Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Mission President This Week!

Hey Mom!!

This week was really great. During the week, Elder Ciminski and I were thinking about it, and we kinda hit a dry spell in teaching lessons and finding new investigators. Besides the Greene's (who are seriously a miracle by the way and are doing fantastic) we had been kinda struggling in teaching! But this week we found three new investigators. We have been tracting a LOT because we haven't had much else to do, but I think it finally paid off. One of the lessons we just taught a guy right on the porch and it only took about 10-15 minutes! That's a short powerful lesson right there. We set a return appointment for this week so hopefully that goes well!

It is so weird that we are getting a new mission president... TODAY! His flight comes in tonight around 7:15 our time. So weird! President and Sister Weed. I'm going to miss President and Sister Baker so much! We had stake conference this past week, and at the adult session, (which we had to drive 90 minutes to get to by the way) all the missionaries in the Stake got up and sang Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy for them. It was so great! they loved it. We are all going to miss them so much. they have done so much for me! But I'm also just super excited to meet President and Sister Weed! It'll be weird at first, but I know that he holds the keys to this mission. That's just how this work is run!

Stake Conference by the way was awesome yesterday! They broadcasted it to Elizabeth City so we only had to drive 30 minutes for the regular session so that was good haha! It was such a good meeting, and the Greene's were there and they loved it! We had a great lesson with them this week about the temple and they are so so excited. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson. I was able to bear my testimony about the blessings of my eternal family, and I just know that we are sealed for time and all eternity. Just another little miracle that strengthened my testimony.  I love being a missionary!

Not a lot else happened this week... I had another district meeting that I thought went pretty well! All the other time was spent away from the trailer and talking with people. Sometimes people are mean, sometimes people are really nice! You never know until you talk with them. We had this one conversation with this guy who at first wasn't really interested, but I pulled out a Book of Mormon Pass along card to just leave with him and that just sparked his interest! It was super cool to see how even within the conversation people can be touched by the Spirit. We'll see where that leads, but at least he has a card and a copy of the Book of Mormon!

Youth Conference sounded like it was a lot of fun! 

And no one told me that Courtney had a baby!! That's so crazy that Grandma and Grandpa are great great grandparents! I hope they have a good time seeing each other. That doesn't happen very often!

Anyway, that's about it for this week. My ponderizing scripture for this week is, "And it came to pass that thus he did go forth in the Spirit, from multitude to multitude, declaring the word of God, even until he had declared it unto them all, or sent it forth among all the people." (Helaman 10:17) I wanted to focus on this one this week because I want to be like Nephi in this verse, going to everyone and declaring the word of God! The Book of Mormon is the word of God and has brought me so much happiness. I love it, and I love reading it every single day. I know it's true!

I hope you have a great week this week! It sounds like summer is going to be great!
I love you so much Mom and I will talk to you soon!

Elder Collier

Monday, June 20, 2016

No Title This Week...

Hey Mom!
I'm doing really well. The mission is seriously the best thing ever. It's not getting any easier, but as I rely on the Lord more, the burden feels lighter (if that makes sense) haha! The weather is getting warmer!! Like really warm. It got super humid a couple of days ago, but there was a storm that came in that dried up everything so now it's like high 70's with low humidity which feels GREAT! It was close to 100 with high humidity for a while though. I've gotten a little sunburned... haha. I'm being better about putting sun screen on! There are a lot of bugs everywhere though! Mosquitos, huge hornets and flies, and gnats! There are like millions of them. We wear a lot of bug spray! And I have seen Fireflies! They are so cool! I honestly didn't think they were real until I saw them out here! why don't we have any one the west coast??
The Greene's are doing great! We lost contact with them for a few days, but 2 of them came to church (the mom was working and 3 of the kids were at their grandparents) but Joshua and Malachi came and they loved it as normal! We decided to move their date back to July 16th, but they are going to work toward it! We have a few more lessons to go and they are just getting more and more excited! Their kids are sometimes the ones that help them keep their commitments! It's awesome haha!
So our branch has a LOT of members on the roster, but we only have about 50 at sacrament meeting every week! And there are 4 young men (2 priests, a teacher and  a deacon) and 3 young women (1 mia maid, and 2 beehives) who are active! THey are so cool! The primary has about 15 kids. The only kids in seminary this past year were the 3 oldest young men, and they all got their certificates on Sunday! None of them are seniors, so no one graduated. THey just attend at our little branch building in the morning. It's really cool to see that seminary is still essentially the same out here!
It sounds like you had a lot of fun this week! Sammy will do a great job as the first Assistant!
Cole looks so good! Tell him that I'm proud of him and I can't wait to see him! And that's so exciting for Brandon! He's going to do great. 

