Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, May 29, 2017

Brother Heinz

Hey Mom!

So this week was another good week. I'm not gonna lie, it was tough. Probably one of the hardest weeks that I've had in a while, but it was oh so rewarding. It's funny how those two seem to tie together all the time. Hard work pays off, but I've learned that you have to trust in the Lord's timing for when that pay off will be. And what it will be! Sometimes, we have to keep persevering through tough things, but eventually, in the end, all things will be made up through Christ. He truly is the Light that we can look to! 

It sounds like you had a nice relaxing week! Sometimes we definitely need that. 

So this week, we have seen some miracles. Big and small! Heavenly Father is always in our lives! Last week I talked about how we taught a former Pastor/Reverend and the lesson went well. Well we've now taught him two more times, and he is loving everything. He's praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true and he's reading it. He was going to come to church, but wasn't able to because he wants to come with his wife as well, so it'll be next week that they both come! Super exciting. But tonight, we are going to have a lesson at our Bishop's house with him! It's going to be so good. He's actually open and looking for truth! I don't know what's made him this prepared, but we will find out! His name is Harold, but we call him Brother Heinz. I've never naturally started calling one of our investigators Brother or Sister, but for some reason it worked really well with him haha! he's super cool. 

I've definitely learned a lot this week! It's been a fun week. I think I came to this area with the wrong mindset. I thought I would just come here to use everything that I've learned throughout my mission and just see success. But I've quickly learned that's not why! I definitely still have a lot to learn so it's been a good experience figuring that out. I just love being out here!

We had zone conferences this week and that was fun! Recently Zone leaders and sister training leaders were just made the people who organize and teach at zone conferences. So that was a different experience than I'm used to! It was different not being able to just go and learn, but I was the teacher. It was cool though. I learned throughout the preparation of the trainings. 

I can't think of anything really like super important that happened this week. It's just been a good tough week. 

My ponderizing scripture this week is Words of Mormon 1:7 "And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will." I hope in my life I can be like Mormon who wrote this and confidently say that I was a tool in the Lord's hands. He knows why things happen in our lives, and I just want to do what He wants me to do! I know that this is the work of the Lord. I can confidently say I feel the Spirit guide me every single day, and I love it! This is all true! 

I love you so much Mom! Thank you for everything that you do! I hope you have a fantastic week this week. And that is super cool that you finished the Book of Mormon again! 

Love you so much Mom.

Elder Collier

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Work Goes On!

Hey Mom! By the way, Happy Birthday!!

So things are going great here! Lightfoot is probably one of the most fun areas that I have served in. Time has seriously been flying by and I want it to stop! Elder Gardner and I have just been super busy. We've met so many different people, and the ward is super excited about the work progressing here so that is always great. 

I will find out what they do for work for sure! We are trying to get over there to help them with their missionary work, so I can find out then! That's super funny that no one knows what they do. 

But things have been going really great actually! I don't know if I mentioned Brother Cordell last week, but he is a less active member that hasn't been to church in a while, and his records weren't here on our roster! But we taught him last week and he came to church this past Sunday! He is super excited to come back to church. He hasn't been in long enough that he doesn't really remember anything about the church, but he enjoyed it! So we're just starting from the basics. He's super funny, and said he'd like to come to some lessons with us!

Also, we met a former preacher the other day! Normally those don't go very well, but he invited us in and a lot of his questions were just super genuine! We taught him about the restoration, and he was like, "wow that could be true." And the thing that he loved was that he could gain a witness of himself through the Holy Ghost. We asked him what he would do if he found that out, and he said, "Well I'd probably join your organization!" That was super cool! He understands real intent super well. And he is really excited our next lesson because he wanted to meet one of the members of the church, so we were like, "Yeah we can definitely do that!"

We taught Jayden again this week (the new investigator that we found last week) and he was really enjoying what he read in plan of Salvation pamphlet. I was mostly impressed with the fact that he read it because almost no one ever does so that was super cool! He's progressing pretty well, now we just need to help get his family involved. 

