Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter!!

Hey Mom!

Easter was really great! And thank you so much for the Easter box as well! It came like right at the right time. We were having a tough couple of days and Elder Sorensen and I both got packages so it was great.  For Easter dinner we actually didn't have any resurrection potatoes! I know I couldn't believe it! The family we were with had like a ton of family in town because one of their kids got baptized, and we had Lamb Burgers. They were pretty good, but just not the traditional Easter dinner! Also one of them said that they knew a Jonathan Collier in Northern Virginia, is that my cousin Jonathan? I hope your dinner was great!

Wow all four of them came up from Utah? That sounds like it was a lot of fun! Hopefully y'all had a good time! 

I'm glad Grandma is able to do rehab now.. I've been praying for her so much. I hope she gets better soon! Grandpa is still driving? haha! That man never quits! I'm glad they can still see each other every day. 

Chamber auditions are always tough... but that sounds like a great group of people! I can't wait to see all those freshman guys when I get back! They'll all be seniors! It'll be weird. Hopefully they aren't causing too much trouble haha! I'm not there to keep them in line. It sounds like they're all starting to really mature though which is great to hear. 

So back to the tough couple of days... it was a long week this week! It felt like our investigators just started dropping like flies. We were teaching three families, a couple, and 4 individuals, and then this past week we only met with our investigator Matt (who is solid) and then one of our new investigators, Brooke! And we were dropped by: that one family who came to church, another family that we found, and an older couple that we were teaching. And then another one of our investigators we found out is in the hospital, but for a while we just thought he disappeared! It's been a crazy week, and we haven't really been able to get in touch with anyone. So hopefully that will change this next week! We did see some more less active members than we have been though so that was great. 

Through it all we just kept pushing forward. On Thursday we got dropped by that family, and that was just devastating. But we won't give up on them! I know that we can do all things that we are asked. The great thing is that this ward is just so awesome. We try to work as hard as we can, and I think that the ward notices so they love us! And I love this ward too. They work so hard! We haven't gotten many referrals recently, but a few are in the midst. I'm excited! 

I don't have a lot of time today because we have some plans for P-day. We're gonna go play volley ball! But I love you so much mom! My ponderizing scripture is Philipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." This one is pretty self explanatory, but I am so thankful for Jesus Christ! I know that through Him, all things are possible. He rose from the dead, and because of that, we can overcome death. He suffered in the garden of Gethsemane, and because of that, we can overcome Sin. If we put our faith in Him, all things will be made right. It's all possible! This is the true church of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you so much for your love and support. I will talk with you next week! 


Elder Collier


Hey Mom!

You have just been put through everything at once it seems like! Right when work starts to pick up, something else crazy happens. I hope Grandma is recovering better! Tell her that I love her. I hope everything goes well. 

That's fun that Zach and Skyla are up there! And I'm so glad that Skyla is feeling better. And that is so funny that Lilo follows Dad around. I feel like all dogs love Dad! How big has Lilo gotten? She probably won't remember me at all! haha!

I can't believe Danielle leaves already! That is so crazy. She's going to do great! And Autumn's going to the Czech Republic? That's crazy! 

This week was pretty good. We had a Zone conference on Friday that was pretty fun to be at! The Spirit was so present at that meeting. It was something I definitely needed to feel. At the Zone Conference, I was asked to accompany a musical number, so I did! They sang Nearer, My God to Thee, and I kinda just made up an accompaniment so that was pretty fun! They did really well. Something I got out of Zone Conference was that I want to be better at talking with everyone I see. That is something that I really want to focus on this week! 

 After missionary meetings I always just feel super excited to be a missionary! That day we were on bikes because we gave the car back to the Sisters... and we had scheduled 3 appointments, miles apart from each other... back to back to back. And then dinner right after. I don't know what we were thinking! As we were sprinting on our bikes, I was praying the entire time that we would be on time! We were a little late to the first one about 2 miles away, but that was okay because they wanted to reschedule anyway, and we got their phone number so that is a plus! Then we had to sprint back about 3 miles to get to a less active couple's house! We had a short 15 minute lesson with them, then went down the street to one of our investigator's house, and had a short 15 minute lesson on the Plan of Salvation. We got a return appointment out of both of those too! Then we had to sprint back to our apartment about 1 mile so that we could get to dinner! I had dropped the phone and we had to pick it up and put it back together, but once we got to dinner, I felt so accomplished! We had 2 lessons within 45 minutes, and had biked 6 miles in about an hour. It was a crazy day! Miracles do happen! 

