Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

William James Jones has been called to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ ofLatter-day Saints in the New York Rochester Mission from November 2012 to November 2014.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baptismal date set for Jonas family

28 October 2013

Kodak Park is a great area and has a lot of potential especially with the ward.   This ward loves missionaries and everyday we always have meal appointments which Is a good thing although I'd rather have investigators ha ha.   But yea I'll strive my best to get this area up and rolling.   A good thing though is that last week the last day I was in Spencerport me and Elder Kelly set a baptismal date with Heather Jonas and she and her husband went to church last Sunday over in the Brockport Ward and loved it.  But anyways yea this week we got 2 less actives to come to church 1 of which hadn't come for a very long time and she brought all of her family too.   Also we found a pretty legit new investigator too that's the brother of this one less active that we go and see. This area has a ton of potential some of which I hope to be able to use pretty soon.

Kodak Park - Tons of potential for missionary work!


Leaving Spencerport

21 October 2013

I can't believe it but I'm getting transferred from Spencerport.  It felt like I just arrived here and I was really liking it here too.  I guess I'm needed elsewhere.   But yea I'm really feeling kind of down in leaving this place I really wasn't expecting it so please keep me in your prayers.  The new area I'm going to is actually  not very far away.  I'm going to Kodak Park which is in the Greece Ward so yea I'm just in the area to the right of Spencerport.  I've heard that it's a really great ward and that the members always feed the missionaries and such and yea I don't really know too much else.   But yea I really loved this area and was getting really close with some people and such but yea I'm on to a new area.  My new companion is Elder Angel.  But yea as for this week  we had a really great lesson with Noel and she said that she wanted to join and would come to church next Sunday.  Also the post baptisms went really well and all three of the kids got baptized.  I'll send photos next time I left my camera in the car lol.   But yea that's pretty much it this week.  It seems like I'm here to stay in the Rochester area for awhile I suppose.  I really hope I get to go serve in the countryside soon though. 

Pretty weird week!  

gold plates in backyard? manual lawnmower?

14 October 2013

Things went pretty well this week.   This next weekend this one guy that returned to activity back in April (His wife died 3 years ago and that's when he went inactive) is having his 3 kids get baptized so that's pretty awesome!   Umm but for this week on Monday through Wednesday I was with the delightful Elder Johnston on exchanges so that we could see this one guy that was a pageant referral.   Elder Kelly doesn't know the Bible that great and this guys loved to use the Bible to kind of bash us and so yea he didn't want to go see the guy so me and Elder Johnston went.   So we talked with him for three hours. For the first half an hour his dad is there and we have a nice conversation and then as he's about to leave he goes on an anti rampage for like 30 minutes.  He just keeps going and going and going and we say nothing the entire time.  And then he gets up and leaves.   Elder Johnston is super awesome but he's a really big goof ball that's the only way to describe him.  He plurts out hey he only missed one.   I ask him later what the one was and he said that the guy hadn't talked about polygamy LOL  But yea Elder Johnston is so hilarious I love it.  But when his dad leaves the son is like yea he just does that usually and won't let anyone have time to explain back but I'll listen.   So we explain some of the stuff to him and he seems pacified and he asks loads of questions on all kinds of things.  And then he brings up the really stupid things that I've heard people say like a million times and yea it was kind of predictable but at least he would except what we would say as an answer.  At least it seems like it.  And then we just told stories of crazy things happening in snow storms and talked about this one guy who claimed to find the Ark of the Covenant and about stuff from the Bible it was so nerdy.     But yea we're going back to see him Thursday.   But it is always a good thing to know your Bible when you talk to people like that.  We are thinking of taking more control of the situation next and deferring his questions to a later time.   That was fun but probably a waste of time.  It seems all of our pageant referrals are born again antis which is always a delight.   

