Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Miracle!

Homemade Christmas Tree and presents

     This week has been amazing!  On Monday, we had the opportunity to have a dinner with some of our investigators and it was so great to show them that we are regular people too!  Christmas Eve was fantastic as well!  Even though we were red dotted for a while (this means the weather was considered too severe to go out in it) and then we didn't have much success with the snow and everyone inside.  It got to the point where we had an hour before dinner and we decided to pray to find a new investigator and we found one!  It was so awesome to see our prayer answered!  

   Christmas was so amazing!  We had a wonderful breakfast with some members and got to Skype our families which was so amazing!  It was great to hear from them and see them again!  My family had somehow received a package containing some of the contents of the stolen package with no idea how it got there.  What a miracle!

   Saturday we committed a lot of our investigators to come to church and one family came, which was so amazing! We have had more success this week talking and sharing messages with people on the street which has been great.  Elder Franco has been saying less and relying on me to say more, which is getting me out of my comfort zone and that has been really helpful in helping me grow!  Another fantastic week in the mission!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Robberies and growth

This was the first thing we saw/heard from Elder Jarnagin this week- it was a sad way to start!
   This week was rather interesting.  We had a slow week, until the Christmas party on Saturday for the branch where we had our investigator, Manuel, show up, which was so awesome!  We got back to our apartment that night and some of our neighbors informed us that I had been robbed.  Apparently, there was a package on the doorstep and during the time we were gone to the Christmas party three boys came, opened it, and took everything inside.  The neighbors filed a police report and since then it has been an interesting growing experience.  Earlier in the week I felt myself just going through the motions, so I prayed for a trial to grow more.  Heavenly Father answered my prayer.  I recognized that and through that I am trying to use this experience to grow to be more Christ-like.  It is hard to have charity for those that do things, like steal my stuff, after my family put time and effort into finding the gifts, but I have found that through humble prayer and asking the Lord to support me, it is possible.  I also found that just getting out there and working hard was the easiest way to bring back that joy to my heart.  It was so cool to experience that! 
Out working hard with Elder Franco.
Dinner with familia Vivas

Dinner with familia Perez
   Another blessing/miracle we saw was one of our dropped investigators called us, because he wanted to talk with us!  We asked how he was doing and re-committed him to a baptism on January 2nd.  What a miracle!  We are going to try our hardest to help him fulfill this goal! 

  Today as we were leaving to go shopping, I felt impressed to look up the hill where the kids had run off with my gifts and I found one they dropped!  What a miracle!  This week sure has been interesting but I am so grateful for this opportunity to come closer to my Savior!

The found gift...
We sent him a fleece blanket with pictures from this past year printed on it.

Their shoes after finding the stolen gift on the hill.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Slowly but Surely

   This week was slow when it came to missionary work.  A lot of lessons cancelled and we spent a lot of time looking for people that had been referred to us because they were Spanish speaking.  We helped a less active church member move out of her boyfriends house who is an investigator who dropped us.  I felt bad because she owned most of the stuff in the house and the house was close to empty when we were done.  
   We had exchanges again and I went down to south meadows again, this time with Elder Day, Elder Shearers companion.  He is really good and natural at street contacts, so I learned a lot.  We had a great lesson with Juanita and Victor yesterday with our new Ward Mission Leader, Hermano Larios.  It was great because he was able to share his conversion story and his testimony of blessings and we were able to give their two year old daughter a blessing.  Their daughter has a heart defect and I anointed, in Spanish.  It was scary, but the Spirit guided me and it turned out alright.  I am so thankful for having willing members to come to lessons with us and for the guidance of the Spirit in all that we do in the field.
  A note from Mom-  In my email, I asked what happened with the blue gems and stones they found last week.  He said that they took them over to the home of some church members who live close in the area and called the police.  As far as he knew today, the police have not gotten back to them yet.
  Some of you asked if Elder Jarnagin or Elder Franco was driving when they got the speeding ticket last week.  With a sigh of relief, I can report that it was not Elder Jarnagin.  


Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Week of Unfortunate Events

   So this week has been very eventful, even though it has been two days less than the others.  Elder Franco got turf toe on Thursday and we had to go to the hospital to get it checked out.  (I had never heard of such a thing before, so I looked it up and got more info here.)   We had Exchanges on Friday and Saturday.  I was with our District Leader, Elder Shearer, from Massachusetts, and we were speaking English.  It was cool to try to teach in English and it was just slightly easier in Spanish.  There are not many people willing to hear the message in that area so a lot of the time was spent walking, looking for people.  We were walking by a river and looked down and saw blue stones.  We got them out and found they were polished gems and that there were many more in the river.  We spent some time digging them all out and some looked like they were stolen and others looked like they were taken from necklaces.  Some had price tags of up to 100 dollars per stone.  (I wish I knew what happened once they got the stones out.)
   We had stake conference on Sunday and President Chesnut spoke.  Our one progressing investigator dropped us, but later that day we had an awesome lesson with a family named Juanita and Victor.  We taught about the importance of the Book of Mormon and it was such a great experience!  The spirit was so strong and Juanita was crying from the Spirit. 
   We got pulled over today and got a huge ticket so that will be interesting. 
   I am thankful for the Spirit and how it can change peoples lives! 

   During this Christmas Season, we are especially thankful for Brayden and his willingness to sacrifice two years of his life to help share the love and light of Jesus Christ.  We especially love this video that helps us reflect on these truths.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Burnt Potatoes Smell Like Cigarettes

So until about two days ago it had been a regular week of awesome times serving the Lord.  Elder Franco and I forgot that p day is today (Wednesday) and not Monday this week.  Monday we had a mission tour where Elder Snow, of the seventy, and the church historian came and talked about faith and working with members and that was great.  We got back into our apartment at around 9:30pm and it smelled burnt.  Apparently a pot of burning potatoes smells like cigarettes and our apartment reeked of it.  It got into our clothes and people have been asking if we have been smoking which has been super awkward.  I have been opening up to people on the street more and more and that has been awesome to feel the fear of random strangers gradually melt away.  I got my first haircut in the field today.  A miracle we saw this week was Elder Franco wanted to give a referral to the english speaking missionaries and soon after he expressed this desire, we found an english speaker interested in hearing the Gospel!  The weirdest thing was when street contacting, we asked if a man would be interested and he said, "Thanks, but I'm a Wiccan", Which is like a witch sort of thing and he pulled out a bunch of herbs around his neck.  I am thankful for the opportunity to talk with everyone we find!

A side note from Mom-
With Christmas quickly approaching, I know Elder Jarnagin and his companion, Elder Franco, would love to hear from you.  An email, a quick letter or even your family Christmas card, to let them know they are loved and supported in the good work they are doing.  Their direct address is- 7350 Silver Lake Rd, Apt 7G, Reno NV 89506.

And a few pictures I found at the mission website-
 Reno and Reno North Zone Conference-