We taught a couple last night! (Which is cool because normally we meet one person and the spouse shuts us down). They let us right in, and we were able to teach a few things to them. They literally asked, "How does one go about joining your church?" That was pretty cool. They are pretty excited to meet with us as well. 

We have an investigator named Miranda that has actually been taught by missionaries for a few months now! She was moved over when the ward split happened. She has been reading the Book of Mormon pretty often and just hasn't been able to make it to church yet, because she has commitments at her church and she feels bad just leaving them unattended. But it was a pretty big deal this lesson, because we retaught the restoration (And she didn't understand it at first, but this time she did,) and she committed to come to church on June 11th!! It's a pretty big deal for her because of how hard it is for her to do that. But this is going to be huge! It think it'll make it or break it for her. So I'll definitely keep you posted on that! 

So yeah things are going really great. I just love the people in our area. My ponderizing scripture is Jeremiah 16:16 "Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks."  You're never going to know who the elect are if you don't talk to all of the people! I love this scripture because we are the hunters and the fishers as missionaries! We literally talk to everyone we can and by doing that, that's how we find them. I love it. 

Thank you so much for everything Mom! I hope you had a great birthday yesterday. You are such a great example to me! I hope things keep going smoothly for y'all!

Have a great week mom! I love you!

Elder Collier

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy's Mother Day!!

Hey Mom!

It was great to talk to all of you! Sorry that the connection was bad for part of the time. But it was really good to see you! There were just so many people I didn't know what to do... haha! But I was really glad to be able to hear from y'all. I hope Sammy will be able to be as prepared as possible before he leaves. Hopefully my advice helped a little. He's probably going to have a completely different mission experience than what I had anyway though. 

So I don't have a lot new to say since I talked to y'all yesterday! I'm excited for the ward here and things are really going great. Oh my new address that I sent you last week is actually wrong... haha! The real address is 1015 Norwyk Ln, Williamsburg, VA 23188! 

I have thought about that promise from President Randall a lot throughout my mission. There have honestly been a lot of different experiences that I've had where I felt like it was supposed to be me personally in that situation to help someone or do something. That has been true in my proselyting areas and in my leadership positions. I'll go in more detail when I get home, but there have definitely been a lot of experiences! 

Something cool that happened on Mother's Day, we found a new investigator! That was pretty sweet. He had talked to missionaries before I got there, but had never been taught, and we stopped by and he let us right in! We were able to address some of his concerns about the Resurrection, and how to be prepared to meet God! The Plan of Salvation is seriously golden. It was a cool spirit filled lesson, and he wanted us to come back so bad that he kept trying to find a time that would work even when we were busy with the first two times that he offered. It was a sweet lesson! 

My ponderizing scripture this week is 1 Nephi 10:22 "And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not." I definitely know that this is true because everything that we share has to be confirmed by the Holy Ghost in order for the person to know that it is true for themselves. But first, I had to come to know that it was true as well! And Because I have been given that witness, and i can testify with more power added to the authority I have been given to do so! It's pretty cool. This church is completely 100% true! 

It was seriously so good to see you! I hope you had the best day ever. I love you so much! have a great week! 

I love you.

Elder Collier

Monday, May 8, 2017

Lightfoot Here I Come!

Hey Mom!

So this week was a pretty good week! I did get a transfer call this past Saturday... I'm going to the Lightfoot Ward up in the Newport News Virginia stake! The ward was created about a month and a half ago so it's pretty new! I'm still going to be a Zone Leader, and my new companion is Elder Gardner. I was in the MTC with him so I'm super excited to serve with him! He's only been their for a transfer and that's how long the ward has been in existence so this'll be super different! The ward is just north of Williamsburg, Virginia. I'm definitely going to be sad to leave New Bern though! Even though it was a harder area to serve in, I really have come to love it. It's hard leaving any area. I'm going to my 6th area though so that's super crazy too! 

