Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mini MTC

Hey Mom!!

This week was so good. It was tough at first, but we got through it and it ended up being awesome. I think the highlight this week was the Mini MTC activity that the stake put on on Saturday! It was SO much fun to participate in! For multiple reasons. So the activity was super cool. Basically it was a big youth conference, and they had the youth come and seperated them into zones and paired them up with companions and taught  them about missionary life! We came in during the middle part of it. All the missionaries in the area were given a group of youth, and we showed them how to make lesson plans, and then we had them plan a lesson, and then all the missionaries brought real investigators that we were teaching, and had the youth teach them! It was so cool to see! And then afterwards we evaluated and talked about it with them. So much fun! We brought Ashley Welker (the girl who is getting baptized soon) and she had so much fun! And the youth loved teaching her too so it was good. 

I think the thing I liked most about it though was that there were youth from Poquoson and Currituck (my last two areas) both there! It was so much fun to see them. I was so excited. And Sister Moon (the one who texted you) did get us Sonic haha! She is just the best. Man I love being a missionary and getting to know all the awesome members out here. I was so happy to see them. 

Other than that this week was sweet. There's wasn't a lot  of noteworthy things that happened this week. Elder Hargraves is just doing awesome. We've been teaching quite a bit and it's been fun! It's so much fun to learn from him. I love it. He's teaching me again the importance of getting the members involved. It's sweet. 

Ashley Welker is still doing fantastic! She had a part in the primary program yesterday and it was just awesome! She spoke about the restoration, and it was fantastic. She did such a good job, and she is so excited to be baptized! We have to reschedule her date, so it won't be this week anymore, but it should be in the next few weeks! I love that family. 

Nothing else really happened this week I don't think... It wasn't that much of an eventful week, just a really solid one. We are still meeting crazy people every day, but what else is new in Norfolk haha! It's so funny. 

It sounds like you had a great week this week! So much happened! And it sounds like it was all super fun. Thank you for sending me that music! It will definitley be used! 

My ponderizing scripture for this week is D&C 100:5 "Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;" I know that when we speak by the Power of the Holy Ghost, we speak what God would want us to say. I have come to know this through personal experience! It has been so cool to witness this on my mission. 

That experience you had in Relief Society is awesome. I love the scriptures for that same exact reason too! It's so cool to see that happen daily! 

Thanks for being awesome Mom! I love you so much! I hope you have a fantastic week this week! 

Love you so much!

Elder Collier

Monday, October 17, 2016

Member Missionary Work!

Hey there Mom! 

Another great week. This week was so good, I don't even know how to explain it. We had so much fun, and we did a lot of great work. He was baptized into mission life for sure haha! 


So this week was tons of fun. It was really tough early on in the week for my new companion, but he did so great. He's going to be such a good missionary, better than I'll ever be! We were having a tough morning on Tuesday or Wednesday, (I can't remember which), and it was really tough on Elder Hargraves. I could see that, and we went to the nearest fast food place and I got him a milkshake and we just sat and talked for a little bit. It was such a good experience. I feel like I've been go go go with him, and it was good to sit down and talk things out with him for a couple of minutes. After that, I wouldn't say a flip switched cause it wasn't that quick, but things picked up! He was more excited and since then every day has just gotten better and better. He's going to do amazing things during his mission. 

We were able to teach Ashley Welker a ton again!! It is so fun going over to their house. Every time I just feel the Spirit stronger and stronger. She is more converted at 9 years old then I was at 16 years haha! She just loves going to church and loves reading the Book of Mormon! This Saturday our stake is doing this thing for the youth called a "Mini MTC" and we're bringing some of our investigators to be taught and Ashley is so excited to help out! She loves being able to "teach the new missionaries" hahaha! But it's just amazing helping them. She is able to recognize the Spirit in her life when she prays and reads the Book of Mormon. I couldn't do that at 9! 

I think one of the highlights this week was our District Meeting though. That was such a great meeting. I don't know what happened, but somewhere throughout that meeting, the Spirit just entered in and we all could sense a changed. We were so excited to go out and improve and do missionary work. We read the talk "Sharing the Restored Gospel" by Elder Oaks from last conference. It was such a good meeting. At the end I shared some of my experiences with member missionary work and I got kind of emotional (first time I have in a good minute) and the Spirit was so present in that meeting. Probably one of the best district meetings I've ever been too. Afterward I was just so excited to get the members involved in our missionary work! I even gave a talk in Sacrament meeting this past Sunday on that talk and how what our purpose here is. We are here to help y'all! It was such a good experience. I think the members are warming up so much in our ward!  I love being here so much. 

I totally got the package from Mercedes! That was so nice of her, and I need to write her a letter back. It was such a nice package! It looked like she put a TON of effort into it as well! I hope she's doing great. Tell her I said Hi and thank you! 

My ponderizing scripture for this week is Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."  I know that Jesus Christ is the rock of our Salvation. And if we look to HIm and follow Him, we will have Eternal Life. It's all because of Him. 

Thank you so much mom for all you do for me. I love you so much and I hope you have a great week.

Love you so so much,

Elder Collier

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Training and Hurricane!

Hey Mom!!! 

I'm safe! The Hurricane was crazy but we didn't get nearly as bad as other places from what I've heard. We were pretty far north from where it actually hit. It was a lot of fun biking in it though! haha! WE GOT DRENCHED. I've never been so wet in my entire life! We just started to accept the water getting splashed on us from the cars passing by! It was so fun! Our apartment complex flooded so bad, but I forgot to take pictures! I got one of Elder Richins (one of my zone leaders) that I'll send though! It's pretty funny. 

Jonny and last companion

That is one wet tie!
Drenched from the Hurricane!

This is how their zone leader got through the flood!

New Companion!

