Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, August 22, 2016

Transferred Again!

Hey Mom!

Yep I'm getting transferred! I'm honestly really bummed, but super excited at the same time. It'll be definitely a change! I'm going to leave this Wednesday to go to the Norfolk 1st ward. Believe it or not, Norfolk is pronounced Nor-fick. Or Nah-fick. Whichever one is easier! You can tell how long someone has lived there by how they say it. My new address is 6490 Crescent Way Apt 211, Norfolk, VA 23513. I am going to be the District Leader up there as well, so we'll see  how this goes! I hear Norfolk is awesome! My ward covers the downtown area so it'll be a little sketchy (in some parts I'm told) but I'm so excited. I have a bike full time so that'll be a lot different too! Currituck is like the middle of nowhere, so it'll be a huge change! My new companion is Elder Horton. All I know about him is he came out around December of last year! So he's newer than me. Then again, I've been out for almost a year now so that's not that hard any more haha! 

I loved serving here in Currituck. There are so many people I'm going to miss! Especially the Green's They are doing awesome right now though! i told them that I was leaving and all the kids swarmed me and wouldn't let me go haha. It was so cute! We are going to teach them tonight, so I'll get one last picture with them before I go! I don't have one to send home yet. Joshua (the dad) is going to be ordained a priest next week, so I'm bummed I'll miss that.But it's alright! The Lord needs me in Norfolk. I'm going to miss so many of the members too! I love them all so much. This will definitely be an area I need to come back to and visit. Currituck will always be a special place to me. 

That's so crazy that Jordan is serving in a group! I thought a branch was small haha! I went to a group on Fort Eustice up in Newport News, but that wasn't full time. So that's so cool for him! Me and him talk back and forth a bit some Mondays! 

We had a pretty crazy week this week! I went on two sepreate exchanges with Elders in my district from nags head. Both of them were pretty great! I'll be sad to leave this district! My next district is a lot bigger than this one, but it'll be fun! President and Sister Weed came to my last district meeting so that was pretty crazy. Hopefully I left a good impression. Apparently I did cause I'm still a district leader! Or I didn't and that's why I'm here cause I still have something to learn. Either one will work haha! 

We met a really cool potential investigator named Yvonne! A member of the branch invited her to church and we had dinner with them a couple of days ago. She is really interested in learning, so the missionaries will have some great lessons there. It all started because of the members inviting her! Those are the best investigators. 

Sammy will have a great year! I can't believe he's already a senior... Weird. 

Not much else to write about this week! I got a few pictures. My ponderizing scripture this week is in D&C 19:29 "And thou shalt declare glad tidings, yea, publish it upon the mountains, and upon every high place, and among every people that thou shalt be permitted to see." I'm excited to move onto a new area and declare the gospel to them as well as here. I want to declare it to everyone I see! I know it's true. 

I hope you have a great week Mom! I love you so much.


Elder Collier

Another Week Gone!

Hey Mom!! 

The Green's are doing well. They had to move, and we helped them move this week! They are still in our branch, only about 4 miles from their old house, but now they're in a fairly small trailer. It might be a little bit bigger than ours. They are surviving though and they are still happy! They weren't able to make it to church yesterday because they wanted to be there when their landlord was making repairs, but they will continue to come! We taught their first recent convert lesson last night and it went pretty well. They remember everything which is a good sign haha! I knew they would. I'm not sure if there is anything that you can do for them... maybe like a card or something I think they would love it! 

I'm able to run a little in the mornings for excercise. Only about 2 miles or so though. I'm no where in the shape I was in during cross country and track... but I'm trying. It's a little harder to run when you have to bring someone with you the whole time, and you have a limited amount of time in the morning. But we make it work!

This week was a tougher week. The heat has picked back up and I've gotten sunburned again haha! I have a huge tan line where the top of the collar on my white shirt is! It's pretty funny to see when I'm wearing a T-shirt. We've just been getting out and working hard every day. I know I can get better though. 

We had a really cool experience this week. We were having a rough day, and I was kinda struggling. All our plans were falling through, and no one wanted to talk to us, and there came a point where I just didn't know where to go. We said a prayer in the car and I got a thought to go to this one street and tract. I didn't know why that came, and I was a little frustrated so I ignored it and started making calls. After we made a few calls, I got the thought again, and I told Elder Ciminski, so we went there. We started knocking on doors and I still just didn't know why we were there! It was hot, I was getting sunburned again, I was tired, no one wanted to talk to us... but we kept going. We deicided to walk to the end of the street to see how far it was. After a few houses, Elder Ciminski pointed at a house and said we should go there, so I agreed and started walking up the driveway. We knocked on the door and this guy immediately invited us in and told us that he was baptized as a teenager and hasn't been to church in a while. His records weren't even in our branch and he's lived there for 12 years so it's been quite a while! We saw that he was moving so we asked if we could help and he opened up and told us that they had been struggling to find people to help and they would love it. He told us that he said a prayer even asking for help, and 15 minutes later we knocked on the door. That was no coincidence! God is mindful of each one of us. We were able to help him with his move for a few hours in the heat on Saturday, and we are going to move his records to where he is moving. I just thought it was amazing to see God answer all of our prayers like that. Truly a miracle. 

