Thursday, December 25, 2014

Week 50 - Merry Christmas


December 22, 2014

Hey everyone!  Merry Christmas!!!  I hope you are all doing well, because I sure am.  This last week has been crazy, to start it off I got super sick on Tuesday and it wasn't fun!  But I'm ok now and this last week was a blast.  We also got to see David Archuleta come perform in Barcelona for investigators!  It was so much fun!!!  Above all this Saturday we are hoping to have a baptism and I am so excited!  His name is Alberto. He's 17 and from the Dominican Republic!  Besides that, this Christmas is going to be the best!  I hope you all have a great Christmas and remember the meaning and purpose of CHRISTmas.  Have a great time with your families and know that I love you all!

Photo 1- Us with the member who was going to baptize an investigator of the hermanas(Sisters)

Photo 2-Us with Alberto the guy who is getting baptized this Saturday at the David Archuleta Concert.

Con Amor,

 Elder Jonson
Cheering for the baptism!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Week 49 - David Archuleta & Baptism Challenges

This week has been so great!! I am loving Vilafranca already.  The miracle we had last week was Alberto.  We had our first visit with him on Wednesday, and taught him about the Book of Mormon.  He was accepting everything so well it turned in to more of a lesson about the Restauración (sorry I can't spell that in English anymore) and we invited him to be baptized.  He accepted so willingly and came to church on Sunday.  Throughout my mission, I have always been a little worried when it comes to inviting people to be baptized.  But I am coming to realize, that we just have to follow the spirit and put it out there.  Blessings come from being bold but not overbearing.  

Also found out this week that my companion and I are related!!!  Pretty legit!!  We are distantly related through my mom's side! [Their Great Great Grandpas were half brothers.  Their GGG Grandpa had 6 wives.]

Also in other news, DAVID ARCHULETA is coming to the Spain Barcelona Mission to do a concert for investigators and we get to take some to the show!  It will be this Saturday and I'm pumped!!!!!  Anyway hope all is swell, I'm loving the mission and my district and companion and area are the best!

Con Amor,
Elder Jonson
 
(Tikal also forgot to mention that he sang with the ward choir to a group of old women and their caretakers who were all nuns - he said it was pretty entertaining)

Photo: Elder Cluff & Map of Tikal's Area of Service

Tikal and Elder Cluff from St. George
Map of Tikal's Mission and his areas

Week 48 - Transfers & a run In with the Police

12/9/14

Well, I got transferred from Sabadell. After setting up Christmas and Christmas Eve visits, I got moved to Vilafranca!  My new companion is Elder Cluff from St. George, UT!  In my 3 months in Sabadell I learned a lot and will miss the people there but, having been here in Vilafranca for a couple hours, I'm already loving it!  Well I had an incident with the Police just barely....they stopped us and asked if we were bothering anyone, and asked for our identification and all that crazy stuff.  Then come to find out, the Police officer was the BISHOP of this ward...I have officially been initiated.  :)  Fun stuff!  We know like half the people here, we've already been stopped by several investigators or members.  Good area and I'm excited for all of the new people I get to meet and help!

Cuidaos!
Elder Jonson  

Photos - Saying goodbye to Sabadell

La Familia Oscariz

La Familia Ortega

A family from the ward

Ward Members

Tikal and Elder Cifuentes with the Alejandre twins
 
 Tikal with Isaac and Jordan
 

Tikal and Elder Loaiza with Walter Denker
 

Week 47

12/1/14

Hey everybody!  Hope Thanksgiving went well for all of you, it went well for me!!  I got to make pumpkin pie by myself for the first time and it turned out pretty well!!  This week has been a week of straight rain.  It has rained non-stop for a while and when we walked outside today I was rather confused by the sun....Not much to tell this week, fairly normal, we did however get a new investigator named Rosa.  She's from the Dominican Republic and is super great.  She's a single mother of two young boys and she is very open to the gospel!  

Have a great week!
 

 
I am sure this rock commemorates something

Photos: Thanksgiving



Tikal Making Pumpkin Pies
 

The Finished Product

The Apple Pie got a little extra crispy


Thanksgiving Dinner in Sabadell
 
Tikal with the Thankgibing Dinner turkey
 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Week 46 BAPTISM!

