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.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

24 June 2013

This week went well which is quite suprising for our situation we are in.  Last week in addition to us  staying a trio in Fairport,  we lost our car to the new set of sisters in Victor which in other words means that we did a ton of biking this week as our apartment is almost 4 miles out of our area.  The one good thing though is that this biking is speeding up my weight loss.  I've gone down from a high of 195 to 186 this morning.  New York quite like Virginia gets pretty hot and humid in the summer.  The humidity here is actually quite a lot worse in that the great lakes produce a lot of humidity.  Yesterday was pretty fun because we had to bike to church and church is about 6 and half miles away plus with all the hills.  The bikes that I've been riding too are not the greatest in that I've gone through 3 bikes this week.  It's been fun though and I'm gonna get ripped if I keep this up.   We are hopefully gonna get a car in like 2 weeks at least that's what the office said.  We will see.   Anyway we moved two families on Tuesday and Wednesday and then we went and saw a few more people. ALSO for the first time ever since I've been in this ward for 5 months we got someone to come to church :DDDDDD   Brother Penner came in his electric scooter with his non member girlfriend.  He hadn't been to church in years.  So hopefully they will continue to keep coming.   Hopefully next we will get Steve Skeates to come.  We will be seeing him again this Wednesday.   The mission president broadcast yesterday was so good.  Members are really the only way to bring new members into the church.  I can attest that tracting is incredibly  ineffective  ( I've knocked on thousands of homes and have yet to get a long term investigator from it)  and it's now on the members to find people for the missionaries to teach.  


17 June 2013

This week has been pretty productive.  We went to the sites with a less active member (Steve Skeates the famous comic book writer and he seemed to have a good time.  I could tell that he could feel the spirit while there at the sites. Also we got transfer call today and we will be staying a trio in Fairport only now and not in Victor so we won't go down to Victor anymore.  Pagent is in two weeks and I'm so excited to attend as it will be so exciting.  Many people in this area have been converted through pagent so it's a very good thing to invite  people to attend so we will do a lot inviting these next couple of weeks too. We are also almost finished with seeing most of the members on the ward list as well which is a big goal of ours.  

Stephen Skeates

10 June 2013

This week has been very busy again.  We went and saw quite a few people and are working our way though the ward list on seeing everyone.  It's strange to see how many different types of inactives there are.  For the most part they are pretty friendly although some are more stand offish then others.  We got one less active 11 year old a ride now that he can always have to go to church so he should becoming a lot more active now which is good.  Some inactives are really close to becoming active again too.  We also are trying to balance things out and did a few hours of tracting on Saturday and are trying to find some more investigators too.  Also next week are transfers again so I may be leaving Fairport I have no idea.  The trio will probably end too although nothing is set in stone yet.  We are inviting a lot of people to attend pagent with us this year so hopefully we will get a few people to go with us too.  Our mission President Christianson also goes home next month so we will be getting a new mission president very shortly which will probably mean a lot of changes.  Anyways all is going well for me.

3 June 2013

A lot of stuff has happened this week and I mean a lot.  Being in a trio is definitely a lot different missionary experience. But as for this week we made a lot of progress with the ward.
We finally now have this online area book now that the entire ward council can look at and access. We report on people that we have seen during the week and can upload what things we have done with them on it. This should hopefully help with the major communication issues that the missionaries and the leaders of this ward have been having as they can go and see who we have met with for themselves. We are also trying new methods to desperately get new investigators as tracting and street contacting are super ineffective here.  Unlike in Freedom where everyone would let you in and talk to you.  We also went on splits with Elder Lopshire who is a senior missionary in the ward and he went with Elder Bird down to Victor while me and Elder Holmes stayed up in Fairport and went and saw people so we were able to get twice as much work done. We are also going through every single person on the ward list that I don't know and are going and introducing ourselves to them active and inactive member alike. I have also plugged everyone in the ward into my GPS so we can now better use miles more efficiently and go see people in between appointments who live close by instead of wasting time tracting or driving farther away to see other people. Time has been a lot harder to manage with the trio as we now have two areas to look after instead of just one but we're getting things done.  We are planning on going to the pageant with a lot of our less actives and investigators this summer too.

Elders Jones and Holmes and Bird
Freedom Area

Crazy week - starting from the beginning

28 May 2013

A load of crazy stuff happened this week so I'll start from the beginning of it all.   Shortly after I wrote last week’s letter President Christianson tells us that my companion Elder Erekson is going to become the next Assistant and will become that the day after.  So my new companions are the Victor Elders (Elders Bird and Holmes) and we are in a trio.  We have combined our areas into one area until the end of the transfer in 3 weeks so it will be fun. We will also both be training Elder Holmes.  Being in a  trio has it's pros and it's cons in many ways.  Some of its pros are that we don't have to have a third male with us when we see single women as we are three males.  Another advantage is that we can now go on splits with young men in the ward a lot easier as we only need one young man instead of two.  Some cons are that street contacting and tracting are ALOT more difficult because people think we're ganging up on them and they get intimidated when they see 3 instead of 2.  Also we get more mistaken for JW's as well.  Teaching is also a lot different in that we have to coordinate it among three people.  The other thing too is that Elder Holmes is a Visa waiter meaning that he can leave at any time once his Visa to Brazil comes in.  

