are so awesome and we just got to sit and talk with them for a while! Elder Hailstone had a great time talking with his family too! We had a great Christmas. And really what I said is so true, being out here just makes you so happy! 

It's crazy to think that I will be a missionary for the entirety of 2016. I am excited to see what will come. The time on a mission is seriously so short. I have already been out for 4 months and it doesn't even feel like it. This is the only full year I will have so I want to make the most of it. I want to improve on talking with people and with just having the spirit with me. Something I have noticed is that our faith must be tried with the little things in order for the Spirit to constantly be with us. Miracles really come when you are faithful and just do what the Handbook and Preach my Gospel say! I know that "[We] receive no witness until after the trial of [our] faith." (Ether 12:6) And I feel confident when I say that when I learn to exercise my faith more fully, miracles will happen.

I am sorry to hear about what's happening with Grandma. I will keep praying for her and for Grandpa. Hopefully they get my Christmas card soon! I love them so much. 

I am doing fine after the bike crash... haha! My shoulders are just a little sore and I'm a little scraped up, but I'm fine! Oh and my watch is broken... maybe that could be something on my Birthday list! I'm just glad that my slurpee survived after the crash. 

Make sure Jordan knows I said hi! I wish I could talk to him too. 

This week was a pretty good week! We had a lesson with Ted who is doing really well. He also came to church with his wife and two sons! He only stayed for Sacrament meeting, but that was okay. We have a lesson scheduled with him on Tuesday and I'm really excited for it. The Hughes family was also at church yesterday! Well Brother Hughes and his two sons. Sister Hughes wasn't feeling well. But I was so happy that they were at church too! They are also doing great. I love meeting with them, they are so cool! 

Saturday was an interesting day. We got a referral so we went to go try and contact it, but when we biked to the address it was a Walgreens. We didn't really know what to do, so we just walked inside and asked if the person worked there. Turns out she actually DID at one point, but now works up in Williamsburg! So we called the Williamsburg Elders and hopefully they will be able to find out who she is! Then also on Saturday this guy flagged us down and wanted to talk with us. I was really excited because that NEVER happens here. But as we got closer to him I saw he was holding a Bible and I was like "Oh no this isn't going to end well." He started pointing out scripture after scripture in the Bible about how we were wrong about, faith and works, the trinity, and how Joseph Smith is a false prophet. He talked to us for about 15 minutes. Every scripture that I used to help explain things, he had some reason for why it was wrong. We had been there for about 25 minutes and I knew that we were just wasting our time so we tried to get out of there, but he wouldn't stop talking with us. In the end, Elder Hailstone and I just bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon. Sure he didn't really care, but I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have come to realize that we testify of things that are made known unto us by our Heavenly Father. He loves us so much so that He will tell us truths, and make them known unto us. When that guy was "testifying" it didn't make sense, and I know it was because he was teaching things that he understood, and hadn't gotten a for sure witness. I have a for sure witness that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It has been made known unto me, and I can promise that anyone can receive a witness for themselves! So that was a crazy thing that happened on Saturday!

My ponderizing Scripture for this week is, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." (Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-9) I know that this is going to be hard. I have already experienced hard days. But I know that this promise that the Lord gave Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail can also apply to me. And I know that with the Spirit, we can bear our afflictions with joy! And I also love that last verse. I know that my family and friends do stand by me, and I will be glad to see them again. But for now, I'm off to work!

I love you so much Mom! I'm glad that your Christmas ended up going really well. I'm glad that you got time off, cause you work so hard all the time. I have such great examples for hard work in my family!

Hope you guys have a great New Year! And I will talk to you... NEXT YEAR. (I just had to throw that in there.)

Love you so much and I will talk to you soon!

Your son,
Elder Collier

He found his own street!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Slurpee!!

Opening Christmas presents

His cool missionary stocking... Thanks Michelle Bradford!!

The Pajama Elf!!

Modeling his new BYU PJ's

Spot it!

New Sweater!

75' and sunny in December!

Nerf Guns!!

His Blanket!

I think he liked it!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

Hey Mom!! 

Merry Christmas to you too! I'm so excited for Friday. We talked with the family that is having us over and we are going to go over there at 3:00 on Friday! So that would be 12:00 for you guys. And it will  have to be Skype because they don't have any apple products! ( I know I couldn't believe it). They have our home phone number, so they might give you a call some time to try and get the accounts together! I don't have their Skype information, so we might have to call you later in the week to get it all figured out. But as for right now, be ready for a call at 12:00 on Christmas! 

