Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey Mom!!

I hope y'all have a great Thanksgiving! It sounds like it'll be fun for y'all. I am so thankful for you Mom! You have done so much for me to help me get to this point in my life, and on my mission. I'm so thankful for all of you that have helped me. And I'm thankful for my testimony of the gospel that gets me through hard days. Tell everyone there how thankful I am for them, and that I love them!!

This Thanksgiving will be very interesting for me... We've had dinner over there before and it's always really awkward, but they keep inviting us back... and they won't let us teach anything! we don't know what to do. We've also been told it's a regular proselyting day, so that'll be fun! We'll definitely be looking for a lot of service activities. We scheduled an appointment though so that's nice to have!

Thank you for sending Uncle Mike's talk. That was so nice to read. He did a great job! Tell him he is awesome. 

 Ummmm... what happened this week.. To be honest it's all really starting to blur together. It's been super hard this past week, but opposition, always comes when good things are about to happen! 

Ashley was baptized!!! That was so cool to be apart of. I really love that family. She was ecstatic the whole night, and at church she really was happy to be confirmed. It was just all a good event. And now one of her older sisters said that she wants to start going to church more so we'll see where that goes! I know her dad will get baptized eventually, it'll just take time. But that's the good thing that happened this week.

Jonny and his district at the beach
Jonny at Ashley's Baptism

The opposition was that Elder Hargraves and I finally started to disagree a bit in our companionship. For about a day, it was super tough, but then we figured it out, and now we're teaching and following the spirit so much better. Elder Hargraves is the man. He's really helping me realize how to use my time effectively and really how to follow the Spirit again. Actually, just last night, it was FREEZING cold. We hadn't had dinner yet, but we were going to go back and eat when we got home, but it was about 7, and we had nothing else to do. Everything fell through, and we had been outside for a couple hours, I was about to just call it and go home to eat! But Elder Hargraves said we should stay out and I knew he was right, so we contacted one last person on our list. while that person wasn't home, the person who answered the door was super nice and we set up an appointment to go and teach her! It was super cool to see that blessing of just being diligent and pressing forward. 

My ponderizing scripture for this week is D&C 50:22 "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." I have experienced this so much more during this past week. It's so true that when you really teach by the spirit, you are both edified after a lesson! It's amazing to see. The Holy Ghost testifies to us of truth! So what we're teaching must be true. I know it is. 

Thank you for all that you do Mom! I really appreciate everything that you do for me. Thank you for everything. I can't think of anything I need... maybe another sweater? I don't know... haha! I'll let you know if there is a desperate need for something! 

I love you Mom! Have a great week this week!

Elder Collier

Friday, November 18, 2016

Okay Week!

Hey Mom!!

I'm doing great! This week was an okay week, although I feel like I can't remember a lot of what happened... Filled with missionary work probably! 

The weather is starting to change... It's getting colder! I feel like my body has adjusted to the super hot summers, so it's like only in the 40's and I feel cold! But biking warms you up a bit! We just don't have any time to ever go back to our apartment throughout the day, so I have to hopefully grab everything I need for the day before I leave! Have I told you we live three miles outside of our area? So we basically leave for the morning and don't come back until the night every night! It just takes so long to bike that! 

We haven't been teaching as much the past two weeks... We just find a ton of investigators that we never see again! So that's been a little discouraging sometimes... But! We keep pressing forward. That's what this life is all about! We have gotten a lot better relationship with our ward leaders. There's still room for improvement... But it's a ton better I think! We just need to find some investigators to bring them out to lessons with us. 

I went on two exchanges this week so that was pretty fun! We did one from Tuesday night to when it was supposed to be Wednesday night, but the other companionship didn't get back till late, so we had to exchange back on Thursday morning! And then on Thursday we exchanged until Friday afternoon! I didn't proselyte with Elder Hargraves for two straight days! It was so great to get back with him to do missionary work. He's such a good missionary! I can't believe he's already about to move onto his second transfer! 

Miracles are definitely everywhere as a missionary! You see just a TON of little things throughout the day that are totally blessings from the Lord. I think I'll be a lot more aware of those in my regular life afterwards, but as a missionary it's so apparent. Something that Elder Hargraves and I do every night to be more grateful is point out 6 blessings that we saw through that day. It's a lot of fun! And then you write them in your planner to see them again when you look back so it's been sweet. 