BAPTISM! and Elder Quentin L. Cook
11.24.14

This week Marie got BAPTIZED!!!  Bishop Merrill was able to baptize her so that made it even better!  Her husband wanted to make the baptismal service very well attended and it definitely was!!!  Marie has been investigating the church for a long time and originally was meeting with the Jehovah’s Witnesses...but thankfully her husband was able to help her find the truth and get baptized!!  The best part about this baptism is the baptisms that will follow.  For the past 6 months or so, Marie´s husband, Romuald has been doing family history work, and this next week they are going to the temple together to do baptisms for the dead!!!  I am so excited!!!!!  The gospel really is about families and now we have one more family in the church.  I can't wait for them to get sealed next year.  My favorite part about this baptism was to see a phrase Marie and Romuald use all the time, put into action, Perseverar Hasta Al Fin!!! (Endure to the End)  

 Also this weekend we had Elder Quentin L. Cook come to our Stake Conference!!  It was a very spiritual meeting and he focused a lot on the Family. He was also able to make time for a missionary meeting with almost our entire mission!! I got to see all of my former companions!!  It was a blast!!!  I really feel so spiritually charged up after those conferences!!  Elder Cook is really an Apostle of the Lord.  I got to shake his hand twice, once in the Missionary meeting and a second time when he came out into the congregation and shook basically everyone's hand on Sunday!  The best part was to see the joy on everyone's faces as he shook their hands!!!  It was such a touching experience!

This week has been so amazing and I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Cuidaos! [Take care]

Elder Jonson
Bishop Merrill and Marie

 
Elder Jonson, Marie, and Elder Loaiza at Marie's baptism

Week 45 - Merry November, Baptism?


Week 45 – Merry November – Upcoming baptism!

This week has been fantastic. We saw so many blessings but the biggest one was with a "dry-member" [someone who functions in a ward as a member would, but hasn’t been baptized], named Marie. On Sunday before church as we were leaving we prayed to see a miracle. I left thinking that some youth we contacted would come and that would be the miracle, but no. As we got through the classes, we got to Sacrament Meeting, and the youth we contacted weren't there. I was little bummed, started looking for the little miracles, and began to find them. By the end of the meeting I was satisfied, but then our Bishop came up to me and said, "Elder Jonson, Maríe wants me to baptize her this next weekend, would that be possible?" After picking my jaw up off the floor, I said that we would be able to do it. ;) I am so happy she can join her husband and daughter in the church and in just over a year get sealed in the temple! Basically the mission is awesome!

This week we get to have stake conference and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is coming!!!  This also means that he's going to visit with our mission and give us a special conference!!!  I'm so excited!!  That is all I have to report, and be sure to get your turkeys ready, we sure are!

Con Amor,
Elder Jonson

[Here are Tikal’s answers to some of my questions this past week.]    People say stuff like, "Oh New York!!  When I say I'm from the US. I've resorted to telling people that Utah is near California or near Las Vegas.  Everyone knows where those places are...The cold here is different.  It's a humid cold so it chills you to the bone...but it is still 15 degrees outside.  I don't know what that is in Farenheit....sorry. [59 degrees]

Christmas will be fun!!  Between the 24th and the 25th, 5 different families in the Ward have invited us over so it's going to be a great Christmas!!  
 
[This brings his mom great comfort to know he will be well taken care of for Christmas.  We are so grateful to all of them!]

 

Elder Jonson and Elder Loaiza

Elder Jonson & his new companion Elder Loaiza.
Maybe they're happy because McDonald's is near.

Week 44 - Happy November, Tree, and soccer for conversion?


11.10.14

Well first off I would like to notify you all that we found a 2 meter tall Christmas Tree in our apartment a couple days ago, so needless to say it is now up and has lights and everything on it. Anyway this past week has been so great!!  The other Elders had another double baptism!!  The Lord is blessing them like crazy!! 