But apart from that on Tuesday we taught this one lady we tracted into and she's super legit.  It's like she's read the Book of Mormon before or something.  I swear the things she talks and brings up are like exactly the same things that I've thought about before.   Its so cool so we will go back and see her tomorrow and bring a member along with us to see her and that hopefully will go well.  Oh and then to finish this week off we went and saw this crazy inactive guy.  He's so nuts its awesome.  He claims that the Gold Plates are buried in his backyard and that Joseph Smith came to him and told him they were there.  There's this big piece of Sandstone that he claims they are under and he wants us to help him dig it up.   He made a pretty logical statement though.   He said that his house was around when Joseph Smith was alive and that his house is next to the Erie Canal and Joseph Smith helped construct the Erie Canal so you never know maybe they are there!!!!!!!!   The guy said he tried digging it up and he found a leg bone in there so he buried it back again so yea I don't know what we will do with him.  He wants us to contact  Salt Lake for him and have them come with a crane to dig it up.   He wants to go to church though and all he needs is a ride but I'm not sure who will give him a ride to be honest.  But he's pretty cool.  I think that he's been isolated too long though.   But he likes us which is a good thing!  Also this past week we didn't get to go to the game because she couldn't even go to the game herself because she had to go babysit at her parents house because her parents were going to be gone on vacation so yea hopefully next week?   When we were helping this one less active old lady with her yard and she was scrapping some junk, I found a manual lawnmower.  I was like there's such thing as a manual lawn mower?  It was so cool  and it still worked really well especially at how rusty the thing was.   It wasn't even very hard to push just as hard as a regular lawn mower.  I don't know why people don't all use them. This week has been pretty weird to be honest.  Transfers are next week and so I may get moved although it will be more like that I'll stay.

Brockport Sisters and Elders

Sisters Butters and Morgan and Elders Barnes,
Johnston, Kelly, and Jones 
with Brother and Sister Ellis

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

7 October 2013

This week has been pretty good I guess.   We unfortunately again didn't get to go to the sites but have no fear we will going up with them though to see one of her Rugby games that she coaches for this Saturday. One of the things that this mission has taught me is that you have to have patience especially with people in that things take so long to do because people here are always really really busy just because it's so expensive to live here and people really do have limited schedules.   This week Conference and Interviews took a lot of time although we were able to cut up a tree for the one really old less active that we are working with and we helped Billy again with his house.  I was with Elder Johnston a lot this week and we did some good work and found a few people. General conference was pretty amazing!   I loved all the many beautiful talks that were given especially on member missionary work.   

4 October 2013

I'm so excited for General Conference where we will hear from the Prophet of the Lord and the Twelve Apostles!

1 October 2013

This week has been interesting to say the least.   To start off with on Tuesday we did this really big project of pouring out a cement driveway for this member.  We've been over there a lot these last few weeks and helped prepare his driveway and we finally got it finished.   

On Wednesday we went to this nice little town of Churchville and no one was home so we spent all day tracting this really long road that was in the middle of nowhere.  The best roads to tract are those ones and the really busy highway roads as people usually leave them untouched for us to tract.  Then on Thursday we went and had a speciallized training by our mission president.  It was really good and all the trainings that were given to me felt like what I needed to hear.  It was good. Then on Friday we met with some less active people and helped this one less active part member family move from Brockport to Hilton.   The wife( who's a member) is kind of insane but it was a pretty good move.  Then on Sunday we went and got a couple more investigators who seem interested in learning more.   But yeah that was pretty much it.  We were going to go to the sites on Saturday with the Jonas family but Heather wasn't feeling too good plus we were needed for helping that family move so we decided to postpone it to Friday.  What was so sick though is that she still wanted to go but we though it would be better if she went when she feeling better. She still continues to baffle me at our interested she is in learning.  It's like a dream come true that we have them as investigators.  Hopefully we will be teaching them the gospel of Jesus Christ some time this week too and she should hopefully get to watch general conference too.   

In the middle of nowhere...........

Elder William James Jones

"The Book of Mormon truly is amazing!"

On Monday we helped finish the move for that crazy less active member and then went to Olive Garden with the less active that we did service for last Friday.  We helped her burn this huge pile of stuff.  I was very surprised that it burned so quickly and hot in that the wood was still green but it was willow wood and it burst into flames really fast.  The heat was so intense from it that the leaves would rise in the air and burn and then land and burn me.  And also I forgot to mention I bashed my mouth and bled a ton on Tuesday when I was helping with the driveway.  There was this nice gash on the inside and outside of my mouth.  I was just glad that I didn't need stitches or knock any teeth out.   And then today we went and saw a few people and did some more service.  

I'm still loving the mission life and am trying my best everyday to be more like the Savior.

Investigators progessing - Really busy - Awesome!