Other than that that's about it for this week! That event made the whole week worth it. My ponderizing scriputre for this week is Jacob 4:7 "Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things."  I know that we all have weaknesses, and I'm a perfect example of that. But I also know that through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, those weaknesses can be made strong. WE just have to submit our will to His. IT's amazing! 

It sounds like you guys are doing great! When do you finish getting all the shots for the dog? Hopefully you can take him out soon haha! And I'm also glad to hear that Grandma and Grandpa are well enough to hold recitals! I'm sure they'd love that haha. 

I love you so much mom! I hope you have a great week.


Elder Collier

Monday, August 8, 2016

Blessings Everywhere!!

Hey Mom!
So the Green's baptism was just amazing. I don't know how else to describe it. It was one of my favorite moments on my mission so far, to see all 5 of them be baptized! They were all so excited, and they just loved it. Joshua and Mandi, know for sure that the Book of Mormon is true, and have such a strong testimony. They are some of the greatest examples of faith I have ever seen! It has been amazing to see them change over these 4 months. We started teaching them when I got here, and we've finally got to this point. It's amazing! I was honored to be able to sing for them. Our Branch President Baptized all 5 of them, it was so cool! And we had about 50 or so people from our branch there! The branch is so supportive and really willing to help with them. They love them! Our mission president and his wife were also there! They said it was the first baptism they have been to in our mission so far, and they loved it! It was such a great baptismal service. Their father has not gotten the Aaronic Priesthood yet, but he will get it soon! 

On a side note, the baptismal font in Elizabeth city takes 4 hours to fill so that was pretty crazy! Elder Ciminski and I were there like all day because we had to watch it, and we had a mission meeting in the morning there anyway, so that was our Friday haha!
I also had the opportunity to confirm their son Malakhi on Sunday and that was really cool! I had never done that before, but it was an awesome experience.
And Brother Huggins told me he sent that recording to you! he said, "You should just come to expect that I'm going to send things home!" haha! They are an awesome family. EVeryone in the branch is just awesome!
Sammy is working the fair! Oh man that was a tough job, but it was so worth it in the end. He's going to love it once it's over haha! The Smokehouse is one of the busiest booths!
And Rushmore just sounds like such a funny dog! How big will he get?
Other things that happened this week... We got our first new investigator in 4 weeks yesterday! That was pretty exciting. We just knocked on his door, and it was totally Spirit led because I don't know why I said some of the things that I did, but he ended up opening up and telling us a lot of things that have gone on recently in his life! We taught about the Plan of Salvation and he liked it, and we're going to go back this Thursday. The main struggle with people in this area is that they are content where they are. Most people have a church already and aren't really interested, but sometimes you just have to follow the Spirit and say the right thing! I know that the Spirit really can touch someone's heart when you talk to them.
Other than that I think that's about it for this week. The Baptism was defnitely the highlight! Such an awesome experience. I love the Green family! I can't wait to see them all be sealed in the temple. I don't know if I'll literally be able to be there, but, I cannot wait to see them after they have been. They are so great.
My ponderizing scripture for this week is John 20:31 "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." And that's excatly what the scriptures are there for! We are so blessed to not only have the bible, but the Book of Mormon as an added witness that Jesus is the Christ. As well as the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and counsel from modern day prophets that help us grow closer to Him. I know that they are true!
I hope you have a great week this week Mom! you are so amazing, and I love you so much, and you are just the best.
Elder Collier 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Baptism this week!

Hey Mom!!

I'm glad to here you had a good time on your trip! That sounds like it was so much fun. The world is a beautiful place! I'm sorry that you got sick though! Are you feeling better?

So this week has been super crazy... I feel like so much has happened in the past couple of days. But most importantly, THE GREEN'S ARE GETTING BAPTIZED THIS FRIDAY!!!! They all passed their interviews and are so excited. We have to travel 30 minutes to the nearest building with a baptismal font, but it's so worth it! (that kind of travel time is nothing at here compared to how far away everything is though) But it's going to be such a great baptismal service. They asked me to do a musical number so I'm excited for that! It's going to be pretty cool to see all of them be baptized and confirmed members this week. They are an amazing family. Seeing the change and the effort they have made to make it here is simply miraculous. They are like the definition of Faith!! We've got a few things to figure out for the programs and everything this week, but that's about it! It's going to be amazing. Pictures to come for sure next week!! 

We had a mini missionary this week!!! His name was Henry. It was so cool to have him with us. He is 17, but he graduated school a year early and is going to BYU in the fall! It's always strange to be in a trio, but it was fun. He was a great addition, and he emailed us and told us how much fun he had! I'm glad we had the opportunity to do that. Not many missionaries get to out here apparently! When he was here, I put a third mattress on the floor and he slept on my bed! It was pretty fun. 