This week we got to see a miracle with some kids playing soccer in a plaza.  We were walking along at 9:30 yesterday (Sunday) with a member from the Dominican Republic.  He said, "Hey, we should go talk to those kids. Do either of you know how to play futbol?"  I replied in the affirmative. J I walked over and asked if I could play with the ball for a second or two.  I did a couple tricks and they loved it.  We then started talking to the boys and invited them to play soccer with the Elders Quorum on Thursday at the church.  They sounded interested, so we kept going.  Henry, the member who was with us, asked them if they had any siblings and the most interested kid said yes and ran and grabbed his two sisters who were sitting on the bench with their friends.  They came over and talked to us and one asked us if we knew an Elder Nielsen out of the blue!  We asked where did he serve and she said in Bolivia so we didn't know him.  But, then she began to tell us that she got to Spain 3 months ago and right before she left was about to get BAPTIZED but didn't.  So basically we have a pre-prepared investigator now!!  I'm pumped!! 

Anyway, I have no time as always but I hope you all have a great week!

Cuidaos!  [Take care]

Elder Jonson

A Mysterious Tree Appears!

Christmas Tree delivered to the Elder's apartment. 
A very early and much appreciated gift! 
The Elders wasted no time getting it fully decorated. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 43 - FHE and Every Member a Missionary

This week has been fantastic!!  To start off, the members here in Sabadell 2 are the best!  Elder Loaiza's second day here, we passed by a member's house (Los Ortega) and mentioned to them that he had a growing hole in the side of his pants and they immediately brought out a change of pants and sewed his pants on the spot....It was incredibly nice! 
Then the members did something else that blew my mind this week.  Yesterday was Fast and Testimony meeting and so Hermano Ortega started off by bearing his testimony on Missionary Work, his wife then followed by bearing her testimony on Missionary Work and reading a part of her son's letter home, over the pulpit.  Followed by another member speaking about missionary work and then I bore my testimony of missionary work.  There was a continual line of members waiting to bear their testimonies and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them bore their testimony on Missionary Work.  Two girls from the Primary invited the ward to keep the commandments and INVITE THIER FRIENDS TO TALK TO THE MISSIONARIES!  Two return missionaries bore their testimonies of the divine work and then to cap it all off, our Spanish investigator Paula got up and bore her testimony about the example of the members.  She got up and started off by saying that she wasn't a member but she first came to church when a member invited her to his farewell...at that point in time she didn't believe in God and wanted nothing to do with religion.  She said, "....when I started coming I didn't believe in God but slowly I realized that what I saw in all of you (members) proved that God exists.  I now know that God exists, and I just want to thank you all for your example..."  It was the BEST Sacrament meeting I have ever been a part of!!  Really the members are the key to this work, without them we are limited on our success as missionaries.

To all you back at home or wherever in the world, remember that there is always someone watching our example as members.  We as members are the missionaries, not just the people with the name tag.  I would like to invite you all to hold a Family Home Evening and invite the Missionaries and a non-member friend or a less-active member to the Family Home Evening night.  I promise you that you will be able to feel the spirit stronger in your lives and you will be happier in everything.  I know that because I have felt and seen that from the missionary's point of view and know that it works.  I hope you all have a great week and I expect a report back after having the Family Home Evening. 

Con amor,
Elder Jonson

Halloween Picture

Tikal & Elder Skousen at Halloween

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 42 - Transfers bring 1st Native Companion

Well this last week has been fun!!  I got to go on a companion exchange with Elder Skousen from my home stake!  Shout out to Lehi North!  And I got to go with Elder Ahlstrom as he said goodbye to all the members in the ward.  He got transferred and my new companion is Elder Loaiza!  My first native companion!  He is from my MTC "group" and so now our zone has basically all my group in it....fun stuff!!!!!  He is from Colombia but has lived in Madrid for 13 years.  He's great and is working really hard at learning English and actually knows quite a bit!!  He's a champ!  I can't wait to see miracles!!
 
Anyway stories from last week.  Well last Monday, we had a visit fail and so we passed by a recent convert from Cuba (he's not a huge America fan, but he now loves American missionaries) and he let us in and fed us!!  Big miracle but on top of that, he occasionally works as security for Barcelona soccer games.  So he gave us each an official Barcelona pin!  He got the pins when he was on security duty for a Barça/Madrid game where they were playing for the league title!  Pep Guardiola (the Barcelona head coach) after the game came up to him and gave him a couple pins to thank him for his work!  So I now have a pin from the hand of Pep Guardiola!!!  Anyway good stuff!!  I'll send some pictures next week, my computer in this internet cafe can't connect with my camera so ya....anyway have a great week and don't forget to read the Book of Mormon!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson

Photo - Tikal with the Ortega Family

Tikal & Elder Ahlstrom with the Ortega Family
(the Dad was taking the Picture)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 41 - Camp Nou

The work here is going well.  We are starting to get more lessons now and we are developing great relationships with the members.  The members here are so amazing with missionary work!  They are always sharing the gospel!  There are 4 RMs in this ward who got back recently who all speak English and Spanish and are incredible!  They help us a ton.  Also the youth really help the work here. 
 