16 September 2013

A brand new week to a brand new transfer :D  This week has been pretty great although pretty weird weather wise ( it was 90 degrees last Wednesday for a high and then dropped to 50 degrees for a high on Friday).  Unfortunately it seems that winter is coming quickly and there's supposed to be loads and loads of snow this year.  

I guess I'll start by saying that we got a few people progressing this week which is awesome.  First time since the beginning of my mission I've had that really happen.  Yes Fairport was a really hard area.  I get shivers every time I think about the six hour tracting days at 20 degrees outside.  But now I've become a master tracter from doing that.  But that's behind me and now I have Spencerport.   We got  4 of our investigators progressing and I'm hoping to set some baptismal dates with them real soon starting possibly this evening.   Speaking of the person that we're seeing this evening.   Last week  we got a call from the mission office to go help this new family move in.  Well  they are pretty legit.  Their names are Heather and Andrew and they moved in from Indianapolis.  They are moving into Heather's grandpa's home and are living with him until he moves to Cape Cod in the next couple of months.  But check this out.  That Grandpa (who's name is Ralph) was someone that me and Elder Kelly had tracted into the third day last transfer I was here in Spencerport.  We had actually talked to him for like an hour.  It was mostly him doing the talking.   We had left our card behind and told him to give us a call if he ever needed any help with anything.  So when we went there we were like we've already been here before and it was pretty neat to have that connection there.  So yeah Andrew has family members that are LDS and Heather went to church dances and stuff when she was younger so they're kind of familiar with the faith in that they know we aren't weird and stuff but they don't really know very much about the doctrine.  Heather requested actually a Book of Mormon since she never had one and we set up a time when we could come back and talk a little more about it which is tonight :D  So please pray for us that it will go well.   Also it just seems like we have terrible timing with Billy in coming to church.  He has custody of his three girls every alternating weekend so he wants to spend time with them on those weekends which is pretty understandable.   But the times that he can come to church are the funky days of Stake Conference and he was going to make it yesterday but he overslept. Investigators take some time to come to church most of the time.  The good thing was though is that he did text us later and apologized.  Also we met with this one lady again  called Karen.  We tracted into her in a town called Churchville ( a really great little country town if I do say so myself) and she said we could come back.  We just struggle getting down to Churchville because of miles and stuff and catching her home.  But we caught her home and did some yard work with her and talked for a little bit.  She knows this one member called Brother Mcknees (who by the way we helped tear up his driveway and are going to go back to pour concrete in it.  So yeah Dad I can help make a concrete driveway for you when I get back) who we plan on taking with us to go and invite her to come to church and teach the Restoration with us.   Also this other less active family that the ward has been begging us to go and see we set up an appointment to go and help with some yard work tomorrow.   We also managed to make contact with some of our people we found tracting and taught them the Restoration and hopefully will go back and see again.  This probably doesn't make too much sense but pretty much in a nut shell we will be really really busy this next week and have a lot of work to do and am hoping for some more miracles.

Spiritual message

This talk is really good.

“We should endeavor to discern when we ‘withdraw [ourselves] from the ‘Spirit of the Lord’ . . . [and} attend to and learn from the choices and influences that separate us from the Holy Spirit.”
Elder David A. Bednar
April 2006 General Conference

20 years old today - Out 10 months

9 September 2013

Today I turned twenty which is pretty exciting.  I can't believe that I'm that old already.  It will be interesting to see what happens today and how my birthday will go.  We don't have any dinner appointments tonight but I'm sure that today will still go awesome.  There was this one family in Victor back in the Fairport Ward that said that they would drive on out to make me a dinner if I didn't have one but I don't want them to drive on out.  I would feel really bad as they have three little kids.  But yeah it's good to know that someone would make a dinner for me if I asked them which I won't ha ha.    But who knows what will happen.  Just as I was writing this someone called us up and asked if we could help them move and we will do that this evening.  Spencerport is always a really busy area which is good.  I like busy areas.  This transfer we did a lot of finding.  Now we just need to get the people we found progressing or have them drop us.   The hardest thing to do in New York is to find people.  The second hardest thing is to meet with those people that you found a second time.    But we got some good potential in this area and I really think that there will be some really good progress this transfer.  Me and Elder Kelly are going to put in the effort.   Anyways I can't believe I've been out for 10 months.  Only 14 more left for me.  I'm getting close to hump day.  

