Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 16

Hey everyone how are you all doing?  I hope you are all enjoying life!  This past week has been great!  We got to see miracles and weird stuff as usual!  Well for lack of time I'll focus on the two big events of the past week!  The first being Jesus.
Jesus is the most prepared person for baptism ever!  He has been reading in the Book of Mormon and all the pamphlets and the Gospel Principles book.  He has been highlighting in all of them and taking notes!  He is so great, but today we were calling to confirm a family night we had set up with him and a member and he told us that he is leaving the island for a job for the ENTIRE SUMMER sometime this week.  So baptism on Saturday isn't looking very probable...however we are not going to give up that easily.  The call came fast so there could be a change in the plans fast as well.  We'll see what happens and roll with it!  
The second and more positive event is with Kevin the 13 year old who just got baptized.  His family aren't members but we asked him to be a missionary and be an example to his family.  Last week we had a lesson with him about temples and baptisms for the dead.  As we were teaching, he seemed bored and it seemed like he wasn't listening intently but we kept going.  At one point in the lesson I said, "The reason we do baptisms for the dead is so that people can go to the Celestial Kingdom."  I didn't think he thought too much about it but we were walking down the road and out of the blue on Wednesday, Norah, Kevin's mom called us and asked us to come over.  So we came over and she told us that she wanted to be baptized but Luis, her husband, doesn't want to be.  She said she doesn't want to divide the family so we are going to try to get Luis on board.  But anyway, the reason she decided she wanted to be baptized is because Kevin came home and taught her about temples and that "You can't get to the Celestial Kingdom without being baptized."  Kevin is such a great missionary already!  I hope everything works out with them!!!
Well this week is going to be exciting, we only have two more weeks of this transfer and either Elder Jennings or I are likely going to get transfered!  So the pressure is building!  Here we go!  
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson

Plaza de Torros - Bull fighting in Palma de Mallorca

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 15 - The elevator trap and baptizing Jesus?

Wow.  This week has been crazy!  So much has happened!!! Well we'll start with the beginning of the week!  This email is going to be long....
Monday, we got to eat with some members and that is always fun because you get to learn a bunch of new words!!  It's always a blast!
Tuesday, I got to go on my first Intercambio (companion exchange) and because Elder Jennings is a District Leader, I got to go with one of the Zone Leaders!  I went with Elder McDermott to the Poniente area of Palma and worked there for 24 hours.  Elder McDermott is from Utah and went to Alta High School and actually played football with Carson Bodon for those of you who know him...anyway he's such a great missionary!  We had some great lessons and some great contacts that night.
The next morning we woke up, did the normal mission routine, and then went out and contacted and passed by people.  It was fun and interesting as always!  Around 1:30 we went back to their apartment to grab my stuff to make the switch back to our normal companions and as we were going up in their elevator, we got up about 2 and 1/2 floors and stopped.  It was so crazy!  We pressed the alarm/call button and called the people to come get us out and they said somebody would be there in 20 minutes.  Two calls and an hour and a half later the guy finally got there.  It was super funny though because Elder McDermott and I had to sit there in this elevator doing nothing but try to get service on the phone so he could make calls.  It was rather entertaining!  Got out and now I have a decent story.
Anyway moving forward on Thursday we got to hear an area 70 talk about the Book of Mormon and show us proof that it was true based on historical things and the fact that Joseph Smith did not know anything about those things.  It was cool, he was Elder Mendoza and he seemed really nice.
Friday we got to have our quarterly missionary interviews with President Pace, and he is such a great guy!  Hermana Pace showed us the Because of Him video from the church and I would exhort all of you to share the crap out of that video on Facebook and Twitter if you haven't already!  It was such a good video!  Also on Friday everyone from our zone flew in and the Ayudantes (Assistants to the Presidents).  So to make it so everyone could be doing something they sent everyone on intercambios!  Elder Jennings and I got the opportunity to go on companionship exchanges with the Ayudantes!!! Such a cool experience for me only having 3 months in the mission.  Normally only the Zone Leaders go on intercambios with the Ayudantes so that was a cool experience!

Then Saturday rolled around and Elder Evans gave the Zone and Sister Training Leaders a conference that all of the normal missionaries from our Zone got to sit in on!  The Levante (My district) and Poniente Districts sang again and it was wonderful!  Elder Evans gave an interesting conference and I gained some new ideas from it but didn't like the way he presented it too much...but it was still good!