On preparation day we took a tour of the Barcelona stadium, Camp Nou.  It was great!!!  My favorite part was the commentary box.....it was amazing!!! It was a self guided tour, and we had to move quick to get back to Sabadell to go back to work on time.  I probably won't get to watch a game there until I come back to Spain after my mission. 
 
We have an investigator that we are teaching right now whose name is Paula.  She is 18 and is incredible.  We just want to get her family involved a little more before she is baptized.  To give you and idea, she likes learning even when we are not there teaching her, so the members help her out.  She goes to institute every week and all the youth activities and she saw conference.  Funny story about her, she found out that as members of the church we fast every first Sunday of the month so she FASTED right before Conference!!!!  She's great!  We're hoping she'll get baptized during the next month or two. 
 
Elder Jonson

Week 40 - Member References

10.13.14

Well I don't know if it didn't send or if I forgot to send it....anyway.  These last two weeks have been great!  My companion and I are getting along quite well and we are starting to see success!  We had the most amazing thing happen to us yesterday at church.  To give some background, the ward here in Sabadell 2 is the best member missionary ward in the Spain if not the world.  Like, the ward here functions better than anything the District videos could ever come up with.  An example of this would be the 17 investigators in church yesterday between two companionships.  Almost every single one was brought by the members....but after church yesterday, the Primary President's daughter (age 9) came up to Elder Ahlstrom and asked him if we covered a certain city in our area, Saint Cugat.  He replied that we did.  She then pulled out a folded strip of paper and said, "I gave a Book of Mormon to my favorite teacher and I want you guys to go help her."  That small strip of paper had a woman's name and address written in perfect lettering.  It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  Truly the members are the Angels spoken of in Alma 13:24.  I invite you all to share the gospel with someone in your lives and give them the chance to hear the gospel!  The members are the real missionaries in the world.  Let your light shine.  Love you all, have a great week!

 
Elder Jonson

Photos of Camp Nou

 
 
 

Tikal at the Barcelona Stadium, Camp Nou - the Largest stadium in Europe

The pitch at the stadium
Inside the Broadcast Booth
Tikal with Elder Skousen - Great Lehi Boys

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Week 39 - My Surroundings

Here is a little about my apartment and my new area.  Our piso is on the top floor and our piso has two floors, we sleep on the upper of the two.  It is a good sized piso and is fun being in there with 4 of us.  There aren't street vendors here like in the islands, but there are Kebab restaurants, which are not like the normal kebabs that we have back home.  Honestly I don't know what they are, but I don't think they're legal in the USA.  They're good though! 

We take the bus and the train systems all the time.  Our area is quite large so it is necessary.  Well this week the work is improving and conference was great!  It's fun to be able to understand people in Spanish!

We could not listen to either of the afternoon sessions as they did not start until late at night for us.  We will have to try to catch up in an internet cafe this week. On Sunday, we went to eat with the Ozcariz family and an investigator before conference.  Afterwards, we went to Bishop Merril’s house to watch conference in English.  Bishop Merril is from the state of Washington and he is in Spain with his family working for Hewlett Packard.  They are great!!  The ward here is incredible!! I am so happy to be here.  I hope you all have a great week and that the Lord will bless you.

Con Amor

Elder Jonson

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Week 38 - Teaching English

Hi everyone well this week has been great!!   We are working in the southern part of Sabadell, a city called Sant Cugat and a city called Cerdanyola for most of the time. We've gotten a couple new investigators and gotten fed a ton by the members here!!!  They are honestly the best!!! 
Sabadell is fantastic.