3 September 2013

This past week went okay but nothing too extincting happened.   Chris (the eleven year old whose family became reactivated recently), who we did the discussions with, passed the baptismal interview so he should get baptized pretty soon.  All we need to do is set a date hopefully pretty soon.  Billy also said that he would like to watch a baptism too so hopefully we can get the baptism scheduled for this weekend so that he can watch it and come to church at the same time.  We are still working with Billy and helping him out with the house that he's moving into.  His life has been very busy though so we will hold off on the sit down lessons a bit more until he has the time to really sit down and listen.  He just moved most of his stuff into the house last Saturday and there is loads of work that still needs to be done on the house.   But yeah hopefully we can get him to come to church this week.  I'm hoping. Also one family that I forgot to mention is the Gardners.  They are a less active family that we've been meeting with.  They are really cool.  They're less active though due to medical issues not because they were offended.  They adopted a few kids with mental disabilities and they are pretty cool too.   We just go over there and try to help them out all that we can.  

Yesterday I got to go up with a family to Hamlin Beach which is right on the shore of Lake Ontario.  It was the first time that I ever got to really check out one of the great lakes and it was pretty sweet looking.  It really looks like an ocean it’s so big.   I'll show you a picture of it.  Also there was this place in the town of North Chili that has all the streets in it named after English soccer teams and I got a picture next to my favorite one. 

Some favorites - the Book of Mormon and Aston Villa!

Recognition from a ward member!

28 August 2013

"Dear Jones Family,
My name is Jodie Gardner.  Your missionary, Elder Jones, is serving in our ward.  :)
I just wanted to take a quick moment to tell you how much we love having Elder Jones here.  He is such a great young man and he is doing a great job as a missionary.  We are really thankful for the opportunity to get to know him
Have a fantastic day!
Jodie Gardner"

27 August 2013

Yesterday we had an all day service project with an investigator that the sisters had.  This week went pretty good.   Billy the guy who I said we were meeting last Monday is really really legit.   We painted a room on his house and while doing that talked with him.  We talked a lot about different things in the Gospel and he asked a few questions.  Last Saturday we went to help some more with yard work.  We brought the Brockport Elders along too and we talked a little bit more.  The house that he is moving into that we are helping out with is in need of some renovating and so he's pretty busy with that and this week he is on vacation, but he says that he plans on coming to church this next Sunday which is really good.  We also have this one lady that me and Elder Kelly tracted into in Churchville the second or third day that I arrived here.  She was really friendly and we had a great conversation with her and she also knew this one member in the ward that she was close with but had been out of contact with him for about 20 years.   So we got her phone number and had him call her up on the phone and apparently the conversation went really well and the member gave us a good rep and from the conversation he said that we should go and stop by her again which we plan on doing this week.  We also want to plan a return appointment with her too and bring the member along for the lesson as member present lessons are always really good.  That was mostly it that were the major things.    But yeah I'm apparently allergic to some kind of cats I think as I just left a lesson with an investigator and I'm suffering pretty bad.  That's all for this week.  

Spiritual thought 

I study the scriptures everyday because through them I learn more and more about my savior Jesus Christ and my faith grows stronger and stronger the more I read.

Never had so much success!

"For with God nothing shall be impossible." -- Luke 1:37

19 August 2013

Wow this week has definitely been really amazing especially Friday.  I have lots to explain so this will probably be a pretty lengthy so hold on with me.  When I was sick last week I took the time to plug every single member  that lives with in the ward boundaries into my GPS and while it took a lot of patience and was incredibly tedious I got all of them in and divided them between red pins meaning inactive,  blue pins meaning active,  and green pins meaning part member families or families that have inactive members in them.   I also went through the area book and sheets and sheets of potential investigators and plugged those in as treasure chest icons.  So that took  several hours to do.  But it has turned out to be incredibly effective.  