We also had no miles as well since we had to drive around so much and so had to walk about 30 miles or so this past week.  It was horrible.  But fortunately we got 100 extra miles from the zone leader yesterday so we won't need to walk very much now.  But as for missionary work goes we FINALLY got into the last 10 minutes of Ward Council the first time last Sunday.  I don't know why only the last 10 minutes but anything’s better then nothing.

Also this last week I've started p90-x. Elder Bird had the cd's and they're so good.  I'm so sore right now as I'm writing this. Also we got three new investigators this week which was fantastic for this area as we are really in need of investigators.  We are also hopefully going to go start teaching this British family some time soon that this one family in the ward is going to invite over for family home evening some time hopefully.  Also we're getting closer and closer with getting our less actives reactivated.  

Spiritual Thought

After Elder Erekson got shipped off and I went with Elder Bird and Holmes I got extremly nervous about how I was going to be able to get work done with so few miles.   We currently live 4 miles out of our area and so to walk would take a lot of time.  I prayed on Tuesday night that we would be able to still find and teach people even with out a car.  The day after on Wednseday we finally met with a lady that me and Elder Erekson had tried to meet with multiple times.  She let us in and we were able to teach her.  She gave us her sister as a referral and the same day we went and taught her too.  I love how the Lord does recognize our problems and if we trust in him he will help us out if we make Christ the Center of our lives.

A missionary trio!
Elders Jones, Holmes, and Bird

Comic books - prayer - church sites

20 May 2013
This week has been pretty good. We had an amazing lesson with a less active member called Steve Skeates. I think I told you a little about him.  He's the comic book writer guy. But before this lesson at the end of our lessons we would end with a prayer and we would invite him to say the closing prayer but he would make excuses up so that he wouldn't have to say it. So last Friday we did an entire lesson based off of prayer and examples of prayer through the scriptures. It was an amazing lesson and the best part is that it actually worked because he said the closing prayer that time at the end of the lesson. We were going to go to the sites in Palmyra with him this weekend but something popped up in his schedule so we go this weekend. Also with another long term inactive called Jeff Ornt (He's a single male who served a mission and everything and knows the gospel is all true but who just won't come to church) said that he knows he needs to come to church and that he doesn't have any legitimate excuses anymore. SO HOPEFULLY HE WILL COME. He is such an awesome guy and knows the scriptures better then anyone else I've met apart from President Christianson. No one knows them better then he does. 
Spiritual Thought

 2 Nephi 32:8-9, Alma 34:17-27 and Enos are all awesome about talking about prayer and I would encourage you all to read these if you have the chance. My favorite verse out of all of those is in Enos verse 4 when he says that his soul hungered and then he commenced to pray for an entire day. Not that we necessarily have to pray for an entire day or anything but that we really should when we pray, pray with real intent and pray like we really mean it with all our heart. I know that for me sometimes I get in the very bad habit of just saying prayers without thinking of what I am saying, but we should consciously think of every word that we are saying and really mean it when we say it with all our soul.

Mother's Day - talking with home

13 May 2013

I had the opportunity this weekend to Skype home on Mothers day. I'm so glad that I was able to do that and check up on my family and see how they are all doing.
Anyways as for this week we did a lot of service for many people for active members, less active members and non members alike. Service is a great opportunity to get closer to people and is also a way of getting people to trust you which is important. Also "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God" as the scripture goes. So it's pretty cool that you are directly serving God as Christ himself would have done when you serve other people. As for other things that happened, we are hopefully going to go the sites (the Hill Cumorah, the Sacred Grove, etc) with these two inactive members this Saturday which will be so awesome and hopefully we'll get them more active in the church soon. We also are getting really close to getting this investigator to attend church who's been investigating for a long time and that would be so good if he would come. His name is Bob Tobin.  I don't remember if I told you about him but he's an inventor and he's a really cool guy just really old. 

Also I heard that Tony Miller passed away. That's really sad my love goes out to Angela and everyone else in the branch.  

Service in action - missionary style

6 May 2013

This week went pretty good. We did a lot of service for people pretty much everyday this week which was a welcome break from tracting.  We mulched a persons lawn, planted flowers in someone’s lawn, built cabinets and drove new mission cars around. Also transfers were again this week and me and Elder Erekson are going to be together for another transfer in Fairport. We also this week finally met with bishop but nothing really seemed to be accomplished apart from them talking about how they were going to document what we give them. But finally in four weeks we are going to be able to attend ward council. 

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