It was a crazy first week for my new companion that's for sure! But he is awesome and I love working with him! His name is Elder Hargraves, and he's from Shelly, Idaho! He's 19, but he turned 19 right before he came on his mission. He left straight out of high school like me! It's super weird that he graduated in 2016 though! Something super crazy... He was in the MTC with Taylor Lowder! They were in the same MTC district so they went to classes together and stuff. Super crazy! 

I did not think training would be this hard! There are so many things that I do as a missionary that I just thought were regular things, but I have to explain them! It's a lot of fun though. We get along super well. The 12 week training program is a lot of fun though. I didn't appreciate it as a Greeny but I really do appreciate it now! haha! And I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad for my experiences of homesickness at the beginning of my mission, because I can use those to help him out. It's been a pretty long couple of days but it's been so great. 

I kinda feel bad, but I'm also jealous of him, Elder Hargraves is starting his mission in probably the most physically trying area of our mission! We bike on average 20  miles a day so it was pretty tough on him the first couple days, but soon it'll just be normal! It was super hard for me when I first got here, but I'd have to say I can bike pretty fast now! I did the math, I've biked close to 1000 miles since I've been in Norfolk... crazy! It's so much fun though! We talk to so many people and Elder Hargraves is doing great. He's got that  "Greeny fire" that is real! He's super excited to go out and work which makes it easy! 

Ashley Welker is still doing great! She's the 9 year old that is unbaptized that we've been teaching. She's so excited about everything and it is just a lot of fun to teach her. She's still on date for oct 29th. On Tuesday when the new missionaries flew in to Norfolk, we had some of the new missionaries learn how to teach and we brought Ashley as a real life investigator! She loved it. At the end she said the closing prayer and she said, "Thank you for letting my missionaries let me come and teach these other missionaries." it was so funny! I was trying so hard not to laugh! She's just the best. And her mom is still super on board with everything also! 

Not much else happened this week... But it was so much fun! I loved it. I'm learning so much by going through the training program again! 

I'm so jealous that Elder Anderson is coming to our stake! That sounds like it would be a lot of fun! You'll have to tell me how that goes for sure. And the Messiah is my favorite! Good luck with that!

My ponderizing scripture for this week is Alma 30:34 "And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?"  I read this this morning and the Spirit hit me pretty hard. I love being out here so much, and the only thing I get out of it is feeling joy for others! But that joy makes it totally worth it, and definitely has more fully converted me to the gospel. I love being a missionary! 

Thanks for all you do Mom! I'm safe so don't worry too hard! I love you so much and am so thankful for everything. 

Love you so much!

Elder Collier

Monday, October 3, 2016

General Conference and Transfers!

Hey Mom!! 

General Conference was as inspiring as ever this time! I love that we have the chance to hear from the General Authorities of the church every 6 months! Every question I bring gets answered! It's amazing! Heavenly Father truly is mindful of us all the time. I love it! I really loved President Uchtdorf's talk to open conference, and I loved Elder Rasband's. They were both so good! And I liked Elder Cornish's too! There were just too many to pick. President Monson spoke about the Word of Wisdom in Priesthood session and I truly do believe that he is receiving those blessings promised to us as we live that commandment! I love hearing from him. Our recent convert, Stacey, said that he recognized President Monson as a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator so it was really great. He loved it! As a mission at our district meetings this month we are going to focus on the General Conference talks so I'm excited to do that! 

Here's the group of Elders that all live in our Apartment complex!
It's going to be way different after this week though. 

Here's the zone I was just in also! Ignore the weird face I'm making...
I don't know how that happened haha! This is the only picture! 

I always will remember you reading us the Book of Mormon every night. Thank you for doing that, even if we weren't listening, or when it came to pass, "AGAIN!" haha I still remember that! Do you remember us saying that? But thank you!! 

So transfers happened this week.... Elder Horton is leaving and I'm going to be getting new missionary! I'll get him on Wednesday and then we'll start training... I'm super nervous! I just have to rely on the promise that the Lord will qualify those whom he calls! I hope it goes well! I'm thankful and excited for this opportunity though. I'm also remaining the district leader so it just added to my responsibility haha! We'll see how this goes. I'm super sad that Elder Horton is leaving though! We have had so much fun this past transfer!! He's a great missionary and I'm sure we're going to be great friends for a while. This has probably been one of my hardest working and most fun transfers of my mission. It's been so great! I hope to keep it up as my new missionary comes in! In missionary lingo... "I'm having a son!" haha! 

This area is very interesting. We teach and drop investigators all the time! We found over 30 new investigators in the past 6 weeks, and now only have 6 that we are "actively" teaching. Only the Welker daughters (the two unbaptized youth) are the ones that we meet with regularly though. They are doing so well though! When the new missionaries come in tomorrow they have then teach real investigators by the missionaries serving in Norfolk, and we're trying to get them there! That would be so fun! Plus my future trainee will meet them! Hopefully we can do that!

Not much else for this week... I think that's about it! We've been working hard and having a lot of fun along the way! I love this area. I did see Taylor in the missionary choir! that was crazy! And that's crazy that Sammy did that well on the ACT also. HE's so much smarter than me! 

So my release date is now September 5th 2017.. Ah I don't like that. I did have a question though that I was hoping to ask at Christmas but I guess I'll bring it up now... That will bring me back after the Fall semester at BYU starts and I differed to that semester. Should I see if I can change my differment to winter or should I come back a few weeks early for school? I don't know which one.... 

My ponderizing scripture for this week is Alma 29:13 "Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto the people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full."  This stood out to me because it reminded me of how important and great this calling I have is! And that I know that my success comes only from God. 

Thank you so much mom! You are so great! I love you and am so thankful for all that you do! This is going to be a great week. I hope you have a great week also! 

Love you so so much,

Elder Collier