Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, May 30, 2016

Hey Mom! 

This week has been so good. it was Elder Dumont's last week, and it was like a story book ending! It was seriously such a good week this week. 

It started off a bit slow, a few lessons fell through, but we wanted to lay it all out there for his last week! It's been super hot all week which has been nice! IT was raining for a few days in a row last week. Something we had been struggling with all transfer was just teaching total lessons, and this week we actually hit the standard of excellence for lessons taught in a week! We taught 15 which was so cool! And we found 6 new investigators. And 4 were at sacrament meeting! It was so great. 

The 4 investigators we had at sacrament meeting were the Greene family! They are so cool. THey also came to our branch's memorial day breakfast this morning! The branch helped give them a ride which was such blessing, and they loved it! Joshua the Dad said, "You'll definitely see us here again!" It was great. We're going to have dinner with them and a member family this week so I'll let you know how that goes. There's 4 kids and three of them are above 8! The Mom wasn't at church, but she came to the breakfast this morning and we're going to teach them all this week. I'm so excited. 

Elder Dumont and I both spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday too, so that was cool! 

I was on an exchange on Thursday, and I couldn't find the place we were going to go tracting... so I just decided to go to a different place! We were walking and we saw a place with a really long driveway, so we easily could've passed it, but we went in. We were getting eaten alive by mosquitos the whole way, but eventually we got there and knocked on the door. We got there right at the right time because they needed help moving a TV! It was pretty cool. We taught Kathy (the Mom) the Restoration and she thought it was really cool! She wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon so next time we go over there that's what we're going to talk about. It was such cool thing though because so many things could've happened to make us not be there, but we were! It was definitely led by the Spirit. 

So on Saturday we got a transfer call. I knew it was coming because Elder Dumont is going home, but I didn't know what was going to happen! I am now the District Leader of the Currituck district! So we'll see how this goes. My new companion is going to be Elder Ciminski.. I don't know much about him, so I'll let you know next week! I GET TO DRIVE! I'm just a little excited for that. My district includes my branch and the nag's head ward. They kept elders in there! We all thought that they were going to put Sister's in there but they didn't! So we'll still get to go on exchanges so that's going to be fun. I'm definitely really nervous to be a leader, but I know that if I trust in the Lord it will all work out. 

So it's really weird that Elder Dumont is leaving. He's been a great companion! Being someone's last companion is really strange. I don't really know how to describe it, but let's just say I'm honestly glad I have plenty of time until the end of my mission. I absolutely love it out here. 

That's so great that Sammy won state! That sounds like it was a great game to watch. I'm so happy for him!

My ponderizing scripture for this week is Isaiah 52:7 "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" I'm honestly so glad that I can go out every day and say with confidence, "God is our Father in Heaven. He loves us and He has a plan for us." and "The church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth through a modern day prophet." I know that this church is Jesus Christ's church. We have a prophet on the Earth today. and God cares about us and answers all of our prayers! 

I love you so much Mom, and I'm glad that y'all are doing great! Ward conferences can be stressful it sounds like. And I can't believe that the school year is almost over! That summer break is coming! So crazy. Tell Jenna I'm happy for her and she's going to do great! 

I hope y'all have a great week this week. I love you so much and I'll talk to you soon. 

Love your son,

Elder Collier

PS Here are more pictures from Hatteras! 
And our last district meeting picture! 

Last District Meeting for his companion

The Outer Banks

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Monday, May 23, 2016

Where is the Time going??

Hey Mom!!
I'm doing great! It was seriously so cool to hear about y'alls experience in the Conference Center. That is seriously so amazing! I know that good uplifting music definitely brings the Spirit into any situation. I love music! That sounds like you had a great choir tour! Who knew there were so many fun things to do in Utah right? haha! There's definitely something about being in a dedicated building like that. And I'm glad that you got your card too! Pretty genius that I knew you were in Utah right? haha!
We got to go to Hatteras this week which was so fun! I didn't know it was a national seashore! I can mark that off of National things I've been to haha! But that was so cool! Did you know that they moved the lighthouse in 1999? My camera died right when I got there... but my companion is going to send me the pictures that he took! I'll make sure those get to you! But they moved the lighthouse because the island is constantly eroding so it was super close to the ocean! It almost fell in!

