Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, April 25, 2016

This is the Place!!

Hey Mom!

Jonny and new companion Elder Dumont

This place is awesome! I'm so excited to be serving in the Currituck Branch! This branch absolutely LOVES missionaries. And I love the people here already so it's gonna be great! I'm gonna miss Poquoson so much, but I'm really excited to be here. 

Mother's day is coming up and I'm really excited! What time is your church? My church meets from 10 to 1 here, so that's 7-10 for you guys. We need to set up what time we're going to do that call! What time would you want to do it? I'll find out where we're going to do it over here, but I'm pretty sure we're going to Skype! Maybe even Face time but I dont' know yet.

The branch on Sunday was a lot of fun. We meet at 10 in the morning, in an old baptist church haha! It was converted to look like an LDS church on the inside, but the outside is just this old brick building. I have some pictures of the outside of it! THe chapel is really small, and then we split it up with curtains to make the classrooms. We probably had about 50 or so people there on Sunday. It was so fun! They had me bear my testimony right after the sacrament, and I guess Brother Huggins tried to record it... haha! So many members in this branch are just the best! I talked to a member of the branch named Brother Etheridge, and he asked if I was related to someone named Zach Collier... crazy right? Apparently they're on the same facebook group titled "Book of Mormon Archaeology". Tell Zach I met someone he kinda knows haha!
Our area is HUGE geographically! We cover all of the Currituck Peninusla and part of the Camden peninsula. Our area goes all the way down to the bridge to the Outer Banks, so that's pretty cool! We never really get a chance to go down there because we don't have enough miles... Our miles are pretty low so we've had to be pretty good planners to use those effectively. It would probably take us about 50 minutes to drive from the southern end to the northern end of our area!
My companion Elder Dumont and I get along really well already! He's from Riverton, Utah. I know... another Utah companion haha! He's the district leader here, and it's his last transfer so I'll be "Killing" him hahaha! It'll be weird! Our district is the two of us here in Currituck, and then there are English and Spanish Elders over on Nag's Head! I got to go to Nag's Head on Friday for a District Meeting! We drove through Kitty Hawk and that was so cool. I'll get to go to Nag's Head on exchanges pretty soon so I'm excited about that.
We live in a trailer... haha it's pretty cool. It's something I've never thought I'd do! But it's actually pretty nice! There are two full bathrooms so we each get one, and we don't have to worry about neighbors above us or next to us! WE do have to get water delivered to us though... OUr tap water is pretty gross. But other than that it's great! 

It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun this week! Good luck at State! You'll do awesome. And I hope that Grandma and Grandpa are still happy. I love them so much, and I pray for them all the time. I think that a gratitude journal is a great idea for her!
And yes I did get my bike fixed! It was a LOT cheaper this time so that was good! Hopefully it will last me longer than the other one did.

That's about all that's new with me this week. New area, new companion, and I'm so excited. There's so much good to be done here in this area, I just know it. I just have to serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength and exercise that faith. My ponderizing scripture for the week is Ether 15:34 (I just finished Ether today) "Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen." I really liked this verse today, because I know that no matter what happens on my mission, no matter how many baptisms I see, all that really matters is that I worked my hardest and make it to the kingdom of God. I haven't been able to see anyone I've taught get baptized yet, but I'm glad that I know that I have worked hard so far and I will continue to work hard! I just want to continue to get better as I'm out here. I love being on a mission!
Thanks for everything you do for me Mom! I love you so much and I'll talk to you next week. And over Skype in a couple weeks!!!!
Love you so much.
Your son,
Elder Collier

Monday, April 18, 2016

Transfers Strike Again!

Hey Mom!!

Sammy and Avery look like they had  a great time at prom! Those pictures are fantastic! Dad does such a great job! 

This week was great! I had such a good time this week. We had a ward talent show, so that's where I sang Never Be the Same! It was such a fun activity. Our investigator Matt actually drove us there and back, it was so fun! And Sister Moon is the greatest! She's feeding us on Tuesday and she asked what I wanted! 

I did find out that I got transferred though... I'm going to miss Poquoson so much! I have met so many great people here in this ward! I got a few pictures to send home with people. I have learned so much from my time here in Poquoson, and I hope I can leave an impact on the ward members here! 
Elders from Jonny's District

Family from his ward

Investigator Matt

Another family from Poquoson

Another family... their son just got his call to Mexico

The next 3 pics are ward families

Okey from Nigeria

I'm getting transferred to the Currituck branch in North Carolina! I'm going to be in the same district as the Nag's Head missionaries and I think I have a slice of the outer banks in my area! I'm really excited. My new address is going to be 141 Little Joe's Lane, Barco, North Carolina 27917. We live in a trailer park! No joke! I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited. My new companion's name is Elder Dumont, and he is on his last transfer in the mission! So that will be pretty cool as well. I'm nervous, but really excited for the change. I'm also just fairly excited to get a new companion... so that'll be nice!