On Monday after Pday we had nothing to do so we decided go see this red pin called the Masons.  We dropped by and they let us in and we had a great conversation with them and while there Brother Mason saw that my trousers had a little hole on the knee cap in them.  He said we could stop by anytime and he would fix them.  (And yes the story of how I got a hole is pretty long but let’s just say that I jumped off the back of a moving minivan and didn't land how I would have liked to have landed).   So we will definitely take him up on that offer.   Then on Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Johnston and we went and saw some potential investigators from 2008.  We had success with one guy called Bob.  The next day we went and had a lesson with him and it was very very interesting.  He said that he was an agnostic Jew whatever that is.  He would dominate the conversation and the only effective way that we could teach him was if we asked him the questions.  So yeah he's very interesting.  Me and Elder Johnston also found a few more less active families to work with thanks to my GPS pointing them out to us.  We are going to help this one less active family called the Matheus move out on the 31st.   We also talked to this one less active guy called Brother Kennet who is on our home teaching list and he seems to be offended with people at church but was happy to talk to us.  We will keep working with him.  

Me and Elder Johnston then had a really neat experience happen to us.   When we were about to drive back for the day and see people on the way back,  Elder Johnston said that he had a prompting to go and see this one really promising looking former investigator.  This investigator though lived pretty far out and we were already a couple of days over on miles.  But I was like Elder Johnston you didn't get that feeling for nothing so let’s go.  So we went all the way out there and we find out that he's not home.   I was like okay there's got to be a reason why we are out here.  Across the street I saw there's this lady who was bent over and looked like she was struggling with mulching her yard.  I'm like let’s go offer to help.  So Elder Johnston set his scriptures down on the car and we went over to help.  She was a really nice lady but said that she didn't need any help and that she was Catholic.  So we went back to the car kind of disheartened.  We then saw this one less active red pin that was close by and we decide to go and see her.   As we drove on the person behind us started flashing and honking and waving at us.  We stopped the car and she pulled up and said that our scriptures are on the back of the car. Elder Johnston had forgotten to take his scriptures off the back of the car!  She drove off and Elder Johnston went out and got them and then I realized that that lady said scriptures.  Puzzled we continued to go the less actives house and we found out that that less actives was the same lady.  She opened instantly up to us and we were able to teach her a lesson, and get her phone number and she said we could come back. The Lord really does work in amazing ways and if we follow his promptings something good will happen because of it.    

And then on Saturday I had the best tracting experience so far on my mission.  We were going to go and help someone move and so the other Elders came down to Spencerport to blitz our area.  So to give Elder Moulton and Elder Johnston a break from each other (they aren't getting along very well with each other) I went with Elder Johnston again.  We decided to walk instead of use the car since we have no miles and we must have walked 8 miles or so.  It was horrible.   But we walked to the library to do some facebook proselyting and by the time we got there we realized it was closed.  So we decided to tract the area around the library instead.  We only knocked on a few doors and we got two new investigators named Doug and Billy. Billy looks super golden in that everything in his life is lining up for receiving the gospel.  We found him sitting down on his porch smoking a cigarette and went over and talked with him,  He was raised jehovahs witness and so could sympathize with us about going out and knocking on doors.  He has become dissatisfied with them and said he didn't understand why there were so many versions of the Bible and why there were so many different interpretations of it.  He saw us holding a Book of Mormon and actually asked for one so he could read it.  He is moving into Spencerport from the nearby area of Greece and needs some help with remodeling his house.   We offered to help and he was behind thrilled.  He said that he would have to pay us and we were like no just feed us instead and he was like yeah I'll do that.  We are going over tonight to go and see him and hopefully go into a more detailed lesson of the restoration.  This guy is super legit.  And then the other guy is awesome too.  We  taught him the restoration on his door step.  First time I have done that through tracting since Freedom. He said we could come back but that he has a busy schedule so it might be harder to find him home. We do have his phone number though.  

When the other Elders went tracting they were able to find three more families which is insane.  Never have I ever out of the thousands of homes I knocked in Fairport had so much success in the few homes I knocked in Spencerport.  People are really laid back, friendly and not busy here and actually at home.  It's really nice.  Also the ward is so willing to work with us and puts missionary work as its first priority which is really nice.  I hope I get to stay in Spencerport for a long time :)  

Anyway that's it.  We pretty much tripled our number of investigators which is awesome.  I think what might be playing a big role is that the ward is doing this missionary fasting calendar where members fast for our investigators everyday.  It's an awesome idea and the members also get thinking of their role in missionary work.  

Elders Moulton, Jones, and Johnston
at Holley Falls ~
Holley Falls is in the town of Holley
which is between the towns of
Brockport and Albion