There isn't much else to report on this week. We've been going out and tracting a lot because our teaching pool is low besides the Greene's. But I really do believe that the effort we put in is helping out our other missionary work. I'm just going to keep working hard!
It's weird... this is our last week with President Baker! We had a zone conference last week and he told us the upcoming schedule and how it's going to work out. President Weed arrives on Monday the 27th, and as soon as he touches the Virginia soil, he presides. Crazy right? I'm excited for the change but I'm going to miss the Baker's. After our Zone conference we all got a chance to walk up and give them a hug and a hand shake, and I just love them so much. And it'samazing how well they know each one of the missionaries, and how much they love them. It's going to be a crazy couple of weeks as the transfer comes to a close and we get a new mission president! I'm excited to see what will happen!
My ponderizing scripture for this week is D&C 80:4 "Therefore, declare the things which ye have heard, and verily believe, and know to be true."It's pretty simple and straight forward. I am called of God to go and declare what I believe and have come to know. I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that our message is true! The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in it's fulness today, and the Book of Mormon is the proof of it! This is the Lord's work and I have a big responsibility to bring souls unto Him. I'm loving it.
Thank you so much Mom! I got the shirts! I haven't gotten the garments yet, but I'll probably get them soon! Thank you for helping me out with that! It's kinda crazy how not white my shirts are now in comparison to the new ones... haha!
anyway, I love you so much! I can't wait to hear from you soon. I hope you have a great start to summer!
Love you so so much,
Elder Collier

"We brought dinner on the road with us one night because we didn't have time to go back home! Just hanging out in the car doing missionary work and eating dinner!"

"So we totally saw a bear! There are bears in North Carolina! Isn't that crazy? "

Jonny loves to play Monopoly... World edition??? Yes!

"I decided to hang up my blanket on my walll by my bed... We thought it was funny haha!"

Monday, June 13, 2016

Miracles Continue to Happen!

Hey Mom!
So this week was absolutely amazing. Like it was so great. Miracles truly do take place on your missions. We had a zone meeting last Friday (So I didn't have to lead it haha!) But during that meeting we did a section where we decided on some people we wanted to focus on. We prayed and essentially asked Heavenly Father who we should prepare for baptism this month, and the answer we got was the Greene family (the one who has come to church two, well now three, weeks in a row!) So we were a little scared to ask them to be baptized in this month because it's pretty soon, but we acted on faith and we did it. We set them with a date of June 29th to be baptized!!!! And we taught the Word of Wisdom last night and the spirit was so strong in that lesson. One of them was so happy that she came to church that she started crying, and it didn't even phase them that they had to quit smoking and drinking coffee. They are so prepared and are so excited! And the branch is working with them a lot as well. Everyone loves them, and I feel like I truly do love them too. It's a family of 6, and 5 of them are over 8.
Oh my gosh Joshua, the dad, literally just texted us and he said he was reading and he said he felt the Spirit confirm to him that the Book of Mormon is true! I almost started crying I was so happy. This is so amazing. I love this work and I love the Gospel! I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I love that the gospel has been restored to the Earth today!
That's about it for what happened this week. It was truly an amazing week. I think it's because we have just been working so hard. We have had no lessons set up, so we've just been outside tracting and talking with everyone. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday was just filled with finding activities. And we were blessed at the end of the week with being able to meet with the Greene's again, and have that amazing lesson. I went on an exchange with Elder Cole, who is in my district! he's a great missionary and has a real great desire to work hard. It's kinda weird because not only has he been out one transfer longer than me, he was also in my first district so we knew each other when I first came out! Then I hadn't seen him for about 6 months, so it was cool to go on exchanges with each other again.
Elder Dumont was my last companion Mom haha! That's pretty cool that there is a connection there! How does Skyla know him?
It sounds like everything is going great over there! The Musical I bet is going to be so great. Congratulations for everyone that's in it! It's so weird that they will all be seniors this next year.... And the musical always seems to go better when there are more members in it!
And I'm glad things have slowed down with Ward Conferences! I'm sure they went great!
It's crazy how fast time is flying. But I am absolutely loving it. It's going by way too fast though... It doesn't seem to slow down! It can keep going fast for Griffin and Austin Sork, but I want mine to slow down haha! Elder Ciminski and I have gotten along really well so far. We both have a desire to work. And that desire to work I know comes from you and Dad! I'm so thankful for that.
My ponderizing scripture for this week is Omni 1:26 "And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved." I know that when we lay our whole souls out there, that Jesus Christ will make up the difference. The beautiful thing about missionary work, and about anything in this life, is that the Lord doesn't ask us to be perfect, He just asks us to try. And when we sincerely try our best and lay it all out there, that's when the miracles come.
I love you so much Mom! thanks for letting me know how y'all are doing. It sounds like you are doing great as well. The school year is almost over! you can do it!
I love you so so so much, and I'll talk to you soon.
Elder Collier