And I wish I could talk to Jordan too! He hasn't written me back in a while... haha! I may just have to write him again. 

I'm glad you got the picture with Santa! That was at the Ward Christmas Party. The party was packed! I have never seen so many people at a Ward Party! It was pretty fun, and we had a less-active member and an investigator come! They had a really good time. 

I did get the Christmas packages and I put them under our lamp which I'm calling our makeshift tree. Can't wait to open them! Also, I am sending my iPod home today hopefully! 

I can't believe Zach and Skyla have been married for a year already! That is so awesome. And Lilo is just the best. What is Harrison and Jenni's address? 

I hope the Christmas program went really well. I know it did. Our ward had a Christmas program also! There's this guy that is really big into music. He plays the French horn in the Air Force band. He put this program together with some narration and congregational hymns, and the ward choir sang. I sight read one of the pieces because I hadn't sung it before, but I think it went alright! I was also singing tenor... haha!

Our mission Christmas Conference was also on Friday and it was super fun! It's always fun to see the missionaries from all around that you haven't seen for a couple weeks. We got together and we watched "A Muppet Christmas Carol". That was really fun, and then after that we had a really good lunch. Then we moved to the chapel for our Christmas program. I sang "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day" and I got a lot of compliments afterward. President and Sister Baker really liked it! But I was so grateful for Elder Weber because he learned how to play it and he did such a good job. I couldn't have done it without him. And I want to thank you Mom for all the times that you have played for me when I've sang. I didn't realize how lucky I was to have such a great piano player for my Mom! It's a lot harder to find piano players out here. 

This past week was pretty good. We met with a lot of less active members, but none of them came to church even though they said they would. It made me really sad. This one family that we have been teaching, the Hughes, are super cool. They are really friendly and love having us over, but they have missed the past two Sundays that they said they would be there! We stopped by yesterday and talked and they said that they really want to come so they will try again next week. We also have an appointment with them on Wednesday so we are really working for it! We also met with our Investigator, Ted, who is married to a member. He is really cool and he really wants to know for himself that what we teach is true. He has been reading the Book of Mormon, but wouldn't commit to a baptismal date quite yet. I hope he will this week though! We are going to keep on trying with him. 

I can't believe the weather has been so crazy over there! I heard from a couple people over here that it has been really rainy and flooding back home. The weather over here just doesn't make any sense. It was mid 60's the beginning of last week, then it was pouring rain on Thursday, then Friday through Sunday it was dry but it was freezing outside! Like mid 30's. And then today it's back up into the 60's. Virginia weather just makes no sense! Apparently it's supposed to be mid 60's and sunny on Christmas Day! That's not supposed to happen haha! 
I feel really bad for Mr. Day though. I hope he's doing okay! 

It sounds like everything went really well for you all this week! Elder Hailstone and I have been getting along pretty well. He really likes to talk... and I don't like to all the time... but other than that it's great! We are both trying our best to figure things out while we're here. It has definitely made me work a little harder. 

My ponderizing scripture this week is in honor of Christmas. It is 3 Nephi 1:13 "Lift up your head, and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets."  I love how the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ's birth. The Nephites really had an amazing Christmas miracle and I hope I can see a Christmas miracle this week. The Church is true. A Savior was born for us and He knows and loves us so much. 

Can't wait to talk to you Friday!!! I love you so much. Have a great week and Merry Christmas!

Love you so much. Your son,

Elder Collier

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Hey Mom!

Poquoson is a great area! Geographically it is a lot smaller than my last one, but we still have a car! Well half the time. Every other week we have it, and then the sisters that are in the ward take it the other weeks. So we are literally half car half bike! It makes going to church difficult sometimes because we aren't allowed to ride in the car with the sisters, so the members have to drive us! But they love to do that so that's really nice of them. The area is DEFINITELY a lot wealthier than my last one. It makes finding new investigators a lot harder. But we are working on it! The ward is HUGE! It's twice the size of my last ward! Granted 60% of the ward is active military in the air force. The ward takes in the Langley Air Force base, but we are not allowed to proselyte there. We can't even get on without a member to drive us on! I have decided that if you are in the Poquoson ward you either are stationed here for the Air Force, or you were born and raised here. No one moves to Poquoson! It's pretty southern, and way more country than Newport News. I would say it's like the Washougal equivalent to Vancouver, but not quite. 