It's been really hot here the past week! We were above 90 like every day this week. And HUMID. We've had to go for about 30-40 minutes, and then go back to the car to cool off haha! We have tons of water, and I have sun screen! Thank you for  that! But the past two days we had some huge thunderstorms! It was pretty cool. I mean, we get them like every week out here, but we've had two really big ones. 

The less active man that we've been working with came to church again this week, and he stayed for all three hours this time! The Book of Mormon I think is what got him activated. As soon as he started reading and studying on his own ,things just clicked. I can't believe that 8 months ago he told missionaries to not come back! It's been amazing. 

We washed some tractors for a member of our branch this week and that was pretty fun! I'll send pictures of that too... I got pretty dirty haha! We've been doing more service lately which is good. It really helps the missionary work move more smoothly. I love the Currituck Branch! 

I think that is about it for this week! I'm so glad y'all got to see each other and have some fun. Those were always the best vacations, when we're all together! Thank you for raising us to love each other haha!

My ponderizing scripture for this week is in Mosiah 7:33 "But if ye will turn to the Lord, with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage." I chose this because I think this perfectly fits out the Green's reacted with the oppostion they faced before their baptism. They turned to the Lord and trusted in His plan for them. It's been truly amazing to see that, and how the Branch has helped and serve them. I love being on a mission! 

I hope you have a great week this week mom! OH, and today we got permission to go watch a sunrise on the beach! So we met up with the Nags Head Elders early and went! We had to wake up at about 4 in the morning to make it there. It was a little cloudy, but really cool and definitely worth it. The east coast is so cool! 

Anyway, I love you so much! I am so thankful to know that y'all are supporting me 100%. It's a great motivator. Plus the fact that this is the greatest job ever! I love it so much. 

Have a great week! I love you.


Elder Collier

Just Keep Pressing Forward!

Hey Mom!! 
This week was great. Just like every week it seems. It was a bit of an odd week, but we made it through! The beautiful thing about the gospel is that we just keep pressing forward and things tend to work out in the end. We can always repent and change and become better! 
So church yesterday was really great! Pioneer Day like doesn't exist though... haha! No one brought it up at all! The Greene's were not able to make it to church because of their land lord... he's being a real pain for them! They're just trying to move as quickly as possible to get out of there. But they are still set to be baptized! We went over and did some service and helped them repaint their walls. We finally met with them last night and went over the Baptismal Interview questions with them! It was so cool! We both feel that they're ready, and they feel that they are so ready. Their interview will be this Friday!!! I'm so excited. 
The less active brother was at church again!!! His name is Brother Hunter. He's such an awesome person and he has just done a complete turn around. We went over Tuesday and gave his wife (who's not a member) a blessing, and he had been doing study on his own! he discovered the Gospel Library app for the first time and he loved it!! It's really awesome to see this happen in people's lives. I love it. 
The scriptures are truly amazing and do change people's lives for the better! I love reading them! That's one of the first commitments we leave, is to read, and find out for yourself! Because that's where the Spirit testifies to you, is through your own learning and study. 
My interview with President Weed was awesome! Him and his wife are going to do great things at the head of our mission. I'm so excited to work with them! One thing that they were truly amazed with was the culture of the mission that was left behind by the Baker's! They did a great job, and I know the Weed's will as well! 
I'm glad that Girl's camp went well! I know that you did a great job with your lesson, because they are always great! I know someone was touched by it. (By the way, that's awesome that his name is Rushmore!!!)
Elder Ciminski and I are also excited for this week because we are getting a mini missionary tomorrow! He's going to be with us from tomorrow morning, to Sunday afternoon. IT's going to be so much fun! My mini mission was a great experience for me and I hope I can help this young man have the same experience. He's from the Mount Pleasant Ward in our stake, just up in Virginia. It's going to be so fun!! 
Oh I also had a favor! I know y'all are on vacation, but when you get back if you can I had an idea. Remember when one of Harrison's companion's on his mission was kind of homesick, so we had some people in our ward write a bunch of letters for him and send them to him? I was hoping we could do that for my companion. He's not homesick in the slightest, but he doesn't get very many letters at all so I thought this might be nice for him. Or it could backfire and he wouldn't like it... I don't know. Just an idea, what do you think about it?
So that's about it for this week! My ponderizing scripture is D&C 18:36 "Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words." It's plain and simple. I have been called, and can be chosen to be a servant of the Lord! And with that power and Authority I can testify of the Savior. I know He lives, and I know it because of the Book of Mormon. I know His Atonement is real and it applies to al of us! and I love that. 
I hope y'all have a great time in Glacier, and wherever else you will go! Thank you for everything and I will talk to you soon! I love you so much!!
Elder Collier