Jonny at Cape Hatteras North Carolina

At Zone Conference

"I was so tired..."

Jonny with his mission president

But after that this week went well. Teaching is down... but we've at least been able to find more potential investigators! We were even struggling with that for a while. But as we've made these sacrifices, I know that these blessings are coming from that! On Wednesday I was on an exchange in my area for the first time all transfer! All of our scheduled lessons fell through... but we saw a miracle that night! We took a couple from our branch out to a lesson with us, but the family wasn't there. AS we were heading back to their house they asked if we had a dinner tonight and we said no, so they offered to go get pizza! As we were heading back they asked if we needed top be anywhere, and I said that they could drop us off in their neighborhood while they went and got the pizzas and then we could meet them back at there house! I didn't want to waste all the time traveling up there. So we went back to their neighborhood and they gave us a referral of one of their friends! We went and stopped by them and we gave them a Book of Mormon and they said that they would be willing to meet with us! It was so cool, and I know it was because we decided to get out and work instead of sit in the car. And afterwards, we had dinner with their family and it was so fun! They have 4 kids and they are all awesome. Plus we had a great discussion about prayer afterwards! It was a good day.
On Friday we had a Specialized Training with the whole Chesapeake Stake missionaries! IT was a lot of fun. We talked about our physical well-being and how that ties in with our spiritual well-being. I learned how to budget better, and we also took this personality test thing that had to do with colors. I was a blue which is motivated by having strong relationships with others! There was also Red  which was power, white which was peace, and yellow which was having fun. It was really cool! After that, we all played Oompa (or flickerball) ((it's basically ultimate frisbee, with a football, on basketball court)) with all the missionaries and President and Sister Baker! It was soooo much fun! after that I was just so excited to go out and work.
Overall it's been a good week this week. WE are having a hard time teaching lessons, but we're going to keep trying. We did have a SWEET lesson yesterday! Our branch mission leader, Jacob (he's only like 22 so that's what we call him) went to Mexico on his mission so he speaks Spanish! And we taught this woman that understands Spanish better than English. IT was a great lesson. We set up another appointment too! She said she would pray about the Book of Mormon. But other than that it has been a little tough to find/keep new investigators. And get them to sacrament meeting. But I know that if we start to work with the members a little bit better then miracles will start to occur. As for right now I've just got to keep pressing forward! My ponderizing scriputre is going to help me do that this week. "Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions."  (1 Nephi 18:16) After Nephi was tied up by his brothers on a ship he didn't complain! So I'm not going to complain about not having luck with teaching right now. I think we just need to find a new angle. And I know that as I continue to look unto my God, and praise Him, that I will be able to find success.
Thank you for telling me about your week this week! And thanks for the pictures! It looked like a blast! I love you so much and I know that there is no place I'd rather be than Currituck, North Carolina right now. I love it. This is the Lord's work. I know that it is all true!
I love you so much Mom and I'll talk to you soon!
Elder Collier

Another Week Gone!