A lot of the people speak both Spanish and Catalan.  Catalan is basically a mix of English, Spanish, Portugese, French and who knows what.  It is a very deep throated language and so most people's voices here are generally deeper.  In Spanish its Buenos Dias, in Catalan its Bon Dia, or poco a poco (little by little in Spanish) is "poc a poc."  Those are some of the close ones to Spanish that I can remember and use with Catalan people.  I can get the basic idea of what they are saying but I don't understand everything.  I can understand the basic idea in a conversation in both Brasilian Portugeuse and Catalan but can't understand it all or speak it.  

Well for random experience for the week, my companion and I are still trying to get to know our area and so we were looking for a menos activo's house and took a wrong turn....so we had to hike through this forest that you can see on the right of the photo.  We were pretty proud of ourselves for making it through, while it was raining mind you and so Elder Ahlstrom posed for picture.  This week has been a blast and I've gotten to already love the members here in Sabadell so much!

Now for the subject line, for this past week we have been really working with Elder Skousen's companion.  Elder Cifuentes is a great Elder from Argentina who has lived in Spain for about 5 years, he has a girlfriend who speaks both English and Spanish but has never really been able to learn English.  Now we are helping him learn english and he's actually getting it!!  Being 18 and 19 year olds we obviously had to teach him so very applicable phrases for after the mission.  My favorite being "I am a lady slayer,"  meaning all the girls are dying to be his boyfriend.  It's been fun, and his English has improved quite a bit!  And I really enjoy helping and serving other missionaries as well as the people of Spain.  

This week I would invite you all to watch conference and take notes.  Then take the notes and things you learned and APPLY them to life.  Rembember OLA (Read, pray and go to church) and to look for opportunities to serve everyone around you.  Always be willing to share the gospel!  Have a great week and enjoy General Conference!
--
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson
Letters and Packages:
C/Calatrava 10-12 Bajos
Barcelona 08017
España

Photos - Week 38

 Elder Ahlstrom posing by the forested area they walked through while
trying to find a member's house

 Tikal in his CE Sabadell FC Jersey (the local soccer team)

 
Sabadell as seen from Tikal's Apartment
(courtesy of Elder Skousen)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 37 - Sabadell

Well hello everyone!  This week has been fantastic!  It has been a bit of an adjusting week just because we don't know our area at all....so we now know that we have a university in our area and two big cities that have a large population of the students that attend that university...It will be really fun talking to a bunch of people my age!  The ward here in my new area of Sabadell is incredible!!  Sabadell is about an hour outside of Barcelona in train and is still a part of Catalunya.  So everyone speaks Catalán.  There are a bunch more people here and stores!!!!  Last week was full of paper work but we still saw miracles so this week out on the street is going to be stupendous! 

Funny story from the week, I get to my piso the second night and guess who is there.  That's right the one Elder from my stake in this mission, ELDER SKOUSEN!!!!!  I get to talk to him all the time and he is such a stud!  The four Missionaries in this ward here are going to kill it!!!  I'm pumped!!!  This week I read something neat in the scriptures.  I was in the Book of Mormon and found one of my favorite scriptures, that reads, "O be wise, what can I say more?"  So people.  BE WISE this week!  Keep the commandments and follow the will of the Lord and everything will work out just fine!
 
Have a great week!
PS My Dad is the best he ordered me a Sabadell FC Jersey and Tie online last week right after finding out I got transferred here and I feel like a boss wearing them.
--
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson
Letters and Packages:
C/Calatrava 10-12 Bajos
Barcelona 08017
España

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week 36 - Transfers

Well that's it after 7 months there I am leaving the islands.  I'm getting transferred to Sabadell.  It is a little bit north of Barcelona and it has a WARD!!!!  I'm very excited and I get to use the word bishop for the first time in my mission!  Menorca is a fantastic island and I would recommend that everyone goes there during the summer!!  It is so pretty!  However that being said I am so excited to be here near Barcelona!  We are technically whitewashing because this is a new area for my companion as well even though he knows the members already.  Also I gave ELDER SKOUSEN A HUG today!!!  I saw him in the office today for transfers!!!   (Parker Shousen was assigned to Sabadell as well.  He and his companion are living in the same apartment as Tikal)
 
We had zone conference and it was amazing I love the islands so much!  Basically I love the mission and we have such great leaders and missionaries here!  Well no time as always!  Love you all and Pray, Read and Go to Church!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson
Letters and Packages:
C/Calatrava 10-12 Bajos
Barcelona 08017
España

Week 35 - Fiestas not Siestas here in Menorca

Well this week has been fun!  Got a package from home!!  Good stuff, thanks Mom and Dad!  Also we got to go to Palma for two days for Enfoque and for Zone Conference.  We got to go on splits with the missionaries there and I got to work in my old district for an evening!  I got to talk with a ton of the members there that I knew and at this point in my mission I could actually talk to them!!!  It was a blast!!
 
