Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 102 - Feliz Navidad


Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!  Hope everything goes well this Christmas season and that we all remember the true meaning of Christmas.  If you haven't shared the church's Christmas video already, please do.  It is great!  We are seeing miracles from it in the mission.

Feliz Navidad!


Elder Jonson

Preparing Milanesa for Zone Meeting
with a Member and Elder Latteier
Cooking Milanesa 
The Finished Product
 Posing before Zone Meeting
Lunch at Zone Meeting
A Funny Spanish Christmas Carol
Ward Christmas Dinner


Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 101 - Caga Tio


Right now we have a good lady from Cameroon who we are teaching.  We would love to have her get baptized around Christmastime as that is such a special time of year.  She is getting really close. In other news one of my favorite companions, Elder Male, is now in our zone so that's fun!
Today we have to set up for our Zone Conference tomorrow.  Most of the time, especially if we have new missionaries in the zone, we have Zone Conference in English. But if there are a lot of natives in our zone we speak in Spanish.  This week we will most likely do the meeting in Spanish. 

That big Elder from last week’s photos is in his second transfer in the field.  I think he weighs close to 300 lbs. He is a big kid.
Picture of Tikal in the Subway

The picture below is of me posing as Caga Tio.  It is a little log with a smiley face wearing a traditional Catalan hat.  The translation is "poo log".  Beginning on the 8th of December, kids cover their caga tio to keep it warm and feed it every night so that on Chrismas Eve it will poop out gifts and treats for the kids. 

 Caga Tio

Tikal Dressed as Caga Tio

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Week 100 - Staying in Hospitalet


This week we had transfers. I didn't get transferred, and neither did my companion. So we're going to be together for 4 1/2 months.  I'm really excited to finish my mission here in Hospitalet.  Today we get to take out new missionaries again since they do not receive their trainers until tomorrow, so I've got a short preparation day.
Anyway this week has been ok, we found some good people to teach but we didn't have a whole lot of lessons so that's not too great. But we are really excited to baptize someone this month. Also there are two baptisms in the district this week so it'll be super good!! Also there's a great member who is giving me a ton of clothes, he's such a great person. We're good friends. Hope all goes well this week. 

Please send any packages to c/Pujos 33 2 Hospitalet, EspaƱa 08904
I will be here for the rest of my mission.

Riding bikes in Barcelona with his district

 Picture of Tikal's district - Wow that one Elder is tall.
Tikal's companion (next to Tikal is 6.0)
 Elders from Tikal's piso
View from in front of Tikal's piso

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Week 99 - Tonsillitis & Staying Positive


This week was a little rough.  Last week’s illness turned out to be strep, so that was interesting. I literally slept all Monday, nothing on Monday night, Tuesday all day, a little Tuesday night, and then made an appointment with the doctors, but not until the following Wednesday the 2nd of December....so the mission just told me to go to the ER.  So I went and complained a little, got in, and got a prescription. I'm kind of half wondering if I could've just gotten the drug over the counter. It only cost me €9,95 - gotta love socialized medicine when you aren't paying any taxes.... ;)

We got close on the goal of baptizing 2 people per week as a zone. We finished the 4 weeks with 5 baptisms. So not too shabby. Our zone average for baptisms per month this year is about 5,1 so that's on track with where we have been.  We are going to do better this month with a goal of a least one baptism per companionship in the Zone. To help motivate our Zone, we are giving out Christmas ornaments to everyone like the ones we got in our last Concilio (see picture below).

Well we had a really good investigator for a little while, and now we are struggling with him.  He has some issues in his life with the law of chastity.   We will continue to work with him to overcome these. 

I am loving the mission!  Right now is such a great time to be here in Barcelona, for some reason I have a ton of energy. I'm sorry I will not be coming home in December as planned. I believe it is the Lord's will for me to stay.  Yes it will be sad not to be home for Christmas, but like we learned in a recent mission conference, we need to think positively. After Sister Dayton's husband was killed in a car accident she went to a counseling class where she was told to take every negative thing that ever happened and say, "That's great!" It's really helped me be positive.

I'm doing super well, we're working on getting more references this week.
Gift received at Concilio - They plan to give a similar gift to all the
Zone to motivate them to baptize in December.