So our investigator, Okey, the one from Nigeria is leaving this week! I'm gonna be so sad to see him go! But we sent his information to the mission in Nigeria, and we are going to give him the address to the church building nearest him. We may also start teaching a woman from Japan! We don't know if she understands a word we are saying, but we gave her a Japanese Book of Mormon, and Restoration pamphlet! Her 8 year old son has been translating for us... so we'll see how that goes on Thursday! 

We also stumbled across an Unbaptized Youth the other week, and we started teaching her today! We were just biking along and we felt like we should go stop by someone we had taught before, and as we were biking this girl stopped us and asked us if we were Mormons! We said, "Yeah!" and she told us that her dad was in our ward, and she lives with her Mom right now. Her Mom doesn't want anything to do with us, but Brooke, the daughter, was super excited to see us! She got permission to meet with us so we have started teaching her, and she has a friend who is a youth in the ward, so it is perfect!

And on Sunday we went into a CTR 7 class and encouraged them to be member missionaries! That was pretty fun. I love helping the little kids be excited about the Gospel! 

Those are some things that happened this week! I love being out here. 

The church also put out an easter video and you should go watch it! It's called Hallelujah. It is seriously so inspiring! The website is I thought I would make my ponderizing scripture Easter related because of the upcoming holiday! "And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection. But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ." (Mosiah 16:7-9) Because of Jesus Christ, we will ALL be resurrected! I love how plainly the scriptures teach us that. And you are exactly right, because of the Atonement and resurrection of Christ, we can have the confidence and comfort to know that all will be well in the end.  Hallelujah! 

I love this Gospel! I love everything about it, and I am so excited for Easter. It's a great time to remember Christ's atonement and resurrection. 

Thank you so much for everything you said Mom! You set such a great example for me! I love you. Everything will all work out. 

Hope you have a great week! I love you so much.

Elder Collier

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Room for Improvement

Hey Mom! 

Solo and Ensemble is probably the most stressful time of the year. I'm not going to lie, I'm kinda happy that I didn't have to deal with it! But that sounds like it was a crazy day! The competition is definitely rising in that region. It used to be a piece of cake to get to State. (It used to be a piece of cake to win state). I think the hardest part of that competition is the regional one! But I'm so happy for all the groups! There's definitely still a chance for y'all to get a call up! I can't believe there were actually disqualifications and everything! I've never seen that! Crazy.

That choral festival you guys will have will turn out great! I'm really excited for y'all! 

Sister Moon (our ward mission leader's wife) walked up after I sang and said that she had "accidentally" pressed record while I was singing haha! She's the same one that texted you and asked for your special waffle recipe. She told me that it was your special recipe and I said, "Bisquick?" haha! That made me pretty happy. I got a lot of compliments on Sunday after the meeting, and a lot of members of the ward were telling me that they needed to hear that song because they were having a tough week. I felt so loved by everyone! I'm just so thankful that I have this talent that I can share with others. And we had 6 investigators there, so I think that they liked it too!

This week has been pretty great. We have been able to teach a lot of lessons recently. I'm not even sure where they all come from sometimes! I just look at the totals at the end of the week, and they seem to be increasing. We still don't have any investigators with a baptismal date, but that should change soon. At least we are keeping busy with how much we are teaching! We can always be busier though. 

I was having a tough time earlier this week. My companion and I are very similar. When we both have an idea for something, and they are different from each other, we have a hard time deciding which one is right. My stubbornness is becoming a problem! haha! We can both be pretty stubborn sometimes, and during those times we tend to not get along. But other times it's like we are best friends! It's super weird. But earlier this week, I was just struggling because I couldn't tell if I was feeling the Spirit or not. I don't know what had gotten into me, I just kinda felt alone. But I prayed, and I worked through it. Sometimes I feel like we go through trials of faith, just to see if we won't give up. For me, the best answer was just to keep working and have faith that what I'm doing is right. As I pressed forward through that day. From 10 to about 5, I still didn't think I had gotten an answer. But we had a lesson at 5 with one of our investigators, and I know that me teaching in that lesson was my answer that I am doing the right thing. I could feel the Spirit so strong, and I KNEW that I am supposed to help him! I just love being a missionary. 