Wow Sunday was insane.  We had the District Conference (equivalent of Stake Conference) on Sunday, and because our District is three islands it made it a bit more interesting.  We had to try to find this random college that it was scheduled in because the Chapel wasn't big enough for everyone.  So we walked for about 40 minutes with our investigators trying to find it.  But it was good in the end.  Kind of awkward because every speaker (including President and Hermana Pace) spoke in Spanish and then they had to translate the talks of Elder and Sister Evans over the pulpit because they were speaking in English...but it made it easier to understand.  After the conference we got transferred a reference from the Poniente Hermanas.  The investigator is a 22 year old kid named Jesus who is GOLDEN.  He has a great belief in God and wants to serve a mission!  He agreed with everything we talked to him about and we went to a member's house for lunch afterward and they talked about basically EVERYTHING with him and he ate it up!!!  Those members were so great!!!  I wish all members would help the missionaries like that!  We basically didn't even have to say anything!  He got a copy of the Book of Mormon on Friday and is already into 2 Nephi!!  I can't wait to baptize him!!  He also can sing really well!  Look up the video "Perdidos en otro lugar" on YouTube and he is the kid singing with the guitar!  He is a STUD!

Well got to go, love you all!  Hope you have a great week!  ¡Cuídense! 
-- Con Amor,
Elder Jonson

Friday, April 18, 2014

Week 14

Hey everyone!!

Well this week has been fantastic!!  Well first things first, BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!  Elder Jennings and I got our first baptism in our area for 3 transfers!!!  I am so excited!!! 

We baptized Kevin a 13 year old Bolivian. For the past month we have been walking with him to English class every week and talking with him and giving him the lessons slowly. We originally started teaching his family but his mom had to go to Switzerland for a month to work. We were planning on waiting and teaching the entire family and baptizing them all but the time was right for Kevin. It was the second visit we had with the entire family after the mother returned from working, and she started the visit off with talking about how Kevin was getting bad grades in school and how she didn't know what to do with him. We listened to her talk and Elder Jennings asked if we could say a prayer together. We then proceeded to talk about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and how it can help us make decisions in our lives and give us the guidance we need in times of difficulty. 

The Mom, Norah, then asked us how he could get that. We brought up Baptism, and invited Kevin to be baptized that weekend because he had already been to church 3 times and had met the branch presidency! She liked the idea and then turned to Kevin and asked him if he wanted to be baptized. He paused then nodded with a big smile on his face! It was amazing after that, we were all super happy! 

(We kind of dug ourselves a hole here though by setting a baptismal date for 3 days later...but it all turned out well in the end!)

Anyway both of his parents are Catholic, but Norah is really interested in the church and baptism and his dad, Luis, is also interested but likes his Catholic traditions a bit more. They WILL be baptized in the near future!

I got to perform the baptismal ordinance and it was such a great feeling being able to bring a soul closer to God! I plan on continuing forward with more baptisms!  What wasn't a great feeling was the lukewarm water and the gasp Kevin made when he came out of the water....pues....ya... anyway it was great!!  And I didn't mess up the prayer or not put him all the way under or anything like that so that was good!
Missionary work is so great!!!  So last preparation day all the other Elders in my piso bought Mallorca jerseys so we went and played basketball in them today and to be honest, we looked kind of fruity all wearing the same thing.  

Our original baptismal date for last Saturday with Collings fell, but I think he will be baptized sometime around the end of the month or the beginning of the next.

Aside from baptisms, our relationship with the members here is improving drastically, we got 7 lessons last week with a member present!  That's a tie for Elder Jennings best ever and my all time high!  Also, our relationship with less active members is improving.  We went and had lunch with Lorenzo and Liz who are less active because he works on Sunday and she has to manage their young son and a less than one year old daughter.  He served a mission in the Canary Islands so he knows how missionary life is.  Anyway he gave us a ride back to our piso after we ate, but we had to go pick up his kid from school first.  We got to ride in his car, which is something I miss...moving on, he turned on some apostate music, and it was in English but the first two songs were really dumb.  The last one though was one I knew, Kids by MGMT, and that was a little apostate to be listening to...ah well.

The work here in the islands is growing so much overall, last month we broke the record number of baptisms in a month in our zone by getting 11!  Already this month our zone has 4!!  It is so great to be a part of this great zone!  Also this week, the missionaries from the two other islands are flying in for a conference with an Area 70 one day, staying the night and having another conference with a different 70 who is part of the first quorum,  AND Presidente Pace is coming out to buy us lunch because we broke the record and be there for all of the conferences!  It's going to be a crazy week!!! 
Well love you all lots!  I hope that you all are doing well!  If you have strong faith, keep going forward.  If not, get strong faith and keep going forward.  I exhort all of you reading this to read the Book of Mormon with real intent whether for the first time or the 100th time and pray to know it is true.  If you do this I promise you a response from our Heavenly Father.  I love you all and have a great week!
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson
Tikal's First Baptism - Exciting day for Kevin and Tikal

Photo - Quadruplets?

