Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, July 31, 2017

6 Weeks Left!!

Hey Mom!

Can you believe I only have 6 weeks left?? Time is seriously flying... I started my last planner today. It's so weird! But honestly, I'm going to work my hardest to the very end, and I feel confident that it'll be okay even though I'm a little nervous for when that time comes. 

The weather has been super weird recently... It was super hot and humid (like close to triple digits) at the beginning of the week, then on Saturday it stormed and dropped to 67 degrees, and now it's not humid at all and it feels amazing! That humidity is brutal... haha! 

But things are going great here! Elder Gardner and I are staying together until he goes home in two weeks, and we will get a third companion, Elder Oldroyd, who is a new zone leader! That's going to be super fun. Then once elder Gardner goes home, Elder Oldroyd will be my last companion! It's so weird. I'm excited to be with Elder Oldroyd though, I was actually with him in a trio in New Bern when my companion went home there, so it'll be fun to serve with him again! He's been out for about a year, and I think he's from Cedar City, but I'll let you know next week for sure! So things will definitely be changing this week! 

We've had some really cool experiences this week. I went on two exchanges, both with some younger missionaries, and they are doing awesome. I think one of the reasons I'm in this area is for sure to help the younger missionaries around me in my zone. There are two new trainees coming this week too so that'll be fun. 

We had to drop a few of our investigators this week and that was sad... They just weren't keeping commitments! We said we'd still visit them though. But when we did that, we found some new investigators! One was Bob who we saw yesterday and he is honestly seeking to know if this is true! He's a devout baptist, and he was a little hurt when learned about he restoration because it meant that his church was false... but the fact that he understood that right away and he still wants to learn was awesome! He just really wants to know if the Book of Mormon is true. We also met a guy named Jesse who isn't religious at all, which is rare for this area haha! But it was cool because he prayed for the first time at the end of the lesson! It was powerful! I love having these experiences. 

I wasn't able to pick a ponderizing scripture but there's actually a funny story why. Last night we had a dinner with the Bean family, and we shared a message with them adn they are just a great family. Brother bean was gonna come to a lesson with us, but it wasn't for another 30 minutes to we wanted to meet some of their neighbors before our lesson, and someone was moving in! It was perfect! We ran over, dropped off our stuff on the grass, and helped them for a little bit before we had to go! But then when we had to go, and we jumped in the car and drove off to go see Bob. But then, when we got there, we didn't have our scriptures or anything! So we walked in there with a Book of Mormon and a Bible from the  back of our car... it was good. But we didn't have enough time last night, so the beans still have my scriptures... haha! Anyway, it was pretty funny!

That's so great that Rachel got baptized! I'm so excited for her. And it sounds like y'all are doing well on your vacation too! that sounds super fun.

anyway, I'm doing great! I hope you have a great week Mom! thank you for everything. I love you! 


Elder Collier (Jonny, not Sammy)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Things Are Moving Forward!

Hey Mom!

That's so cool that Sammy is on his mission and in the MTC now! He'll make it through. It was really tough for me too! But at least he has one extra week in the MTC and time to prepare for the field! I had 12 days haha! His experience with homesickness will allow him to help him when he needs to train or help a new missionary. It'll be great for him. I don't want him to be homesick either, cause it was hard for me. But it'll make him better! sometimes that's necessary. 

Things are definitely moving forward for us! We finally took the time to let go of a few of investigators that we hadn't seen in a while But once we did that, we found so many people! We found probably 4 new investigators this week and that was super cool! Not all were the most solid, but one was a really good lesson! His name was Travis, and he grew up with both Christian and Muslim influences! It was really cool because he was asking a lot of questions, and he texted us a couple days later and said that he had written down a lot of questions since he's been reading the Book of Mormon! that was super cool! 

Our investigator Miranda some how managed to get sick before church again... I don't know how this is happening. Every time we want to let her go, she manages to say that she's willing to commit, and then doesn't follow through. We may just need to stop going for a while and see if that does any good! It's just so sad to let people go. But sometimes it'll be good for them. 

We taught Gospel Doctrine yesterday on Missionary Work and it was super fun! We turned it into kind of a big "Practice Session" To help people not be so scared to talk with their friends and neighbors! People actually really enjoyed it and it was super funny. I think that's been something that is definitely moving forward here is the member work. And our bishop met with us this week and that is our Main focus in this ward now! We definitely won't give up finding and teaching through our own efforts, but when you find through the members, so much good happens! Things are just going so well! I'm happy. 

I'm not quite to my last transfer yet. 7 weeks left though... it's going by too fast. Elder Gardner goes home in 3 weeks, so we think we're going to get a third companion for those 2 weeks before he goes. Then I'll go. Ah that's so weird! But I'll probably stay here in the Lightfoot ward though and I'm okay with that! this ward is SO GOOD. I love it!