I've been trying to be more diligent and work hard at all times. It's definitely a process, but that's what this Gospel is all about! We can ALWAYS try to get better! No matter what we are going through, no matter what we have done, we can ALWAYS be a better person. Even if we have done that right things for most of our lives! There is always some room for improvement. Which brings me to my scripture that I will ponderize this week, Alma 48:17 "Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."  That's where I want to get to! I want to be a man like Captain Moroni. And I know that through the help of our Savior Jesus Christ, we can always improve!

And Mom, I know that you are definitely helping with the Salvation of souls through your work at the school. I personally don't think I'd be here today without the constant support I had from you! And I know that there are so many other members of the church that you help every single day! You are an amazing example, and I love you so much. 

Thank you for everything! I love you so much. I hope you have a great week this week!


Elder Collier

Monday, March 7, 2016

Serving With All Your Heart!

Hey Mom! 

My week was really good too. I don't really know how to explain it, but as hard as it is to work and be a missionary, it's just gives you the greatest feeling in the world. There is so much out here that I am so excited to help with! I just need to be more focused I think, so that I can find those opportunities. 

Yes we were in a tornado warning... Apparently a tornado landed in Suffolk and Waverly. Waverly is near Richmond, which is pretty close to me but out of the mission. And Suffolk is not on the peninsula so that wasn't near us. It was pretty crazy for a couple hours though!

It sounds like a lot happened for y'all this week! That's so cool! Dad is going to be great on the High Council. It wasn't until I came out on my mission that I realized really how much effort it takes to have a stake calling. Now you both have one! I know you are both going to do great. I'm really excited for the New Vancouver North Stake. Great things are going to happen there! Also the NWACDA sounds like it was super fun as well. Everyone in the pictures looked great. What Dr. Reed said is so true though! All the Mormon boys can sing! There are so many missionaries out here that have musical talents. Granted, it's definitely not everyone, but I know the reason why I have been able to see my talents grow is because of the church! 

Speaking of that, I am going to sing "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" in sacrament meeting this upcoming week! I'm super excited. With how big the ward is, I was able to find someone easily that played the piano! I'm so thankful for Sister Peterson for being willing to do that for me. I'm really excited to sing though! Thank you so much for sending me that music.

This week was a good week though! On Monday and Tuesday and the beginning of Wednesday we were in a trio with Elder Burkart, because our District Leader, Elder Black, finished is mission! So he went home and his companion had to stay with us. It was pretty fun to be in a trio. There's never a dull moment when there are more than two of you that's for sure! This week was also transfer week, but neither of us left so it felt just like any other week. I'm so happy I get to stay here though! I never want to leave Poquoson! haha!

That family that came to church last Sunday did not come to church yesterday... but we will keep trying! We have seen them but just haven't been able to have a lesson because they don't want to do it unless everyone is there, which is completely understandable. The Dad has been out of town for work, so we hope that when he comes back today we can start meeting with them more consistently. That being said, we still had two investigators at church! We've had someone at church every week I've been here, except for one! One of those investigators is Matt, who has been meeting with the Elder since before I got here, back in October. He's so cool! We are still working on getting him to set a baptismal date... but he will get there. The other one that came is someone that we met this week. His name is Okey. He's from Nigeria, and he's visiting his sister, who is a less active member! She contacted us when he came! We didn't even know she was here because her records aren't in the ward, but they will be soon. (Hopefully) But Okey is really sincere and really has a desire to learn! I'm really excited for him. He's only here for three more weeks though, so we hope that we can teach him a lot and then pass him to the missionaries in Africa when he goes home! 

We've found a few other investigators too! The work is really starting to move forward, and I think the members are starting to see that and get excited by it! I hope that we can really get them to be excited for it! Thank you for sending those pictures! I'm going to print them out and hopefully use them in a Sunday School lesson with the youth, to get them excited about missionary work! We still have to get the Bishop's approval, but I will let you know. It seems like a good idea to me! 

Anyway this week has gone well. I'm going to focus on D&C 4:2-3 this week. "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;" I really want to focus on serving with all my efforts, not just most of my efforts. The scripture states that if we have a desire to serve God, we are called. That is all that is required of us! Then once we make it out here, we have to put forth the effort to serve with everything we have, and to rely on Him. I want to try to do that more. I will focus. I'm so excited to see the missionary work out here. I love being a missionary! 

I love you so much Mom, and I'm so thankful for all that you do for me. 

I will talk to you next week!


Elder Collier