The Apartment that I am in now is SOOOOOOOOO much nicer than the last one I was in. The last one was super sketchy! This one is bigger, and the complex is really nice! There are tennis courts and an outdoor basketball court, so we go over there every morning when we work out. 

Did I  not really say much about Elder Nutter? Well he's a good missionary, hard-working. He's from a small town called Salina, Utah, which is an hour south of Manti. He's into theatre and doesn't really like athletics. He's pretty fun to be around and we got along great! Most of the time. 

Elder Hailstone is great. He has been out 4 and a half months, and I am his second companion. Only one more transfer than me! He is from Cedar City, Utah. He likes to sing, and play sports, but he really likes to bake! His family owned a pizza shop in Hurricane, Utah and he worked there. He has made a couple loaves of bread, and I'm not going to lie they are really good! As for missionary work, he's a great missionary. He really wants to be the best he can be. He does love to talk though so sometimes the lessons can get really sidetracked... But we're working on it! We are still learning definitely, and something that I have definitely come to realize is that, it is okay to make mistakes. As long as we try to get better from them. I kinda get mad at myself sometimes when I mess up, but now that we're both so new it makes me have to set an example for how we can learn from our mistakes. We are really excited to work together. 

Elder Hailstone and Elder Collier

That is so crazy that Sister Connell served here! Does she have any referrals for me?? haha!

This sounds like it's going to be a crazy week! I hope it all goes well. December is always a crazy month especially with choir. I hope the concerts go well! I am definitely going to miss performing at the grotto, and I wish I could sing Christ the Apple Tree this year. But I can when I get back. You'll be able to do well! 

National ACDA! I think you have a good shot. You'd use my Junior and Senior year and then this year for the recordings right? There are definitely great recordings that you can use from those years. 

I'm glad Zach and Skyla have gotten settled in. I really hope that they can figure out everything that is wrong. I'm praying for them! 

This week we didn't have a lot of lessons, actually only 4. 2 were with the same family however! The wife is a less active member and the husband is an investigator we are teaching. I am really excited to work with them. They are such a nice family, and she really wants to start coming back to church. And he loves meeting with us! We were able to introduce the Book of Mormon to him, and he read in between our two visits! I was so excited because no one I talk to ever keeps their commitments! He read and really liked it, and then we went over the Plan of Salvation with him. We invited him to continue to pray about what he is reading and hopefully we can get him with a baptismal date this week. 

Sunday was super cool to be in church! This ward actually has a Ward Mission Leader, and let me tell you, that is super nice to have. I didn't have one in my last ward! The Ward is so big though. We also stayed for ward choir after and that was pretty fun. There were a ton of basses, like 10 or 12, and only 2 tenors so I sang tenor. I was told I have a beautiful tenor voice...... haha! Also we had dinner with a family in the ward named the Petersons, and he said he had family that lived in Vancouver but moved to Richland. Do we know any Strongs?

I am super excited to work in this ward, and to be here during this Christmas season. If you haven't seen it yet, the church put out what's called the Christmas Initiative, with a really cool video! is the website and it is a great way to bring the Spirit of Christmas back into Christmas! And we can all Discover Why a Savior was born! 

The Newport News stake also did this super cool thing called the Night in Bethlehem! It was like the Nativity thing that the Vancouver stakes used to do! They had Nativities set up in the gym, and had groups come and perform in the chapel. And outside they had kids dressed up in a big live nativity with real animals! We got to be there and were able to talk with a lot of people in the area. 

Wow I have a lot to say this week... Also on Friday we are having a mission Christmas Conference! And I am singing at it! I'm really excited. I'm singing "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day" and Elder Weber is going to accompany me. We haven't had a lot of time to practice considering I got transferred, but we are going to make it work.

I don't have a set time for when we will make the Call on Christmas, but we can use Skype or Face time, I don't know which one yet though. I am going to need to talk with the family having us over that night! If we have dinner around 5, maybe I make the call around 6, which would be about 3:00 for you guys! Those are tentative plans though so I will let you know next week!