 Mission Concilio
On P-Day the Elders in Tikal's Piso rode around the Sagrada Familia cathedral on bikes.  Below are some pictures of the cathedral and the Guadi house


Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 98 - Sick


No letter from Tikal this week.  He was sick on P-Day but he did send the attached video clip.

Week 97 - Training and Progress


My week has been good. This week one of the miracles we saw was with our investigator Yuri. We've been talking to him for a couple weeks off and on and trying to help him understand that he too can believe that Jesus Christ is our savior and the son of God. So on Saturday we saw him working and went to talk to him, and he told us that he wanted to try the "baptism thing." We sat there rather stunned as he explained that he really loves the way he feels in the church and with the members and said he'd like to give it a shot. He wants to know if it is true and he is already showing real intent, so we're going to set a fecha (baptismal date) with him this week. I'm super excited!!! Por fin baptism!
Other than that all is swell, hearing a lot about the Paris attacks, but not worried at all, you know how I am. Tomorrow we have Specialized Training then on Wednesday a Special Conference with members of the quorum of the Seventies, so that should be good! Good looking week this week!

Elder Jonson

Tikal with the Elders from his piso
Elders Latteier, Stratton and Tyson

At a ward BBQ

Week 96 - Extending for Eight Additional Weeks


I prayed about extending and I received my answer to stay.  I am super excited about the opportunity to serve a little longer. I'm sorry if it causes problems, but I'm sure there's a bigger thing going on in the Lords plan. I know there's something else I need to do, someone else I need to help. I'll be entirely honest and say I didn't feel comfortable at all with the December date, so I changed it. I'm happy to be serving the Lord as a missionary in Barcelona, Spain. My new release date will be February 3rd, 2016. As for my visa, I've been illegal here in Spain since last January, so I'm not too worried about it, the office should be working on it.

In regards to missionary work, my area is hard, pretty much all Spanish people. The work is slowly starting to improve, we mostly contact in the street, sometime knock doors and now are starting to get a couple references from members every once and awhile.

Well with Maddi Wheadon's companion (Maddi is from our home ward in Lehi.  She served a Spanish speaking mission in Kansas), she's in my ward here in Hospitalet and she asked me where I was from and then asked if I knew Maddi when I said I was from Lehi. Maddi was her trainer.  Work goes on, I'm happy, healthy and loving life. Hope all is well at home. 

Tikal with Maddi's Companion

Tikal found a picture of the Mayan Temple of "Tikal "in an old Liahona magazine

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Week 95 - Stake Conference and Leadership Council


This week we had stake conference. In the Sunday session they gave us free pens! It was great!, different, but great!  I can always use a free pen.  During the conference, my companion and I had to translate for a British guy who was there. That was interesting. I never realized how much people mumbled until then. I can translate from English to Spanish but Spanish to English is rough.
Right now in Spain it feels like September in Utah. So that's not too bad. It gets pretty chilly sometimes because of the humidity though.
Yesterday was concilio (Leadership Council).  It was good.  It is great to be with President Dayton and the other missionaries. Anyway my week was a bit longer and rougher but that's ok this week will be better. Always is. 

Elder Jonson
 Leadership Council
 Tikal was impressed with the Ward Mission Leader's
ability to park his truck in a space so small.

 Halloween with Elder Latteier and some members
 Tikal selfie
Logo their zone is using for their monthly baptismal goal

Video - Synchronized Swimming Skit

Here is the video of the skit that Tikal and Elders Latteier, Caetano and Tyson did to introduce the Zone's Baptism goal for the month - It is worth watching.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Week 94 - Success in Vilafranca


The investigators in my area are starting to do better and we're finding more people to teach.  Overall, my area is improving. A lady I taught back in Vilafranca got baptized this week so that's super great, overall I'm excited to be here at this time.

This week we did two intercambios and I went to Tarragona for one of them and it's nice that I have served in some of the wards where there are really old Spanish members because it helps me relate with people wherever I go.  Next week we have leadership council so it will be great to see President Dayton and a lot of my friends next week.

Have a great week!
Elder Jonson

Tikal and Elder Latteier as part of the Primary Program
Zone Meeting

Week 93 - The Savior's Love


The idea for the video we did last week came from Elder Tyson.  He is a new Elder who lives in our piso who is in his training right now. He was the student body president at Westlake. He gave us the idea and we all choreographed the day before during mediodia.  It was really funny. Hermana Dayton is going to try and post it on the mission website. The goal for the zone is to have every companionship baptize at least one person this month. It got people excited but we still haven't had any baptisms in the zone this month. 