Ashley passed her baptismal interview!!! So her baptism is going to be this Friday at 6 pm! I'm so excited for it! The whole family is really supportive, and I think the ward is going to have a lot of support too! We've got a ton of assignments given out to make sure people are there... haha! She's so excited to be baptized. 

Transfers just happened, and only one person is leaving my district! And she just finished her mission so we all knew she was leaving anyways. But it's going to be pretty fun with so many people staying! The district here that I get to serve is such a hard working district. I love them all so much. 

My ponderizing scripture is Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance;" It's always just good to remember that ANY time we feel these feelings, we know that the Holy Ghost is with us! We have such a powerful gift that He can be with us as we are faithful and obedient! Isn't that so cool? And it's all because we have the proper priesthood authority on the earth today. 

So Thanksgiving, I think we're going to an ex communicated member's home to eat with his family... It's kind of a weird situation... but I think it'll be fun! We've been told it's a regular proselyting day on Thanksgiving. I hope y'all have a great time! 

I love you so much Mom! Thank you for all that you do for me. I love being out here so much and I know y'all have done so much to help me get to where I am. So thank you!! 

Have a great week! Love you.

Elder Collier

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mission Tour and Happy Halloween!

Hey Mom!!! 

So first off, I'm really sorry that I forgot to tell you this! We had a mission tour yesterday, where Elder Randall K Bennett and  his wife Sister Bennett came and visited us and gave us a training! So that was all day, so our P-day was moved to today. So that's why you didn't get an email yesterday! Sorry about that! 

I did get the package! The letter and the package actually came on the same day haha! Thank you for sending that music! I was hoping that we would be able to do the musical number for the mission tour yesterday, but the APs never got  back to us and there was no musical number... kind of a bummer. But hopefully I can do it some other time! That Christmas music is much appreciated though! I think I'm going to offer to sing in our ward soon, and also (if we do it the same as last year) then we'll have a Christmas mission conference with some musical numbers! Thank you so much for sending the package! 

Thank you also for sending what you shared in that 5th sunday lesson. That was really good and inspiring. The Book of Mormon changes lives! I know it does. Honestly if people just read it, it leads to them keeping almost every other commitment we leave with them. They just have to read the book! 

Not a lot happened this week that I can remember... We still have not reset Ashley's Baptismal date yet... She's been doing so good, but their car died so they weren't able to come to church which was really sad. But we should be seeing them tonight so we'll try and set it for next week. We want it to be as soon as possible! We met a really solid investigator that ordered a bible online! We had a very spirit filled lesson with her, and she recognized that it was there and it was just awesome. She is actually looking for something missing in her life, and we testified that this was it! it always is. We even set up another appointment for the next day with a member to bring, but she had to cancel, and she didn't come to church, so we are really looking to contact her again. 

The mission tour I think was the highlight of the week. It was just a super revelatory experience to go there. The spirit was in that meeting, and I wrote down a lot of things that I can start doing to implement and become better. The coolest thing I thought was instead of having a break to have lunch, (and Elder Bennett said that he doesn't do this with most mission conferences he goes to) He had us grab our food, and all the district leaders grabbed their districgts so we could meet with our districts in a room somewhere in the building. Then while we ate, we came up with specific goals of thing that we want to improve on, and counseled together, and came up with ways to hold each other accountable. It was so cool, and I felt so unified with my district during that time. We came up with 3 specific things that our district can do and I'm super excited. This is putting us on the path of becoming even more consecrated. 

Then last night for Halloween we couldn't proselyte, so we went over to the Zone leaders apartment and made some treats for our investigators and members of our ward so we can deliver them! It was a lot of fun, and it's going to be fun to deliver them. It might be hard on a bike though... haha! 

I'm super excited for this week too! We are going to have our interviews with President Weed on Thursday and I can't wait. I just love being out here and learning so much. And the best time I learn, is when I act on the things that I want to be better at. 

My ponderizing scripture for this week is Alma 43:1: "And now it came to pass that the sons of Alma did go forth among the people, to declare the word unto them. And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also went forth." I just love the part where it says Alma could not rest. This work, the work of the Lord, is so important that we just can't rest! We have to constantly do our best and give our all. And that's what I am sincerely hoping to do for the rest of my time here. 

I hope everything continues to go well for you mom! Good luck teaching! That's always a pretty hectic job for sure with all those kids. But you always do a great job! 

Thank you for everything mom! I love you so much! 

Love you,

Elder Collier