That is so cool that Reed got baptized this week. I know that he has made the right decision, and I'm so excited for him! and that's also really cool that Zach got to baptize him! 

I cannot believe Morgan is married already... tell her I said congratulations! 

Other than transfers, not a lot happened this week! Our investigator Matt is doing as great as always. He still hasn't set a date, but we've got him thinking about one! He mentioned June, so it's getting close! I love that guy. He comes to church every week, and is living all the commandments and reading the book of Mormon. He's doing everything he needs to! Ah well, he'll get there eventually and I'll be so happy when that day comes! Matt came to a baptism on Saturday and he really enjoyed it. I think that he's going to set a date sooner rather than later. I'm just sad I'm going to miss it... I've been working with him my entire time in Poquoson!

We went on two exchanges this week! I was with my district leader on Tuesday, and I was able to learn a lot from him! Part of the reason I'm excited to go to a new area is that I can meet a lot of new people. (I have NEVER been like this in my life! haha!) I honestly can say that I want to talk to new people though! That's already one of the ways that the mission has changed me! I absolutely love being out here. 

Not much else to talk about this week... Okey went back to Africa... But he said he's going email me when he can! And our BIshop is going to make sure the mission president over there knows that he's there! Other than that it's just been another great week.

My ponderizing scripture is going to be 1 Nephi 1:3 "And I know that the record which I make is ture; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge." I just love how Nephi opens up the Book of Mormon essentially with his testimony of it! He actually wrote this record, and he knows that it is true. And I know that this book is true as well! I have read it and prayed about it, and I know it's true. And because of that, I just want to let everyone know! 

It sounds like you are doing great Mom! Let Grandma know I wished her a happy birthday! I'll get her a card as soon as I can. 

I love you so much Mom! I I know the church is true! I'll talk to you soon!


Elder Collier

Another Week as a Missionary!

Hey Mom!

It's been a pretty good week this week. It's funny to see the amount of emails and letters you get go down the longer you are out in the field... haha! But I'm glad to hear from you guys. It sounds like you had a lot of fun over Spring Break! I wish we could go to Hawaii some time too.. haha. My companion the other day was telling me how EVERY SINGLE Christmas his family goes to Hawaii. Who does that? haha. There's so many other fun things to do like the National Parks! Ah well haha. 

I can't believe Sammy is going to Prom... crazy. They sound like they are going to have fun! And Elder Lee is married? What? THat's so weird!!

I haven't been able to get my bike fixed just cause I haven't had a lot of time but I'm going to take it in today! Hopefully they can fix it for free, cause it shouldn't have broken that fast! I'll see what they can do. I've got a bike right now that some members are loaning me! But I do like my bike a lot better. I'll let you know what happens!

I may need a few more long sleeve white shirts... I've gotten a few stains on 2 of them from pens and bike grease. You do a lot more on your mission in a white shirt and tie than you would do at any other point in your life haha! 

We have not been able to teach that family again... but the son said that his dad was reading the Book of Mormon! Their dad left on another trip though. He took the Book of Mormon with him which is a good sign! But they do not really want to meet with us without him. We'll still keep checking up on them though and see what happens! 

Our investigator Okey from Nigeria leaves this week and it's super sad! Our Bishop is going to contact the mission president over there and make sure that they don't miss him. He's so solid! I'm so excited for him. He really wants to get baptized and loves the church and has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ. I have been able to feel the Spirit so strong in those lessons! We have one more lesson with him, so hopefully I can get a picture of him to send home. He's going to go and convert his whole family! I'm so excited to see where that goes. The gospel is so true. 

Thursday was a long day... I got some sort of stomach bug and it was awful. I got it all out of my system, but all day Thursday I was in bed or throwing up. It reminded my of December my senior year when I was sick! It definitely wasn't that bad though which was nice. I feel perfectly fine now though. It was so weird! I may have also been dehydrated, so I've been drinking a lot of gatorade. 

I don't have much to talk about this week, but I love being out here. I feel that I have truly become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I just want to share it with others because it is so important! My ponderizing scripture for this week is 2 Nephi 2:8 "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save ti be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise." We have learned about the Atonement and Resurrection and it is just so important that we go out and share it with others! I love that I can do this every day. I'm excited to make the Gospel a part of my life more and more every day, especially from the changes I see in others. 

I love you Mom! I'm so grateful to hear from you every week. The church is so true. 

Love you so much,

Elder Collier

Monday, April 4, 2016

Isn't Conference Great??

Missionaries are the only people I know that put Peeps in the microwave
 to watch them explode!
Hey Mom! 

