Friday, December 23, 2016

Training Week 1, Understanding Isaiah More, and Jim!

Merry Christmas everyone!  May the love of Jesus Christ and the gift of his birth bless your hearts and homes this holiday season.  Elder Jarnagin's current address is 1N. California St, Yerington NV 89447

Training Week 1-

  This week has been intense, I would say, this week will definitely stand out when I think about my mission in the future.  It has been great, I have felt that the joy I have felt has been augmented and this is definitely the most tiring week that I have had.  It started off well, with Elder Abbott packing on Monday and going out to see the Funks.  We had a lesson on the Word of Wisdom and that was awesome!  They had some concerns about coffee, but after some more discussion Renee said, "Well, it's one thing we can do to get more blessings and to get closer to our Heavenly Father."  I was so happy when she said that, that is what living the commandments do!  They are understanding and progressing very well! 
   We stopped by McDonalds on Tuesday to try to find one of our investigators, Bruce.  We found him there with some of his friends and to our happy surprise, he was drinking hot chocolate instead of coffee!  It was so great to see that, because we have been focusing on helping him give up coffee and now he has done it on his own!  He is also reading the Book of Mormon on his own!  He leaned over to me during church to tell me he had read the chapters that we left him and that he was going to read some more!  WE are so excited for Bruce! 
   Getting Elder Gurr was something exciting.  I wasn't really nervous until we got assigned as companions and then it hit me that I really was training.  It was good to have the ride home to get to know him better!  Wednesday was great, we had a lesson with Bruce Sanders and then with Doyle Snyder and both were really good lessons!  Elder Gurr really showed his love for both of them, even though he had just met them!  After those lessons we went around trying to see people and set up appointments and no one was answering. That was kind of saddening, but it was alright.  Later that day we had a lesson with the Bantas and that was super great. It showed that Elder Gurr really is in tune with the Spirit. He chose D&C 121:7-8 to share and that really hit home with them.  The Spirit was so strong.  Elder Gurr really has strengthened my testimony in that if we do all we can in the situation we are in, the Lord will provide and help us.  He didn't know a lot of these people, but he tried his hardest to love and serve them and follow the Spirit and he has already touched many lives because of that!

Understanding Isaiah More!

   Great a week again!  I have really felt that in the Book of Mormon, the stories and verses have really spoken to me and showed me how I can apply them in my life.  I finished up the first book of Nephi and I realized that this time around the Isaiah chapters even made more sense!  That was really exciting!  We had a good success with visiting the less actives here this week!  We met a lot more members that haven't been to church in a long time and it was great to visit them and to let them know that they are loved. We got to visit Susan again this week, this time we were able to teach her as well as do some service for her. The day before, we had dinner with the Hibbard family and we felt impressed to ask Brother Hibbard to come with us and that turned out to be a real blessing!  He brought his truck and that was very much needed to move the fireplace Susan wanted us to move.  It was hand crafted and everything, it was so heavy!  After we moved that, Susan started talking to us again and she told us more about how she felt like she had no worth, we were able to testify that God really does love her and cares for her. We also had an interesting lesson with Keith Stauffer, who is a less active who has no desire to come back to church at the moment.  We were able to give him a Book of Mormon and to testify of the power it has to help us come closer to our Savior.  He seemed uninterested, but we left feeling like he had felt the Spirit, and that we had done what the Lord wanted of us. The work continues in Yerington! 

We're a little afraid Elder Jarnagin is turning into a Crazy Cat Man... can you see his shirt???


   The week itself was wonderful! We had a lot of people at church this week!  One of them was Jim Button.  He is a less active who has been scared to come to church because he thought he didn't know enough.  Now he has read the standard works on his own and he said during our lesson on Tuesday that he would for sure be at church on Sunday and he came!  He stayed all three hours and loved it all!  He even said that he would be there in the following weeks as well!  He has not been to church in the past 55 years and it is so exciting to watch him and help him progress in the Gospel!  Also on Tuesday we had a wonderful lesson with a missionary who returned two weeks ago, Mackenzie Bohner and her friend.  Her friend wanted to understand what Mackenzie had been doing on her mission, so we shared with her the Restoration and she loved it!  We didn't have time to ask her before she said she would definitely read the Book of Mormon and pray about it! She also said that she would get baptized when she knew this is true!  It was such a great lesson! 
   We had another awesome lesson with the Bryant family!  We taught the Plan of Salvation and they were really accepting of it!  They also read the Book of Mormon!  We are so excited for them!  The Funks came to church this week!  It was so great to see them!  They are excited to begin to be taught again and move closer to baptism! 