My ponderizing scripture for this week is Alma 57:21 "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them."

I know that as I continue to be obedient that the blessings will come. I just have to keep working hard. 

Thank you for all your love and support! I love you so much and I can't wait to hear from you next week. You are doing awesome Mom. Thank you for you selections from your lessons every week too, they are great. 

Good luck this week! Let me know how everything goes. 

I love you!

Elder Collier

Monday, December 7, 2015


Hey Mom!

I ended up getting transferred this week! I was really surprised and I am kinda sad that I have to go so soon. The ward here is awesome. I love them all so much. Yesterday at Fast and Testimony meeting I was debating whether or not to get up, and then it was 10:00 so I only had 5 minutes and I decided to go bear my testimony. I told them all that I loved them and that I was getting transferred and that I would miss them. I seriously have felt the love from the people in this ward, they are just so awesome. Then when I sat down Bishop Beck got up to close the meeting and said, "Elder Collier, we were prepared to extend Sacrament Meeting 15 minutes until you got up here." Then we all laughed haha! I seriously love all the people and I am going to miss them.

This is a couple from Jonny's ward that fed him every week!

Luckily, I won't be going to far! I'm actually staying in the Stake. My new area is the Poquoson ward! (pronounced Puh-ko-sun) I'm still on the same peninsula only about 25 minutes from the Newport News 2nd Ward. My new address is 10 Willowood Dr. Apt # 101 Yorktown, VA 23693. So I am still in the same stake, but I am in a new Zone! All the other missionaries, Elder Nutter and Elders Weber and Rice are all staying though! I'm gonna miss being with them. But Elder Hailstone, who is my new companion seems really cool. He has only been out one transfer longer than me, and this is the area that he was trained in. I'm only his second companion because he was with his trainer for 3 transfers! So we are kind of "follow-up training" each other. This will be fun! I'm really excited for the new area.

I hope Skyla starts getting better soon. I keep praying for her! Tell her that I love her so much, and her letters make me laugh! And Jenni is going to do awesome in her new calling! She's going to be the best 1st Counselor ever! haha!

But this week was a really great week. The work is finally starting to pick up a bit! Plus we got a new car! A 2016 Toyota Corrolla! or however you spell that... haha! It is super nice and we got it with like 70 miles on it. But I got transferred so now I can't use it! I did get to drive it on Friday though, because I was on an exchange and I was the certified driver! I drove a new car! haha!

Jonny driving the new car!
After our Zone Meeting on Saturday, I went on an exchange with Elder Reed who is one of our Zone leaders. I was really nervous because it was in my area and I didn't want to mess things up. But the day went super well. We didn't have any lessons, but while we were biking around we offered to rake some peoples leaves, and they said they didn't need any help, so we started helping anyway! White shirt and everything. It made me feel really good to help those people, and they now have a really good experience with the Missionaries! I hope that those people we helped will want to meet with the missionaries here over the course of the next transfer! I told Elder Nutter that everyone we met is getting baptized... haha! 

Saturday night was pretty eventful! We were heading home to make dinner because no one had signed up to feed us that night, and then we got a call from a Sister in our ward who needed help moving some furniture! So we drove over there and helped her and her husband move this futon upstairs, and then some other members of the ward came and we all went and got a bedframe from another house that we moved in. I think they may have driven us out of our area.... but I'm not entirely sure.... haha! But we helped them with that, and they definitely needed our help. But then by the time we were done it was 8:30, so they just gave us a pizza. 

The Christmas Devotional was so cool, did you get a chance to watch it? Mo Tab was great as always. You should watch it when you can!

I can't believe BYU is playing Utah! And What Bronco is leaving?? That's insane! That makes me so sad... 

You got to see Teilani?? That's awesome! Did he ever get my letter that I sent him? If not, tell him that I sent one, and that I love him. 

A mission is seriously such a great thing. The best decision I've made in my life. I can personally testify of the happiness that you can have while you are out here. 

My ponderizing scripture for this week is Job 19:25 "For I know that my redeemer liveth; and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:"I just want to echo Job's testimony. The savior does live today. He leads and guides the church and I know that this is true. 

I love you so much Mom! Thank you for everything and for your emails every week. You are all the greatest family I could have ever asked for. I will talk to you next week and tell you what Poquoson is like!

Love your son,

Elder Collier