Monday, June 6, 2016

District Leading is Hard!

Hey Mom!!
I'm glad you liked those pictures! I loved your text back, he read them to us haha! I'm a little bit sun burned... haha! Ah well. It's been very warm recently! About 85 to 90 degrees, but the humidity is what kills me. I can't believe it's over 100 over there! That is insane!
My new companion Elder Ciminski, and I get along really well! and he really likes to clean which is a plus... haha! Our trailer was pretty dirty... but it looks really good now! He's from Gilbert, Arizona. My first companion not from Utah! He came out one transfer after I did, so He's been out for about 8 months ish. It is soooooo nice to be able to drive again! I love it! I don't have to grip onto the hand holds while my companion is driving crazily... haha! We have a Ford Fusion. It's kinda big, but It's fun to drive.
Being a District Leader is really really hard. I'm not going to lie! Something I'm learning right away is the importance of Humility. That's always a good Christ Like attribute to have, but it's also probably the hardest one to keep. I have definitely been humbled in these past couple days. Between being Senior companion for the first time, taking over the area, and now having leadership, there's been a lot on my plate! But I have absolutely loved it.
We had a district meeting last Friday and it was so cool! I get time during the week to plan out what I'm going to do at district meeting, so I had planned it out and each segment I put a time next to it so that I could make sure I filled up our 90 minute meeting! But our first two segments were short and I all of a sudden had 20 extra minutes. I was kinda panicking and scrambling, but I took a deep breath, said a little prayer in my heart, and the Spirit FILLED the room. Like it was the coolest thing! Right after that, our discussions were more led by the Spirit, everyone was more willing to participate, and I was more confident up there leading! It was so cool. I know that wouldn't have happened if I didn't turn to the Lord and ask for His help. I couldn't have done it on my own. This is going to be a very humbling experience for me, but it's something I definitely needed! Not only do I have my own proselyting area, but I also get to serve the other missionaries in my district! I'm super excited!
That's kind of a weird school year! But I hope the last concert goes well! And I'm so happy for Sammy! He's definitely the most inspirational haha!
So this was kind of a crazy week, but it was really cool! From Monday to  Wednesday I was in a trio cause I said goodbye to Elder Dumont on Monday! It was sad, but it was pretty fun to be in a trio! We taught some pretty good lessons. Then on Wednesday we got back and went to work. I've been a little bit more tired recently, but I can definitely tell the Lord is strengthening me. Saturday was probably our hardest working day, and I was so happy after it! We were outside all day, (probably why I got sunburned) and we were trying to find some people to teach! We left and it was overcast, but the sun quickly came out and we didn't have enough miles to go back to the trailer haha! So we just kept working! I was so tired that night, but it was totally worth it. We taught only one lesson that day, but I felt like I worked so hard and was proud of it. We met some pretty crazy people tracting too haha! Someone cornered us on an ATV and told us not to come back, someone sicked their dogs on us, (we think), and someone showed us all their animals that they had! So it was a pretty eventful day. OH and the Greene family came to church again yesterday!!! They are so cool. We are hopefully going to set them with baptismal date tonight! Oh and my investigator Matt from Poquoson that I worked with the whole time I was there, got baptized a couple days ago!!!! I'm so happy for him. I love that guy.
So yeah I think that's about it for this week! I'm still loving it our here. My ponderizing scripture is giving me comfort for what is going to come, "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." (Deuteronomy 31:6) I know that the Lord is with me always! In the words of President Monson "When you're on the Lord's errand, you're entitled to the Lord's help!" I know it!
Anyway, you sound like you're doing great Mom! I love you so much. Thank you for all the love and support I feel every day. And tell Grandma and Grandpa that I love them!
Love you so much, and talk to you next week!
Elder Collier

Out in the country

Long ride home! (don't worry, I wasn't driving!)

I love it here!

New Companion

Matt from Poquoson got baptized!