9 Square at the Mission Christmas Party

Elder Jarnagin and Elder Abbott reunited at the Christmas Party

Dinner with Jeff-

 Fallon Zone Christmas Party

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Awesome Week and Training

Awesome Week!  (From Monday, November 21, 2016)
   We have had a super awesome week!  This Monday we were able to go up to Fallon for our Zone activity where we just played sports, like you do when you are in an area in a city.  It was fun to see everyone!  On Tuesday, we went over to Jim Button's house.  He is a less active member who has been reading through the standard works (Scriptures) and he is loving it.  We read with him and invited him to pray before he reads and he was super excited to start!  That was great to see because before he wouldn't have really thought to do so and probably wouldn't have tried it!  It has been great to see them progress!  
   I have been studying how to teach the lessons in a simpler form and that has been great!  I realized I needed to do that when I was on exchanges with Elder Bentti.  We were teaching some of their new investigators who are Primary aged girls. I realized that I could do a lot better in teaching in a simple way that is powerful and can impact everyone. It has been fun/ humbling to go through the points and realize that there is a lot of points that I don't teach. I was able to apply what I learned in our lesson with the Funks on Friday.  We were going to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and luckily, I had studied the points that morning, because I was able to learn and write down what I learned I was able to apply what I learned and teach the doctrine more simply and powerfully!  
   We had an interesting day on Saturday.  We had two set lessons, both of which we had. The first was with Eric Soto, an investigator who hasn't been progressing for the 2 months we have been teaching him. We decided that it was time to talk about his goals for our visits, we talked about baptism and the importance of it.  He said he wasn't interested in coming to church and he said no.  I decided it would be good to see if he had any desire at all, just to learn more. I asked him if he wanted to know if what we taught was true.  He said no.  That was pretty sad to hear, but that lesson went well because I could tell Elder Abbott and I were doing our best to follow the Spirit and ask inspired questions. We then had a lesson with Jessica Bradley, a less active whose family are recent converts. Elders in the past had not been able to get them to progress and come to church and neither could we for a long time.  She came last week and said this week that she was planning on coming this week as well which was kind of a shock.  We are super hopeful that they will continue to progress!  Sunday was amazing! The Funks came to church!  They all loved it! It has been great to see them progress this far and we are so excited to help them progress towards the waters of baptism!

We had biscuits after District Meeting

Making biscuits

Elder Jarnagin says, "Someone really hung in there."

Training!  (From Monday, November 28, 2016)
   We have had a great week!  On Tuesday, we were able to have another lesson with Jim Button and that was great!  He talked about how he prayed before he started to read and how he has seen some blessings because of that!  He said that he felt strongly impressed to give to some charities!  The part that I thought was really cool was that he said that he was going to see his ex wife on Thanksgiving and he felt strongly impressed that when he sees her that he should forgive her!  It was so amazing to see the atonement working in his life, changing him for the better! 
We had a great day on Wednesday, Elder Steinberg and I on exchanges!  We were able to teach Bruce Sanders and that was good.  Bruce is showing more and more in lesson that he is really understanding the scriptures!  We decided that we should go out to Smith Valley because we hadn't see the people out there in a long time and Brother Rowley, our ward mission leader had suggested that we go out and see the Schofield family.  We did and they let us in, which they have never done before.  We had a good lesson with Brother Schofield, really just to understand him and where he is coming from.  I felt prompted just to ask him "Have you been a member for a longtime?"  I was not sure what asking such a simple question could do, but I did it anyways. From that he really opened up to us about how God has been a part of his life and how and why he feels uncomfortable in church. That was amazing to see that one question can really make a great difference!  We had a great Thanksgiving as well!  We had dinner with the Hellers and that was great.  They thought our typewriters were pretty neat/weird.  After that, we went to the Funks and spent a good evening with them.  They are such awesome people!  We ended up just naturally talking about some questions that Sister Funk had and that was great!  We have seen a lot of miracles, like the Funks coming to church again and their progression in the Gospel, and members that have been willing and ready to help us in the work, even at a moments notice!  This weeks studies have been good as well, I finished the Book of Mormon and that is always a wonderful experience that strengthens my testimony.  I had a bit of a struggle in choosing what should be the focus in this study of it.  I decided to look for the commandments that Christ gives us through His prophets or Himself and what are the blessings from those.  I'm not sure exactly why I am studying it that way, but I think it will be really helpful down the road and I have learned so much already!  I am excited to train, the past couple of days my thoughts and studies have been focused more on how can I not only be exactly obedient, but how can I be a better example of obedience!  It is going to be a great new transfer!
(Elder Jarnagin will be training a new Spanish speaking missionary who arrived to Nevada on Tuesday.  We are excited for both of them!)