This week was super fun though! It's sad because I'm really starting to see the work pick up here in New Bern and I'm going to leave it, but that's alright. We found a couple new investigators this week! One was a former investigator that the missionaries just stopped coming by to see and he didn't know why! We called him the other day and he had a ton of questions about what he was reading in the Book of Mormon so we're really excited to help him answer those tonight. It's so fun to see people really enjoy what they are getting out of the Book of Mormon!

I also went on exchanges with the Elders on Harker's Island so that was pretty fun! Harker's Island is a different place... haha! It's literally like going back in time. And they have their own dialect there as well. But the church is super strong there, which is also kinda bizarre haha! You can probably look up more of the history if you want to! It was pretty fun. 

Miracle May has still been super fun. We are totally seeing miracles here! Yesterday, we had to drive super far (about 35 minutes) to a lesson with someone who ordered a bible online! While we were there the lesson actually went pretty well! But we didn't want to drive all the way out there for just one lesson, so we decided to just stop by some of the members who we didn't know that lived out there, and the first man let us right in! He hadn't been to church in over 10 years, but the lesson we had with him went super well. It was just a miracle that we caught him there and how strong the Spirit was in that lesson! 

Oh and yesterday we had an Area Broadcast for the North America Northeast area for church! It was super cool, Dallin H. Oaks spoke at it. I found out that Sammy's Mission I'm pretty sure is in the same area has mine! So that's pretty sweet!

I think that's about it for this week. Things are going super well here still. I love New Bern and I'm definitely going to miss it. For Mother's Day, I just called the Elders up there now, and they said that we're going to be calling at 7 eastern time, so at about 4 pm your time! Hopefully that works! I'm super excited for it!!! I can't wait. Also my new address is 1015 Glenburnie Rd Williamsburg, VA 23188. 

I'm super excited for this new week though! It's going to be a lot of fun. My ponderizing scripture is D&C 18:13 "And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!"  I love this one because it's short and simple. Repentance is such a blessing and I am grateful that we have the blessing up being able to repent! It really is a great thing, and I get to help people really feel the joy of repentance every day. I love it!

It was really great to hear from you this week Mom! That really is a cool experience to have Elder Anderson at the Stake conference. I can't wait to talk with you this week! I hope you have a great week. I love you so much!! 


Elder Collier

Monday, May 1, 2017

Miracle May

Hey Mom!!

Oh my gosh that is so exciting that Sammy got his call. I have been hoping this whole week that he would be assigned here, but that's alright! The Ohio Columbus Mission is about to get one of the best missionaries. I'm seriously so excited to see the great work that Sammy will do. He's going to do such a great job. It's definitely going to be super weird with us both out at the same time! It'll be fun to hear from him as he's going through the MTC and getting out into the field. 

So I don't have a lot of time to write because we went to Cape Lookout as a zone for P-day today and we're running a little bit behind so that's my bad! But I just want to say if there's anything I've learned this week it's that missionary work runs on Miracles. That's how this work progresses. I have learned for sure that this is the work of the Lord and miracles and tender mercies are everywhere. This month our mission is doing this thing where we are recording our miracles and sending them into the mission so that we can hear about everyone's stories and cool experiences. I'm so excited and I just know that miracles are going to happen because God is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever, so miracles will still abound today according to our faith and all diligence! 

Here's a quick example, yesterday Elder Shill and I decided to fast for miracles to come this month and for us to notice them, and then we just go to church as normal, and a non member just came to church on his own because he had some Mormon friends in Alaska that he talked to and he was interested! It was SWEET. He came to all three hours and he even knew one of the members already. Just because of that I know for sure that miracles are going to happen this month. 

I know it will because of my ponderizing scripture for this week, Mormon 9:21-22 "Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth. For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;" (emphasis added) Missionary work is a miracle. And I get to be apart of it every day! And I am so excited for Sammy to experience it as well. I know for certain that this is the true restored church of Jesus Christ on the Earth today. 

I love you so much Mom! I'm again sorry that I couldn't write a lot. But I do love you and I hope you have a great week this week! 

Elder Collier