However the crazy part of the week started yesterday....Sunday was the official start of the Fiestas de Maó to end the summer!  They have a tradition dancing horse parade that goes around the entire city and they have all kinds of carnivals and crazy stuff.  A.K.A. Good luck Elders... Last night we went out to work it was so packed that we just spent our time trying to get back to our apartment...interesting stuff!  I don't think I've seen so many drunk people!  So wish me luck and we'll see if we can pick up some new investigators from this!!
The pictures attached are from sunday night and the morning gathering not even the show!
Also as a Mission and all the members in the area are starting the Book of Mormon from the beginning and reading 2-3 chapters a day so that we can finish by the end of the year!  I would like to invite all of you to do the same and focus on the testimonies, lessons, and attributes of Christ!  I promise you'll recieve many insights by doing this!
Con Amor,
 
Elder Jonson

Fiestas de Maó
You can see the dancing horses in the background
 

Fiestas de Maó at Night

Manuel's Car Once it was Finished - Not bad for a couple of Elders

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 34 A concert, spray painting cars and a game of Risk - Missionary work?

Hi everyone!  This week has been great!!  To start, last Preparation day we got to hear a concert from the balcony of our apartment of some pretty famous guy here in Spain.  There was no avoiding it so we weren't being disobedient... ;)

To finish off the previous story of Manuel's car, we sanded down the putty and SPRAY PAINTED over it...with a different color....he was totally fine with it and is very content.  

I got to work with the one and only Elder Dailey again this week as he flew out for an intercambio[splits].  He's so great!!  And then also we got to see great miracles in regard to Missionary work!  One happened with teaching a new investigator.  

A couple months ago my companion and I got contacted by a less active member who had just moved to Menorca with her Spanish boyfriend.  She gave us her number and we tried calling but she never answered...fairly standard...but we were walking down the street and we passed a new clothing store and saw her in there so we went in!  Turns out she and her boyfriend own the store and so we set up a visit with them for Sunday!  We got to have the visit and it went super well!!  He's a neat guy and loves American things so we played Risk after the visit...we are far from finishing!!  

The other miracle is that a less active member will be able to come to church for the first time in about 6 months!!!  Her name is Macarena and she's incredible!! Basically things are improving here as always!!!  

Remember to always smile and things will get better, just be patient!!

Have a great week!  Cuídense! [Take care]

Con Amor,

Elder Jonson

Manuel's car repair

 
Here's the work of the missionary auto body repair shop.  Any takers?

Exerpt from Tikal's companion's blog, Elder Dixon

This week was pretty good here in Menorca.   We are having a pretty great time, and seeing miracles.  One that was pretty neat happened Tuesday actually. We were going to go visit a lady named Maria, who really hasn't been progressing.  She wouldn't ever read the Book of Mormon, and she really likes all the saints that she has, so this visit was planned as a possible last, if she wasn't reading the Book of Mormon. Well, we went, and to start with, we were just talking, and I noticed that all of her saint statues, which are usually on the top shelf in a corner, had all been moved to the bottom shelf, which was surprising.  So, it was even more surprising when she let us know that she had been reading, every night, and was in chapter 4 of first Nephi. She told us that she had had the book for so long, at least for 3 years, maybe more, and she hadn't ever taken the time to even open it, until one day last week, she decided to just try a bit, and she got hooked. So, she started at the title page, and read through the whole introduction, all the testimonies, and everything.  It's really great, and so we have a visit with her set up tomorrow.  Then on top of that story, we went to another investigators house, and it was planned to be the same kind of lesson, and we again were surprised that she has read a bit.  Not very much, but she committed to read every single day, at least one verse, so we will see how it goes. We are finally coming out of summer, and people seem to have a bit more time.
 