PS Ironing my new tie at the funks

The sweet set-up for the Ward Thanksgiving dinner

 More thrift store finds...

Packing for Elder Abbott's transfer to Carson City.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Senator Dinner

At Zone Conference- Elder Franco and all his mission 'sons'!
   We have had a great week! We have been focusing a lot on making our spiritual thoughts after dinner more effective.  This week we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we saw good results from it!  On Monday, we did one and the members were reminded of two people they hadn't seen in a while, it was great to see!   On Tuesday, we had a great lesson with Jim Button.  A couple of weeks back Brother Rowley, our Ward Mission Leader had the impression that we should bring Brother Rogers with us.  We haven't had the opportunity to bring him, but he was available Tuesday night.  It was great to see that Brother Rowley's impression brought about a great lesson!  Brother Rogers and Jim Button got along great!  On Wednesday, after Zone Conference we went out to Smith Valley and we were able to bring a member to stop in at the Funks,  We invited them to a dinner with our ward missionaries!  The most exciting part of the week was definitely Sunday.  We had planned a couple weeks back to go with the Rempp family out to Smith Valley to visit everyone, but then they had cancelled.  Then, before Sacrament meeting Sister Rempp came up to us and asks us if we were ready to go to Smith with them.  We hurried and asked the Hellers if they could come to dinner as well and they said yes!   We were able to take the Rempps to some new part member and less active families that we had found and introduce them. The Rempps got along with all the families and it was great to see Ward outreach!  We finished yesterday with dinner and a lesson with the Hellers, Rempps and Funks.  It was a super good lesson!  We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ using parts of 1 Nephi 3.  They were very open and honest and receptive!  We committed them to baptismal dates! We are super excited to work with them towards the 10th of December!

With Bro. Heller and the Funks
   In response to a question from Dad, Elder Jarnagin said this about his growth-  We had a great zone conference this week and it made me realize that I have so much to do and so far to go.  It also helped me make sure and do an inventory of myself to make sure not even a fraction of my efforts out here were lost and went to anything but serving the Lord.  I think that has helped me a lot.   I think that I have grown in character these two transfers and for that I am grateful.  The Lord keeps throwing trials my way, always new, always something I can handle, always something to make me grow.  No one said the mission was easy and I didn't sign up for some walk in the park.

The Greenhouse Thrift Shop where we give weekly service.

Crossing a 'river' to get to an appointment

Nevada Super Moon

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Smith Valley

   This week has been really good.  Halloween was pretty good, though we had some people try to knock on our door and that was pretty weird.  Tuesday was a great day, we met with a less active family that we hadn't met with before.  It was good to be able to talk with them and discern what they needed!  Wednesday we had dinner with a returning less active family.  It was so cool because they had invited one of their friends to eat with us!  The friend left halfway through, but we asked about it during our lesson on Saturday and they said that they like to invite non member friends to dinner with the missionaries.  They said 8 or 9 of their friends had been baptized because of that!  On Thursday, we went out to Smith Valley to see the Funks again!  They are doing great and are ready to start meeting with us again!  We also met the Smith family who is a part member family.  They are really receptive and have accepted everything we have told them!  It has been a good week!

ps- this is a cat

Digging for 'Confederate' Gold 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A month of posts in one...