Hey Mom!!
My week was fairly good this week. It was really tough at the beginning, but got better as the week progressed! Bro Huggins didn't even tell me that he was going to record my musical number... haha! People just keep doing it! I'm not going to argue though... hahaha! The Spirit was seriously so strong in that sacrament meeting yesterday, and I was just glad I could be apart of it. It started off with the Branch President asking a few specific people to bear their testimonies on certain topics, and then my musical number, and then there were some speakers. The first person that got up was the Mia Maid president, and her testimony of the scriptures was just so sincere and touching. I truly felt what Brigham Young said that it's not the eloquence of the testimony that matters, but the true heartfelt meaning of it! It was so cool.
Funny story about the musical number... President Evers (my branch president) texted me earlier this week and said, "So how do you feel about singing in sacrament meeting? This Sunday? I Stand All Amazed. Sound good?" and I was like, "Sure?" and he said, "Good you're already on the program." I couldn't believe it haha! I love this branch so much. They're all such great people. It's so cool how you can come to love people so quickly out here!
 So about this week starting off tough... I don't really even know what it was. I think it was just all in our heads. We just weren't focusing as much as we should have. Elder Dumont and I get along really well, and we would quote different movies or tv shows and make jokes all the time. But we actually had a discussion in our last Zone Meeting about eliminating distractions. So earlier this week while we were still doing that, not a lot was getting done. Actually, even though we spent a lot of time outside, we didn't teach a single investigator. Everyone just wasn't home or was canceling appointments. But my companion and I decided to stop quoting movies and different things, and just be more focused on our missionary work to eliminate distractions. And you wouldn't believe how much of a blessing it has been. Since then, we have fond so many Potential Investigators, and have set up a lot of return appointments with people. We have just been far more effective. When our mission president talked about doing this he quoted "Rise Up O Men of God." It says 
Rise Up O Men of God
Have done with lesser things
Give heart and soul and mind and strength
To serve the King of Kings
We decided that movies and worldly entertainment fall under the "lesser things" category, and by following that counsel, so many blessings have come! I think the greatest thing is that it's a sacrifice that we decided to make on our own, and just knowing that I willingly chose to bring myself closer to the Savior makes it all the better. While we aren't perfect at it (we slip up every once and a while) we have been able to see the blessings come from trying! It's great. So since then, the week has been a great one!
Friday I went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders in Elizabeth City and that was a lot of fun! I was with Elder Hintze and we are like the same person.. haha. We both did choir and musical theatre, we graduated in 2015, and we're both going to BYU in the fall of 2017. And we had the same scripture case! super weird. But we got along really well. He's been out one transfer longer than me, and I was able to learn a lot being with him, and he said he learned a lot about being with me! Specifically how to be optimistic and show gratitude is what he said, and that was really cool to hear! 

Doing Service

Washing the car!

North Carolina Farmland

"I broke the door handle!"

I'm glad Sammy had a great game! That sounds like it would have been super fun to watch! And that's so cool that Kenzie is going on a mission! 
Tour also sounds like it's going to be a blast! You'll have to tell me all about it!
I'm glad you're really enjoying your calling Mom! You look like you're having a lot of fun with it and are learning a lot!
My ponderizing scripture for this week is Alma 16:14 "And as many as would hear their words, unto them they did impart the word of God, without any respect of persons, continually." I'm trying to be more like Alma and Amulek and be fearless with who I talk to! We just have to go out and talk with everyone who will listen, because we never know who will be interested!
Anyway that's about it! We're going to Hatteras today and I'm pretty excited about that! Pictures will come next week. I love you so much Mom! The Church is true. I know it!
I hope you have a great week! Have fun in Utah on Tour! It's going to be great.
Love you so much,
Elder Collier

Monday, May 9, 2016

Yesterday was Awesome!!

Hey Mom!
Yesterday was so great. It was so great to see all of y'all also! I loved it. Y'all looked like you were doing well and were happy, and that made me so happy. It was so good to see you and just hear your voices! I think the thing I loved the most is that there was never a dull moment the whole time we talked! That's what it's always like with our family. We have the best family!
It was also SOO cool to see Jordan! I loved that! He looked like he was doing great, and it was just so cool to see us both as missionaries at the same time. I miss that kid so much. He's doing great things though!
Just like you I don't have a lot to say this week considering we talked yesterday... haha! I don't know if I mentioned that we tracted in the pouring rain on Thursday! That was pretty fun! It can be hard in life to find joy especially when it seems like everything is going wrong. But I know that if we just keep persevering, and pressing forward that good things come! And in the mean time, have fun! That's the most important thing. Loving the people, and being happy.
Sunday we also got to do singing time for the primary so that all the Mom's could go to Relief Society so that was pretty fun! Some of the kids were CRAZY, but some of the kids loved us so that was great. It was so fun.
I'm just having a blast out here! There's no place I'd rather be, and nothing else I'd rather be doing.
My ponderizing scripture this week is D&C 115:5 "Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations;"I know that when we "Arise and Shine" we share a light that only comes to members of the church who are being obedient and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's where true happiness comes from!
I miss you so much, but after talking with you, it made me want to just go out and work as hard as I possibly can. I love you so much! Thank you for being such great examples to me!
I'll talk to you next week. Have a fantastic week! Love you so so much! and Happy Mother's Day again!!!
Elder Collier

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mother's Day is Coming Up!!