Tikal and all the Elders in his apartment bought Mallorca Soccer jerseys

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 13

Pues this last week has been fantastic!  We saw some awesome miracles here!  This week we might have a baptism for Collings!!  I'm so excited!!!

Well to start off conference is AWESOME as a missionary!!!  It is so addressed to us!!  We had to miss two of the sessions because we had to be in our apartment by 10 pm and we couldn't go to the church.  Ah well I will try to download them sometime so we can listen to them in Piso.  But onto the miracles!  

We were walking through a plaza and Elder Jennings told me to start the next contact as he pointed to a family sitting on a bench.  I walked up to them and asked them if they believed in God.  The Mom harshly responded "NO," followed by a "Well yes, but we are Catholic."  But that didn't stop us.  Just because someone is a member of another church doesn't mean they can't convert!  After a couple more words, they suddenly changed into really nice people and we ended up getting their number and address, having a lesson, and setting up a return visit!  It was fantastic!!

The next miracle happened when we were really trying to be obedient.  Elder Jennings and I were at the church for a young single adult activity and the senior missionaries made food for everyone after.  We had a plate and Hermana Gardner offered us more.  It was already 9:50 and we were going to have to run home to make it on time.  We were debating on accepting the second plate of food or running home.  We knew what we had to do, so we declined and began running!  There came a point when we were about halfway home and we knew we weren't going to make it on time but we had to keep running.  I yelled out to Elder Jennings, "we will be blessed for our obedience!"  We kept running, FYI running in a suit and church shoes SUCKS.  But not a minute after I had yelled that phrase, the Elders Quorum President's Wife pulled up in her car and asked us if we needed a ride!  It was such a blessing and we were even able to accept the ride because there was a male old enough in the car!  We managed to get to piso 1 minute late, but it would have been later without the ride!  The Lord really does bless us for our obedience!  

This last week has been so fun!  I have gotten to talk to Elder Dailey about all kinds of old fun Utah County stuff!  It has been a blast having him in Piso!!  The mission is so great!!! Well it is now almost time to get back to work, so I'll email you all next week love you all!
Con Amor,

Elder Jonson
C/Nicolau de Pacs 23, 2A
Palma de Mallorca 07006
C/Calatrava 10-12 Bajos
Barcelona 08017

Photo - Mallorca FC Jersey

Tikal with Elder Jennings and Elder Dailey in their Mallorca FC Jerseys

Photo - The Palma Cathedral

Tikal at the Palma Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca - Apr 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Week 12

Well hello everyone!  This email is coming on a Tuesday this week because we are having TRANSFERS!!  I was pretty sure I wasn't moving but I still got super excited about them!!  Elder Cappellucci our district leader was "dying" or going home because he had served for his two years, but we didn't know who was coming in and who was going to be the new district leader!

Well I'm staying in Palma, my companion, Elder Jennings is now District Leader, and Elder Buttars (Elder Cappellucci's old companion) is getting ELDER DAILEY!!!!!!  Elder Drew Dailey is going to be living in the SAME apartment as me and is going to be a part of my District!!!!  I am so excited!!!!!  (Elder Dailey played soccer with Tikal on Arsenal for many years - Tikal was excited that they would be in the same mission and had hoped their paths would cross)
Anyway on to the weekly recap!!  Last Tuesday, I had to get up early and fly to Barcelona to pick up my Spanish ID!!  I got there all fine and I got to see my friends from my group and talk to them while we were going to pick up our ID's (called DNI's).  I also got to spend time with the Office Elders and the Assistants to the President.  That was pretty cool because they are fantastic missionaries!  Anyway all went well and then I had to fly back to the island.  I got to the Airport and went and printed of my ticket, and I was on standby....bleh....anyway I wanted to get back so I was really nervous that I wasn't going to get on the flight.... Well long story short, after all the stress, I got one of the TWO extra seats on board!!! I was so blessed!!!  
Also this week we got to develop our relationship with the members more.  We are really starting to develop a fantastic relationship with Lorenzo and Liz who are less actives, and the branch presidency!  I am so excited because when we work with members we are bound to get baptisms!!
One of the highlights of my week was eating a Bolivian food called Pique Macho.  It took me two days to finish it!  It was delicious!!  It has peppers, tomatoes, sour cream, piquante sauce, hot dogs, beef, and onions in it and it was AMAZING!!  I need to learn how to make it!  
Overall the mission is great!!  Our zone got more baptisms this month (11) than it EVER has before!!!  So that was pretty cool!!!  I wish we had a baptism to contribute, but we will definitely be contributing baptisms to that tally this month!!  
Well gotta run so love you all!  Remember to follow the spirit and look for opportunities to serve because God blesses people through others!  Be that blessing in someone's life!
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson

Picture: Bolivian Dish - Pique Macho

Pique Macho
(Bolivian Food in Spain)