My ponderizing scripture for this week is 2 Nephi 9:21 "And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam." I chose this scripture for this week because I just love Jesus Christ. And I love how the Book of Mormon simply testifies about what He did for us! He simply came into the world to save all those who will Hearken unto His voice. And right now, I get to help people hear His voice. I love being here, and I know for certain that Jesus is our Savior! 

I loves you so much Mom! I hope y'all enjoy your road trip! Have a great week!

I love you!

Elder Collier

PS And I finished the Book of Mormon again this week, and I'm going to read it all the way through before I leave! I've got about 10 pages a day to do, but It's been good so far! I'm almost through 1 Nephi again! 

Two Missionaries Out!

Hey Mom!

How does it feel to have two missionaries at the same time?? This is definitely new for y'all. It's super weird thinking about it for me haha! It hit me a few times, but it didn't distract me or anything so that was good. I'm glad that it was a good Sacrament Meeting! It sounds like it was really cool. Such a cool experience. 

Sammy doesn't need to be worried about the MTC! Everything just happens so quickly at the beginning that you don't even realize what's going on haha! It was hard for me I'm not going to lie, but if you don't have those hard experiences, then you'll never know the good ones! So that's been such a blessing for me. I was actually reading through my journal the other day from the beginning of my mission, and I was SO HOMESICK. It was crazy! But I also had so many cool experiences to help me keep working hard and for me to just keep at it. And eventually, I was able to overcome it! and Sure it comes and goes, but that's what prayer, and scripture study are for to help you learn how to rely on the power of the Savior and apply is power into your life! But most importantly, as I've really focused on helping others to apply the Savior's power in their life, that's when I think I've learned the most. It's so cool. 

I'm glad that you and Dad will get to go on a trip! It'll be a nice break I think to just be the two of you. No dogs, no kids! How long has it been since you could do that?? haha! 

This week for me was a good week. Elder Gardner and I, I think, have finally started to work super well together, and we just are loving it. I mean, It's hard definitely, but it's been very good. It was hard this week because it was in the triple digits for three straight days... without the humidity. WIth humidity it was about 110... so it was hot. Also, Our investigators have kinda seemed to be dropping off recently... Miranda was supposed to come to church yesterday, but she ended up not coming, and then she's going to go out of town for a few weeks... Our investigator Lisa ended up dropping us an hour before text just be fore our lesson in the Bishop's home! That was super sad. We haven't been able to contact her since, so we don't know why, but we'll keep trying. And we haven't found a new investigator in a while, but we're still going forward!  The Members are just doing great though! I love being able to help the members to reach out to their friends. that has  honestly been really cool.

Thank you for sending me Sammy's talk by the way! It was SO good. He's going to do so well. 

I can't think of anything else super exciting that happened this week... It's just been fun. As President Weed (my mission president) said best, "Joy is a sign that you are on the Lord's errand." So if we are feeling joy, (Pure Joy)  we can know that we're doing what we're supposed to even amidst how hard mission life can be! 

My ponderizing scripture for the week is John 6:38 "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." This one stood out to me because the Savior set the perfect example. And just how The Savior came to not do His will, but to do the Father's will, it's the same for me. I came here on my mission (and to this life for that matter) to not do my will, but to do my Father's will. And I know that as I do my best, that the Lord will support us. He will ratify our decisions, and rescue us if need be! I love being out here, and I'm so excited for Sammy to experience this as well! 

I hope you have a great week this week Mom! It'll be so hard  I bet, but it's going to be so worth it in the end. Sammy is going to do such a great job on his mission and I'm so excited for him. Travel safe! I love y'all so much.

I love you!

Elder Collier

Monday, July 17, 2017

Time Doesn't Want To Stop

Hey Mom!

I seriously can't believe how quickly time is moving. It feels like just yesterday I was sending an email home! Ah... Well it's okay. I'm glad that the funeral went well. I'm sorry that it was so tough this past week... hopefully this next week will be easier. But I think a good thing is that Sammy gets to be with everyone before he has to leave this next week! That'll help him for sure. A lot happening for y'all in the next few weeks!

I'm glad y'all liked the pictures! When we were over at the Nielsons, it was great! And yes I was working while I was over there haha! I totally would've gotten the joke though Mom haha! It was super cool at that appointment though! They're one of the families that we've started to work with to teach them how to do missionary work and they're just taking it and running with it! Literally our goal is to have all the members of the ward praying to see who they can help with real intent! it's been super fun. Also, President Nielson, and Dad got hired by CES at the same time! Dad pointed it out to me, and while we were at dinner President Nielson found dad's picture haha! He does the same thing that Dad does out here. 

