Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week 19, Menorca

[This is week 19 on Tikal's 19th birthday on May 19th.  Crazy!]

Well hello everyone!  Hope you all are doing well!  This week has been different but great!  I got to explore my new area a bit with my new companion Elder Neumiller!  He's a great guy and is actually an inch shorter than me...weird stuff!  I'm getting along with him really well!  The area is a little bit different than my last one, mostly due to the fact that there aren't nearly as many people!  But either way it's fun!
This last week has been full of fun experiences!  In one week I knocked more doors than I ever had in my entire life!  We found some great people and hopefully will be able to dig out some success!  In church last week we had an about average attendance of 35 in Sacrament meeting.  A kind of crazy thing to think about is that on the entire island, I am one of 6 worthy Melchezidek priesthood holders...and 5 of those are missionaries...crazy stuff!
This is such a unique experience I have and I love it so much!!  I'm learning a lot and I can't wait to get to know all the members here better!

A little about the island.  It has two main cities, and the church and the Elders are in the city Maó (in Menorquin) or Mahón (in Spanish).  This island is where Mayo comes from!!  It is very windy here during the winter but is very hot during the summer!  It is super pretty and feels a lot more Spanish than my last area!  There also aren't as many people from Africa or Asia here...anyway I can't wait to baptize the crap out of people here!     [I wanted to edit that sooo badly, but those are his words!]

Hope you all have a great week!
Con amor,
Elder Jonson
Letters and Packages:
C/Calatrava 10-12 Bajos
Barcelona 08017

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Week 18 - Transfers!

Hello everybody!!  How are you all doing!  This past week has been a great one!  To start off Elder Jennings and I got "Pautas" which translate to Standards of Excellence for the first time in my mission and his!!  Kind of a big deal!!  [He mentioned these requirements to us in a previous letter.  There are 7 criteria, of which they have to meet 5 which included: # of member-present visits with investigators, baptisms scheduled, baptisms performed, # new contacts in one week, # of discussions in that week, etc.  It sounded like they worked extremely hard to achieve that "Pautas" status.]
Also got to Skype for Mothers Day!  It was super fun seeing the family and the dog, for a little bit! Technology is so great!  Even though that's about the extent of what we can use as missionaries...

So Saturday night we got the call to know transfers, and I'm transferred!!  I'm doing something that basically nobody does in our mission and that is ISLAND HOPPING!  I got transferred to the island just north of Mallorca, called Menorca!  It's still in the same Zone so I'll still get to see everyone from my old apartment!  I took a flight this morning at 8:15 and got here by 9.  And so now I'm enjoying a full preparation day!  My new companion is Elder Neumiller and he's great!!  He's from Mission Viejo, California and has about 9 months in the mission!  Great guy!!  I'm super excited to serve here, in an even smaller branch!  It's going to be a great experience!!  

I can't wait to get to know this island better as we go contacting and visiting members and investigators!  Hope you all are doing well and are loving life!  Remember to be grateful for the gospel, because a lot of people don't have it in their lives.  Always be looking to share it!  So much stuff happens in a week, but I can't remember it all in the moment, so just make me read through my journal when I get back! ;)
Have a fantastic week, and read your scriptures!
-- Con Amor,
Elder Jonson

Finally, taller than his companion!

[This is a letter I thought I would include because it had a few details that his general letter didn't have.]

Hi mom,
Flew straight to Menorca at 8:15 in the morning and at 8:50 got off the plane, super cool!  Kinda windy here, but I've heard that's normal!  I'm taller than my companion Elder Neumiller which is kind of weird after having Elder Jennings.  He's a great guy!  From Mission Viejo California and is pretty cool!  Clothing is all holding up, I just flew with both my bags.[He thought he was going to have to leave one behind until a future flight]  The office worked something out.  It'll be so much fun here!  We are basically starting over in this area, so we are going to go find!!!  It'll bring lots of great experiences!!  I was told by the other Elders here that I should just have all letters sent to the office because it takes awhile for mail to get here.  I'll probably only be here for two transfers because I've already been on an island for 3 months...we'll see though!  Super excited for everything and hope you all are doing well!
Con amor,
Elder Jonson

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week 17 - Happy Cinco de Mayo

Hey everyone!  How are you all?  Hopefully good, if not, always focus on the bright side of life and look for the small miracles in life. 
This past week has been rather crazy!  First, as stated last week, Jesus got a job in the Canary Islands and so he left.  Although it's not a great thought, we are beginning to think he found anti-Mormon material and used the job as an excuse...we'll see if he's still around this week.  Anyway, the point is, he didn't get baptized... :( Ah well, as missionaries, bad stuff happens but we have to focus on the positive things!  Over the past week we have been able to visit with a lot of the members and establish a better relationship with them and that has been super fun!  Last Monday we had a Family Home Evening with Los Carballo who are so great and have a son on a mission in New Jersey!  Their kids are crazy!!!!  It was fun though.

Next, as the week continued, we continued to get more and more positive.  On Wednesday, we did companionship exchanges and I was ELDER DAILEY's companion for the night!!!!  It was so much fun and we got to go teach a couple lessons together!  I have really gotten to know him better on the mission than I ever did when we were on the same soccer team!  His Spanish is really good and he testifies really well!
On Friday, we had 7 LESSONS!!!  It was so amazing, we started with only a few planned but everything just came together!!  It was amazing.  Ok I want to give some advice from a missionary's point of view.  HELP THE MISSIONARIES WITH VISITS!  Lessons go so much better with a member present!  And please help the Elders not just the Sister missionaries.  I know the Sisters are nicer but just deal with us for a bit ;)  

Saturday there was a baptismal service for the other Elders in our District and I gave my first talk in Spanish.  Went fairly well I guess, I just talked about the Holy Ghost and shared a couple scriptures. Honestly it was so much easier in Spanish than it would've been in English....

Sunday, we got to have dinner with District President (equivalent of Stake President) Barraza and his family!  They were so much fun!  They are from Argentina and have two boys and two girls.  I learned so many new soccer words in Spanish!  Anyway the point is, feed the missionaries, you get to develop great relationships with them! 

Well Preparation Day is coming to a close, and after playing volleyball for a couple hours with the other district in Palma, I'm excited to get back to work!  Hope you are all doing well and have a great week!
Con Amor,
Elder Jonson