I gave a talk yesterday in Sacrament Meeting which was prepared at the last moment after having started writing the talk over several times. I talked about love for the savior. It went well, or so I was told. 

Hope all is well!

Elder Jonson
Dinner with a family from Argentina
 Elders from Tikal's piso (Latteier, Caetano, Tyson)

Bowling Scores from p-Day
Not sure which one is Papi, Bad Kid or Mild Sauce - Pretty sure that Tikal is "Jonson"
Elders Latteier and Tyson at the bowling alley

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 92 - Synchronized Swimming


This week has been about the same I had to write stuff that happened down because I would start writing and forget about it. Sometimes it is just so hard to find time to write. I'm literally on the phone for about 30-40 minutes every night and doing zone stuff for another 10-20 minutes then I brush my teeth and go to bed. It's nuts.

Random note I'm speaking next week and once again I'm the last talk...with an open theme. Last week we were able to find some family trees of a recent convert and her nonmember husband. So that was really good and exciting for them.

We did a skit this month for the presentation of the new goals for the zone. It was Synchronized Swimming....it was funny. (we will try to upload a copy - it really was pretty funny - below you can see a picture of them in their swim caps)

Leadership Council

 Zone Skit to Introduce the Monthly Goals for the Zone

Week 91 - General Conference & Contacting


This month, President decided to change concilio (mission leadership council) to Tuesday and left our preparation day on Monday, so our week is a little different than we had planned. All is good here, we just are getting used to the new changes in the zone and the new companionships that we have in the zone.  I've been a bit sick this last week so hopefully I can sleep it off today. 

On Tuesday night we got to take out new missionaries and it was great I had two of them with me and we saw a miracle when I had the new missionaries contact someone we ended up teaching them all about the restoration and she said that she would be baptized if she knew that what we taught was true we are going to visit her this week so that will be incredible. I'm excited to see how she progresses. We left her with a copy of the Book of Mormon so hopefully she's read a little bit. Who knows we could have a baptism coming up!
Conference was great I really loved the talks and learned a lot, I'm going to be studying them out a bit more this week. I hope all is well at home have a great week!

Watching General Conference

Week 90 - Transfers

We had a rough week this past week as my companion was kind of sick.  He then was called to be the new assistant to the president, so this week my companion was transferred to the office and I got my new companion, Elder Latteier.  He is from Holladay, Utah, and I'm super excited to be with him! I know him from when I was in Santander so it's nothing too crazy to be with him. He's a great missionary so we're going to see miracles in our area and in the zone. 
This week went well we said goodbye to some members with elder Dunn and we're starting from zero basically in our area again. Tonight we get to take two new missionaries out with us.  They do not receive their trainers until tomorrow so we get to give them their first true proselytizing experiences tonight.

With Elder Latteier


Week 89 - Another Busy Week


This week was good, we had zone conference so we had to plan it out and get all the pizzas ordered (18) for the conference and it was a pretty edifying conference we talked about investigators coming to church and it was fun. We had to give a ten minute part in the conference and it worked out well, we talked about living the gospel of Jesus Christ and it was pretty good! 
It was kind of a week that just blurred together. We visited a lot of district meetings last week to keep them going good. We are working to get our districts excited about the work.  We have a few missionaries that are struggling so we have been working specifically with them.  I got to go see Vilafranca again as part of our visits to the district meetings, which was good.
In our ward here in Hospitalet, we have members from all over the world, but especially from Ecuador.  Since Hospitalet is basically part of Barcelona, we use the metro to get around most days, especially since our Piso is not in our area.  Our Piso is great – probably the best one I have had since I have been in Spain.  Thanks to everyone that has written.   It is really nice to hear from each of you.