Mom got behind... so here are Elder Jarnagin's last month of updates-

Oct 3, 2016- Elder Jarnagin wrote an email for the blog, but for some reason it didn't send and he couldn't find it again.  Here are his pictures from that week-

Boldly (Oct 10, 2016)
This week has been pretty good as well, it has been a bit slower lesson wise, nonetheless the work continues! Tuesday we had a lesson with Nacho and that was good.  It is kind of sad though because he seems to be losing interest in the message.  It is always hard when someone feels that way, that they are fine the way they are and don't want to change anymore.  We had exchanges on Wednesday.  It was kind of hard being there, but I did my best to be positive and love everyone around me and we saw some success!  We had a really awesome lesson with a returning less active on Thursday, Sister Baker.  She has been through a lot of rough times, but is fighting to return to full activity.  We brought some members with us, who we weren't sure would be the best fit.  Luckily, they were great, the couple we brought just showed so much love for Sister Baker which allowed them to be really bold in asking what problems she had and how they can help!  It was a testimony builder to me that when we have real, Christlike love for people, we can be bold with them and they will know that it comes out of love!  Other than that we saw a car crash happen right in front of us and that was pretty spooky.  It has been a great week and we will keep working to make it even better!

Onion Fields

Less Actives! (Oct 17, 2016)
This week has been good, we have seen a lot of success with our less actives! They have been progressing and coming to church! Some specifics were a lesson with a less active named brother Co. He has been less active for a while but this is his third week coming to church! We taught him a lesson on the importance of prayer out of the Book of Mormon. We brought his home teacher and that was super awesome, his home teacher was able to apply the message to him really well! Something I realized this week is how important it is to use our talents and to constantly hone them. This week we tried to find more but it seemed no one was out and when they were they seemed busy or would quickly walk away. It seems like since finding is different here I am a little out of touch. This week we had the chance to set up service with a non profit organization. It was cool to see how much good we can do even just by offering help. It seems like we are always offering to help or serve and no one says yes. It is really rewarding when they accept and we are able to help them improve their lives! PS this is a pic of Elder Stienberg, he is in my district

A family of recent converts had just gotten back from a deer hunt, so we took a picture with it.

Joy in the Work! (Oct 24, 2016)
This week has been interesting. I don't think too much out of the ordinary happened but in every situation I was more happy! I think that I am finding more and more joy in every aspect of the work! We had a surprise lesson with the Sanford family last Monday. We stopped by just to set up an appointment and they let us inside! We had a great time talking about their reading and how that is helping and changing them! All this week we were super excited to be a part of thier progression. Then Brother Sanford called us this morning saying he doesn't want us coming over for a while. We aren't too concerned because this has happened before where he decides to investigate on his own, but it is sad that he doesn't want our help. We had a tough day where it seemed like everything fell through, we ended up walking to try to talk with people and trying to set up appointments. It was tough but because we did that we were able to meet Stan. Stan is the son of a less active member in our ward, he has talked to missionaries before and is decently interested in the gospel. He respects the church for the good that we do. We decided to set an expectation of us showing up every other day because most of our investigators have the expectation the we come by every week. We showed up that Tuesday and then that Thursday and had a good lesson about the restoration and the Book of Mormon! I think my favorite part of this week was our church meetings. Not only was it great to participate in the sacrament but 3 less active members came that had never come before! It was so great to see them there! Some things we have been studying is how to work with members. We have really reached the conclusion that if we want to have success, that will come through the members. We have been trying to show them that we are here for them and I think that is beginning to pay off! 

I was shocked... it was a pole!

The building where the Shurz Branch meets

This dog LOVES sticks!

Chili! (October 31, 2016)
This week has been pretty good, we haven't taught as many lessons as we would have liked but we are doing all we can to invite others to come unto Christ! On Monday Brother Sanford, one of our investigators called us and said he needs time to think and make sure he was doing this for him. That was kind of sad because we probably won't be able to help him progress now but we know he will see in the near future the importance of the restored Gospel in his life!  We were able to meet with Jim Button on Tuesday and that was great!  He has been reading though the standard works and had just started the book of Job.  We decided to read that with him and the lesson turned out very well! I  think the coolest part for me was to see how his knowledge of the scriptures has advanced, it is not old, hard to understand words to him now, he understands it much better!  
On Thursday we had a chili cook off with the ward and that was awesome!  We had been sure to invite people to it in the days leading up to it and out of ten recent convert/less active families, eight showed up!  It was great to see them there, especially because we weren't able to invite some of them so that meant the ward did a great job of reaching out as well!  It was so great to see!  Friday we were studying inspired questions during Companionship Study and we had a lesson with Brother Jackson later that day when we could apply what we learned!  We used questions that were able to open up brother Jackson to help him see the importance of reading the Book of Mormon with his family!  On Saturday we were able to go to Smith Valley and see the Funks again!  They are back in town and we hopefully will be teaching them this week! 

These awesome Elders MADE matching ties last week on their P-day!