Also the bikes that we were riding was at our Ward's Pioneer Day celebration! It was a tri-ward activity for the three wards in Williamsburg. It was pretty fun! 

But this week just seemed to fly by. We had a Zone Conference on Wednesday and that was super cool! It's pretty fun giving trainings at the zone conferences now! We also had a big 4th of July get together at our Stake President's House In Newport News with all the missionaries, and that was pretty fun! We didn't get the memo of the water balloon fight, so we had a water balloon fight in our white shirts and ties! Pretty fun! 

On Saturday one of the families in the ward asked me to speak at their son's baptism! That was pretty fun! And then we had our tri-ward party! None of our investigators came so that was sad... but we got to have some fun there! There's a video of me and Blair Christofferson doing the Stick Pull! 

But yeah things just keep getting better and better over here. I absolutely love the Lightfoot ward. Our investigator pool is dwindling a little bit... it's been hard not seeing anyone come to church. Except of Course the Branscomes who are the part-member family we're working with. But none of our other investigators have made it. We're still working hard though. There's still something more we can do! 

Reading my scriptures this week, I found a great scripture that sums up my purpose as a missionary in a few verses in the Doctrine and Covenants and with everything going on, it seemed to speak right to me. So my ponderizing scripture(s) are Doctrine and Covenants 18:10-14 (and I'll add emphasis to some of the word that stood out to me) : "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people." I think the verses some it up pretty well. But I know and how important this calling is as a missionary. It's something that I'll love and treasure for the rest of my life. I'm so thankful for it! 

Thank you for all that you do mom! I hope you have a great week this week. This is the last full week before Sammy leaves on his mission too! I hope  y'all have a lot of fun. 

I love you so much Mom! I'll talk to you later! 


Elder Collier

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

No Matter What We Go Through, The Gospel is True!

Hey Mom!!

I'm doing pretty good this week. Again, it was tough to hear about Grandma. I remember you telling me last week that she was put on Hospice, but I didn't expect it to be this week that it would happen. But I also didn't want it to happen just after Sammy left on his mission, so I think it was timely. He can now go in without any worries, and have extra support from Grandma and Granpda Doty and Collier. So that's something that'll keep me going, and I know will help Sammy! He's going to do great. Thank you also for sharing what happened with Grandma with me. That's a very special spiritual experience and I'm grateful for that. I know that they are happy again and are doing great work on the other side of the veil! 

I shared that quote in the subject title because someone said that in their testimony yesterday during sacrament meeting and I thought it was perfect. "No matter what we go through, the Gospel is true!" You can't forget everything you've been taught and experienced at the the drop of a hat or a bad situation. Jesus Christ and everything you learn about Him, is what is supposed to help you through those times. And I know that he does. While Grief is real, and it comes and goes in waves when you don't expect it, Jesus Christ still does know our situation perfectly. I know it! He's there and knows us so well! 

I think one of the greatest parts about my mission, is that I get to help people in similar situations make it through times of difficulty in their lives. The other day, we talked with a woman that had recently lost her husband and she was struggling. She was Christian and believed in the resurrection, and she was just trying to figure out where her Husband was now because he hadn't been resurrected yet. And I confidently was able to read from the Book of Mormon in Alma 40:11-12 "11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between deathand the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. 12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." This is also my ponderizing scripture for the week by the way. But I could confidently tell her exactly where her husband was now, and that he was able to learn about the gospel there! The Spirit was strong there. And I know for certain that the Plan of Salvation is real and it's a perfect plan! 

Things also have just been great this week. The work is progressing great. We have an investigator named Lisa that we have taught for a few weeks now that is sincerely interested and asking all the right questions. We had a great lesson last night and she is just super willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! It's really cool. This is probably the only area that I've taught multiple investigators multiple times! We also have been working with a ton of our active members, and yesterday one of the families bore their testimony about the great missionary opportunities they have been having (because they are doing awesome!!) and it really just lifted the whole ward! Then we had dinner with a family who we had talked to about praying and seeing who they could share the gospel with, and they did!! And we were able to talk right there with what they could do! This ward is just great. 

I am just loving being here still. I promise to work as hard as I possibly can, because that's what I'm called to do! IT's the only time in my life that I can come this close to giving my all. I love it. I'm so thankful for loving grandparents that have lived righteously. I'm thankful for the memories I have with them, and all that I've learned from them. They are forever going to have an impact on me. And I'm so thankful for your's and Dad's examples to me as well! You are truly the greatest parents anyone could ask for. 

I love you so much! Thank you for all that you do for me. I'll forget myself and get to work!

I love you Mom!

Elder Collier

Cool Miniature Golf Place!