Jonny's Church Building
The Trailer Park!
Jonny's New Home!

Hey Mom!
Mother's Day is next week! It's come up so quick... it's weird! I'm so excited though. It's going to be so cool to see you again! That's kinda crazy that Jordan only gets three phone calls! Some of the missionaries here are going to get 5 phone calls because of the extra week that we all got! They should give one of those to Jordan haha! 
My new area is awesome! It's HUGE but it's been a lot of fun. We don't have a lot of miles though so that got to be pretty stressful at the end of last month, but hey we get more miles now haha! We have to get driven to our district meeting every other week because we just don't have the miles for it! It takes about an hour to get to the Nag's Head chapel from our trailer! It's crazy!
This last Friday we also did exchanges with the Nag's Head English Elders and I went to Nag's Head for the day. That was so cool! IT WOULD'VE been a lot cooler except... the Elder I was exchanging with didn't grab the car keys from his companion... and we didn't notice until we got all the way back to Nag's Head, an hour away. So we had no car! We walked around and got driven by members the whole day so that was pretty fun. We also went out to eat with some members and I tried soft shell crab... it was kinda weird haha! I probably won't get it again, but it wasn't bad! Also when I was there, I looked through the area book and the 3rd teaching record I saw had an Elder Rigby on it from 2008! That was Steven Rigby! I thought that was pretty cool. Overall it was a fun exchange, and we will now make sure that we have the car keys before we leave haha!
And yeah our new mission president comes in July. IT's super weird to think about! But I'll definitely talk about the change when it happens. We did a mission wide fast for President and Sister Weed the new mission president and wife for there transition. It was kinda cool to do that!
I think that's so funny that someone is sitting in Dad's spot... haha! Dad ALWAYS sits there! It'll get figured out soon hahaha!
Also one day we went out tracting and I was feeling kinda down! We had gotten so many like rude responses from doors. Not just "No we aren't interested, " but like people slamming the door! I couldn't believe it haha! But the whole time I was just thinking, "at least we're out working," and then a member drove by us. He saw us, turned around and said, "Hey, you have anything else planned except tracting?" and we were like, "Nope." and he said, "Want to come home teaching with me?" so we went with him and had a really good time! WE went and saw this SUPER old less active man, but we were able to have a good conversation with him. Not quite sure if he remembers much about it, but it was good. He said that he was feeling down and prayed for comfort that morning, and we were there to see him that night! And the only way that could have happened was if we were out working and the member saw us on his way to home teaching! Heavenly Father really has this thing under control. He knows every single one of us and what we need.
I had another really cool experience this week too. I finished the Book of Mormon on Thursday April 28th, for the third time on my mission. I prayed about it and I was able to get a confirming witness that it was true. It doesn't matter how many times you've read it, as long as you read, ponder, and pray about that book, the Holy Ghost will tell you it's true if you ask with real intent. I was able to sit and just reflect a bit on how lucky I've been to have a testimony of this gospel most of my life! I wrote down a lot of my experiences that I've had where I've come to know that the church is true. So many times! And I didn't even write down all of them, I probably don't even remember all of them. But this church is so true and I love being apart of it. On a mission I have been able to strengthen my own testimony so much. And the only way that comes is through sharing it with others!
Not much else to report this week. It's been a good week. Just like every week. Life has it's ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. Not a thing. My ponderizing scripture for the week is Moroni 7:33 "And Christ hath said: if ye shall have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." I know that this promise is true! If we have enough faith, if it be the Lord's will, miracles can occur.
Thanks so much for your love and support and I can't wait to talk to you this Sunday!
I love you so much Mom, and I'll talk to you soon. Have a great week!
Elder Collier