So, to end here is a fun story.  We were in a lesson, and explaining to some tiny kids why we call each other brother or sister in the church, since we're all children of God, and so on.  Well..Elder Jonson was trying to give an example of who we call people "hermano so and so, or hermana so and so" only problem? he said "so and so" in English, and we were teaching Bolivians, where apparently, that's what they say to mean dumb, or stupid. We had a pretty good laugh over that one, once he saw the confused looks on all their faces:)

Week 33 Fixing Stuff

Aug. 25th 2014

This week has been fun!  We got to see two different lighthouses on the island and a bunch of other fun stuff for our Preparation days!  This week has been fun!  I've been learning all kinds of stuff!  This week we got to serve one of the recent converts here in the branch!  We went and worked on cleaning up Manuel's (the member) field.  And we got to fill in some scrapes on his car with putty...fun stuff!! [See picture]  Great experiences!!  Honestly the people here in Menorca who come regularly are some of the strongest members in the world!!!
 
I'm so thankful to be here and hope you all come visit this island someday and enjoy it as much as I have!  
 
This week I have been studying Alma 5 and it is a great chapter for all the members and non members of the church.  I invite you all to study it and apply it to your lives.  Have a great week!  

Goats & girls

 
This picture comes from the road coming back from a lighthouse, there was a sign on a gate that wasn't closed that said, "Close the gate, there's goats." And sure enough a little ways down the road that is barely big enough for one car to pull over to let the other pass by on, some hikers didn't want to try to pass the goat as the car was....The island is quite dry during the summer and up on the north side of the island looks almost like a flat southern Utah. Surrounded by perfect blue ocean water, of course.  


Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 32 Menorca is fun!


August 18, 2014
Menorca is fun!
Hi everyone, Elder Jonson here, this week has been fun!!  To start off a fun little experience Elder Dixon and I had yesterday.  We started sacrament meeting as normal, we were seated on the "stand" to bless the sacrament.  The Branch President got up and gave the announcements and we sang the opening hymn.  He got up gave the little talk of branch business and sat down and the sacrament hymn started playing.  He then leaned over to my companion and said something.  Elder Dixon then turned to me with a grimace and said, "Well, we've got talks."  So we blessed the sacrament and I got up first while he went back and translated for some English tourists and then we switched.  We literally had about 4 minutes to think about what we were going to talk about.  Not something that happens every day!  But I guess it went ok because nobody said anything and when you talk about Jesus, mixed with sharing scriptures you can't go wrong...Anyway, gotta love mission life!!  

In other news the work here is great, we have been having a lot of member visits recently and it apparently has been helping because we are getting more and more people in church!!!  Hopefully the work continues forward!!!  Anyway I hope you all have a great week like the one I'm going to have!  Remember to be strong and of good courage and the Lord will help you in any challenge!
--
Con Amor,

Elder Jonson

Week 31 Heat and humidity!

August 11, 2014
 
Wow this week has been hot!!!  The other day I got out of the shower and just kind of gave up on drying off...maybe that's why old Spanish men don't wear deodorant....anyway!  This week has been great!  We got to visit a lot of the members and go to Palma for a Specialized Training!  Elder Dailey is my new district leader and he is training so it was fun to meet more people ‘younger’ than me in the mission!  About the trip though, recently the mission secretary has told us to be 2 hours early to our flights so we don't miss them.  Here in Menorca the airport is quite small so we always come about an hour early.  But this time we decided to follow the guide of our mission secretary.  Our flight departed at 7:05 am so we got up at 4 am and got a taxi at about 5 we got to the airport at 5:10 and IT WASN'T EVEN OPEN!!!!  We had to wait for 20 minutes outside before they opened the doors and until 6 before any employees were there to print off our tickets....needless to say we were rather tired...but when we got to the training it was great and it really was nice to see other missionaries! 

Anyway the attached picture is of my new personalized Avarcas (traditional Menorquin shoes) and they are so great!  They are made of leather and recycled tires.  Kinda fun!  

This week has been full of learning experiences and one of the biggest things I've learned is about Christlike Attributes, I invite all of you to read in Preach My Gospel the Chapter on this because it really can help us all come unto Christ.  I specifically loved the section on Humility. When we are humble we can see miracles.  I testify that is true, because I have seen it happen! I invite all of you to humbly read the Book of Mormon looking for answers and I promise you, you will find what you are looking for. 

Have a great week!