General Conference was so great!! I absolutely love watching it. There's something even more special about watching it as a missionary. I just feel like I have a totally different perspective. I was able to learn a lot from these sessions! We watched conference at 4 different members homes! We were at the Camarena's saturday morning, (although it starts at 12 here so it's not really "morning" haha) Then the Tackett's saturday afternoon, then the stake center for Priesthood Session, then the Johnson's for Sunday morning, and the Rigtrup's for Sunday afternoon! It was really cool to watch it with all of them, and I'm so thankful that they allowed us to come over! There is definitely something to be said about watching conference in a church building, but I also love being around the members! And that's really cool that you made him a cake for his birthday! Missionaries love that stuff! 

It's so hard to pick a favorite talk! I really liked all those talks. Paul V. Johnson's hit me pretty hard!
One of my favorite ones was Elder Mervyn B. Arnold's! He talked about "going to the rescue" and never quitting. He was the Seventy that came to our mission in November, and then our stake conference in January! So it was pretty cool to see him up there. 

I didn't know that Sister McKnight was singing in the choir! That's so cool! and that's funny that you saw bro McKnight first haha! They did such a great job. Even the priesthood choir did pretty good this year! I just always love listening to the different arrangements of the songs and hymns. I hope I can sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir some day!

Thank you for that picture of Grandma and  Grandpa. They look just like I left them! That made me happy to see them.

That choir tour sounds like it was pretty fun! Have you ever done anything like that before? And I'm sorry about state. I can't believe it didn't happen this year. Ah well, there's always next year! Plus you still made it for the men's quartet! And yes... I have definitely been able to more clearly see the Bigger Picture since being out on my mission. There are things that matter just a little bit more! 

This week was pretty great. My allergies are killing me though! There is pollen everywhere. I took a picture of our car one morning, but there is this thin layer of yellow pollen on everyone's cars. I had to go get some Flonase, and I've been on that, an allergy pill, and sudafed all week. I take it in the morning, I'm good for the day, and then it all seems to wear off about 9:30 at night, and then the mornings I feel like garbage again. But as long as I'm still able to go out and work I'm fine! I did lose my voice because of them though, which was really weird! I know I'm not sick! My voice has been slowly coming back... it's really hard to rest your voice when you want to talk with people! (I should probably be better at not talking... haha!)

Can you see the pollen on the car?

Saturday was a crazy day though! We were on bikes this weekend, and in between the morning and afternooon sessions we decided to go see this less active family! Well it's close to our apartment, but the only way to get there is to bike down the 55 mph highway without any sidewalks... So we went down there! It was Saturday and it wasn't too busy. We got there about 3:20 and the next session started at 4, so we didn't have a lot of time. Well as we were pulling up to their trailer, my rear derailleur hanger broke. Again! It's 'the same exact thing that broke last time! I was a little frustrated. And we didn't know how we were going to get back because we couldn't walk up the Highway! And conference started soon! So we called Bro Tackett and he said he could come get us ( I was so thankful for that). But as we turned around to walk to where he was going to meet us ( I had to carry my bike too) we saw a former investigator walk by! He was one of the boys in that family that dropped us. We talked to him and we were able to set up a time where we could come back and meet with them! We were able to get a book of Mormon in Vietnamese for his Dad too. It was kinda crazy that the only way we would have talked to him is if my bike broke like that. Sometimes you gotta make sacrifices! 

The Johnson's are letting me borrow their bike again, and I'll have to take my bike to get fixed when we get the car back from the Sisters. It'll all work out! 

Then Sunday we were able to have a good lesson with Matt. He's doing really well, and we just talked about the role of the Holy Ghost in our study of the Book of Mormon! It was a good lesson. We invited him to keep a study journal! As I've done this on my mission I definitely know that writing stuff down helps you be more in tune with the Spirit. When we write it down and act on it, we receive more. 

Overall it was a fairly good week. Things are definitely tough, but I've learned to just let things come and deal with it! Sometimes opposition just happens. Elder Oaks had a great talk about that in General Conference! But I know that Jesus Christ can help lighten our load. I'm going to ponderize Mosiah 24:15 this week which talks about this! "And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord." I know that while opposition is necessary for our progression, the atonement of Jesus Christ is what helps us through that! Everything is for our good and will work out in the end. It definitely hard to see it in the moment, but I know that eventually things will get better! Sometimes like you said, you just have to look at the big picture! 

Thank you so much Mom! It was great to hear from you this week. I love and am so thankful for everything that you do for me. Thank you for your testimony and example. I know that this church is true! As Elder Holland put it "We just have to try." As long as we try our best, we will receive those blessings! Our Heavenly Father loves us! Jesus Christ is His Son, and is resurrected.

I love you so much, and I will talk to you next week! 


Elder Collier