Zone Sports Activity

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 88 - Through Small and Simple Things


This week we saw an incredible miracle, we were walking along the road talking with everyone along the way and we weren't having a lot of success. We crossed the street and stopped because my companion Elder Dunn had a rock in his shoe...something simple to quickly do. But in those 5 seconds or so I was looking around at the people and I noticed a lady who was smiling at us walk by. As she was about to cross the street I stopped her and asked her if she had ever met the missionaries before.  She said with a big smile, that she had, that her sister was a member and that her own 13 year old daughter is a less active that we didn't know about! She told us that she had been to the church many times in Peru and loved it but didn't feel the same way here in Spain. And then because my last companion was from Peru I got to talk all about Peru with her and she the invited us over to eat with her next Saturday! I love Peruvian food! It was such a great contact and it all came from a little rock in my companion's shoe! 
In other news today I finally went and saw Sagrada Familia in Barcelona today!
Hope all is well wherever you are reading this from and remember that the Book of Mormon and church are true!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week 87 - Books of Mormon & Testimonies of God


This week was long and filled with craziness. So Monday we had Concilio (Mission Leadership Council), Tuesday we had Preparation Day, Wednesday we had enfoque de zona (which we are in charge of as zone leaders), Thursday we had weekly planning, Friday we had to go to Tarragona to do a baptismal interview, and Saturday we had a stake priesthood activity. To talk about each one Concilio was great and I've already kinda covered it. Preparation day we planned for enfoque. In our enfoque we were supposed to talk about what we learned in concilio and basically get our zone to do better. So we tried to get our zone excited about our new mission goal of getting 150 baptismal dates in the mission at the end of the week. And keep the zone focused on the goal of baptizing 12 people a week as a mission.  So we went and bought a flag for the zone and had everyone sign it. It is now the Hospitalet flag. In enfoque we did a good job and had the joyful surprise of having President and Hermana Dayton call us and asking if they could come. Then Friday we went to Tarragona which is about an hour and a half away in train to do a baptismal interview. Those are always good!  Then the best thing we did this week was the Hospitalet Stake Priesthood Conference. So stake president Silvestre called us last week and asked if we would support the stake priesthood in going out to flood Hospitalet with the Book of Mormon. So we divided the area around the church into six areas and after a priesthood conference with the leaders from all the wards in the stake Elder Dunn, myself, and 3 other companionships of Elders got to go on splits and send companionships of ward leaders out to contact people in the streets and give out copies of the Book of Mormon. It was incredible! In one hour we gave out about 50 copies of the Book of Mormon and got between 20-25 references for the missionaries. It was such a great missionary activity! We got to work side by side with the leaders of the stake and see miracles! Also another bonus I got to be the group leader of my older ward, Vilafranca! I got to see some of my favorite members again and it was so much fun!

Also another experience we had this week was contacting an old Spanish man who didn't really want anything but that wasn't the crazy part...he said something that really surprised us. I asked him if he knew that God existed and he said that there had to be something but that there were too many problems in the world for God to be good. After talking a bit more, my companion asked him why he blamed God for the problems in the world and he had no response. I then testified that God loves us all because we are all his children and I told him I knew that God loved me. I then asked him if knew that God loved him, and he said No. I then asked him if he wanted to know that God loved him and he replied with a firm NO....I was shocked. I assumed he didn't understand the question so I asked him again in a slightly different way. And he said no again. I then asked him to put all knowledge he had about religion to the side, forget that we were missionaries, and see us as people and then I asked him if he wanted to know God loved him. And he still said not, I asked him why not, and he replied that God wasn't good and that he was fine by himself without God. It was sad to see.  We left him with a prayer and I learned that some people reject the gospel simply because of their arrogance. We must never ever get to that point where we have no humility and let Satan get hold of our hearts so strongly.

Here is a clip of Tikal at a ward Family Home Evening - Not sure what game they were playing
Picture of Tarragona

Week 86 - Exchanges


Well this week was pretty solid.  We did two companionship exchanges last week, one with one of the district leaders in our zone and the other with the ayudantes. We only have three more to go now so that's good! Soccer was officially approved to the leaders yesterday and tomorrow to the rest of the mission.
Yesterday we had Mission Leadership Council and it was a great spiritual experience and basically all my mission friends are leaders now so it was such a fun time!  President Dayton is great. Well I've gotta go but thanks for the letter!
Elder Jonson 
Mission Leadership Council

Week 85 - Hospitalet


Well I got transferred after just two transfers up north in Santander and now I'm back in the Barcelona Area. I'm currently serving in Hospitalet and I'm loving it. I have a great companion who loves soccer just as much as I do and we are having a great time. I'm actually replacing Elder Drew Dailey in this area so small world but I'm excited to work hard and see miracles.

Thanks for all the support!
Elder Jonson

Picture of Hospitalet from a member's apartment