Cuidaos,

Con amor,

Elder Jonson 

Look at my cool 'new' shoes

Traditional Menorquin shoes, "Avarcas"
Can't wait to see Tikal wearing these back home.

Binidali Beach

Week 30 - BAPTISM!!


Tuesday, 8.5.14
This week has been fantastic!!!  We got to go see some of the ruins here on the island that are from before Christ's time and we got to fly to and from Palma for Zone meetings.  But above all:  WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!! 
Here is the excerpt from my letter to the mission president:
This week we had the baptismal service for Margarita! She is so incredible! The way she got in contact with the missionaries was a little bit long but it all started with a contact. Elder Thorpe and I were on an Intercambio (missionary splits) in June and we basically chased down a lady pushing a stroller and got her information. Later, Elder Neumiller(my old companion) and I went back and had a visit with her and taught her the Restoration, she loved it. We tried to get another visit with her but she was always working, and there was very rarely a man in the house so we couldn't enter. Finally, we figured it out, another intercambio rolled around and we were going to be in a trio with Elder Jennings (my trainer.) We went to do the visit and the lady (Dolores) introduced us to her younger sister Margarita. We taught the Plan of Salvation and they both loved it!  We gave Margarita a Book of Mormon and put her on fecha [baptismal date set]. As we continued to pass by[taught] they both accepted everything we taught and two weeks after giving the Book of Mormon to Margarita she was baptized! The testimony Margarita bore at her baptismal service was so splendid. She said that she felt that God was now happy with her and that she felt very happy! She then said that she had felt a part of this happiness two weeks before when she had started reading the Book of Mormon. This experience has reaffirmed one of my favorite phrases: People who read the Book of Mormon, GET BAPTIZED. Menorca is truly an island of miracles!
Margarita is so great!  She is from Equatorial Guinea and she's so incredible. 

In other news, Transfers are today and I'm staying in Menorca.  Elder Dailey [from Tikal’s club soccer team in Lehi] is our new district leader!  He is also training for the first time!  We have another meeting in Palma on Friday even though we had a different one last week.  This one is Specialized Training.  And then to top it off there is a Mini Transfer the 20th.  We've got such a great mission!!

For another fun little story, I'm very proud of three of the young members in this branch.  Jade (11), Ariana (9), and Ario (4) all came to Sacrament Meeting by themselves because their mom (Alejandra) had to work until the third hour.  This family is so incredible!  Everyone here is working like crazy so that when all the tourists go away they'll have money for the winter, it's kind of sad to watch, but people do what's necessary for their families! 

Stay strong in the Church and read the Book of Mormon!!

Con amor,

Elder Jonson

 

Foto:  Just a nice little area here in Menorca

--

Con Amor,

 

Elder Jonson

Ruins from BEFORE Christ's time


This looks a little like Stonehenge.

Baptism of Margarita!


L to R:  Elder Dixon, Tikal, Margarita, Sister & Brother Clark (Full time missionaries from Panguitch, Utah - Tikal mentions them often as being like his parents on the island.)

Week 29- A Tribute to Mothers!


Week 29    7.28.14

Hey everyone, this week has been so great!  We have seen so many miracles!  I want to share a fantastic experience with you guys that we had this week!  As missionaries we kind of get a little nervous when we have to teach certain lessons.  Anyway, we went into a lesson planning to teach about the Word of Wisdom, and our investigator was silent throughout the lesson and at the end she said, “Well I don't drink or do any of those things.  My mom taught me when I was young not to do those!”  The lesson to be learned is, kids, follow the advice of your mothers, and mothers teach your kids well!  We talked about this the other day in church, how the counsel of our mothers is what we hold on to most, so for you teenagers who are a wee bit rebellious (you know who you are) ease up a bit and listen.  And mothers, your kids will turn out fine with your love and council.  Trust them to learn.  Anyway have a great week everyone!
PS  Just a good old preparation day picture.  And a picture from what we saw while working last night.
--
Con Amor,

Elder Jonson

Keeping a safe distance from the beach


Sunset on the island of Menorca

 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pictures from Menorca

 A New Convert Making Paella for the Missionaries
 Tikal & Elder Dixon with the Gough Family from Ireland
(Tikal and his companion translated into English the church meetings for them)
Menorca at Dusk