Wednesday, September 28, 2016



Practicing his 'old man' skills with the largest book he's ever seen.  ;)

This week definitely had some highs and lows.  We have had a lot of appointments cancel.  It happens sometimes, but it is still a bit sad when it happens.  We did see some success with a returning less active, Brother Co, this week!  We had two visits with him where we read chapters from the book of Ether.  For one lesson we brought his home teacher who bore a powerful testimony that it is possible to keep all the commandments. Brother Co ended up coming to church this week!  
   We had a wonderful day Wednesday!  We didn't have a dinner that day, so we called up a less active part member family out in Smith Valley who is always willing to feed us.  We spent the evening out there trying to contact people from the ward list we didn't know.  We found a lot of people who weren't interested in coming back, but we did find the Funk family.  We talked to Sister Funk before dinner and she invited us in, but Brother Funk wasn't there so we asked if we could come back at 7.  We returned and talked to the whole family.  We found out that Brother Funk was the only member, but the rest of the family was interested!  Sister Funk especially said she needed religion in her life again!  We are so excited to go back and see them this week!!  Other that that the week was pretty normal!
A little Thrift Shopping...
Elder Abbott with a thrift store beauty!

Swimming anyone???
Night biking...
Elder Jarnagin said this was the 'Lake of Doom'-

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A side note from Mom

It's an amazing experience to watch your children grow and mature!  When they make discoveries on their own, they are so powerful.  This small exchange left me feeling proud and honored of the man Elder (Brayden) Jarnagin is becoming-

Question from Dad-
I have a different question for you, and need your input.  I’m struggling with how to help youth with technology.  Devices are great for so many things.  Many of us wonder if they can also be an inhibitor for communication or social skills.  We feel many youth are too used to communicating through a screen, and not with their mouths, in a face-to-face environment.  I’ve also been studying the impacts of lack of devices on newly-called missionaries.  Many have anxiety because they aren’t used to being without their devices. 

Elder Jarnagin's response-
As for technology, I think nothing will really stop misuse of technology (bad sites, too much, lack of real communication, etc) except diligence.  I say that because I have been studying it for a training we are giving in Zone conference tomorrow.  Diligence for me is a good balance of good things. We have time to plan and to teach here, both are needed, but we need diligence to use them and our time effectively.  All of it starts with desire.  If we desire to good we will do it.  Honestly, it was different to adjust to life without a device for me too, to take all those connections and rip them all out is hard.  I think as I have come to value the influence and the connection of the Spirit, the desires to have connections to a device have stopped for me.  I think maybe youth don't fully understand the Spirit or how valuable it and human interaction is.  When they understand that, naturally I think their desires will change for the better! 

Miracles! from Sept 19

   This week has been pretty miraculous!   Monday we had a full day, all three hours of proselyting were filled and none of our lessons fell through!   We started to teach Nacho English.  We met with the Sanford family and they are awesome!  They love to read the Book of Mormon as a couple and are really progressing!  Going up to Fallon two times this week was an interesting experience!  Elder Abbott and I got to have some bonding car rides which was cool!  
   On Wednesday, we met the Redman family, a part member less active family, that had just lost a very close friend.  We were able to be there for them and teach a little bit about the afterlife which seemed to help them a lot! We were also able to meet with Leslie, a recent convert three times this week!  We covered the first three lessons to see what she knows and she sure knows her stuff! We also met with the Sanford family on Thursday again.  Brother Sanford had read the tithing pamphlet we left him and didn't agree with some parts, but during the lesson we were able to use the scriptures and follow the Spirit in order to help him understand the principle!  It was a great lesson! 
   Exchanges with Elder Bentti were fun too!  Elder Bentti is our district leader.  We served around each other in the beginning of my mission.  It was great to see him again and see how he has changed!  I also learned a lot from him about teaching in uncomfortable situations!  We were teaching a man who got off topic a lot with stories, but Elder Bentti was able to follow the Spirit and bring the lesson back. 
   We saw a lot of miracles! Two that stick out are- we went to visit our investigator with a date and he wasn't there, but his son was!  We had a good conversation and he had a ton of questions about us and our religion!  We look forward to following up with him!  We also were trying to visit an investigator that day who wasn't home. As we went to get into the car, someone flagged us down, introduced himself as Brother Shepard, a less active that wants to meet with us and come back to church! So awesome! 

Polar Bear Bentti- when he wasn't feeling good.

Poor dog with a huge lump!

Obsidian (or burned) brownies (blackies)

Weirdest Thrift store find ever!

Nachos! from Sept 12

Elder Jarnagin said, "Don't worry Mom, I already got my hair cut!"  With his Zone in Sparks before getting transferred.
   This week has been pretty miraculous!  We have not had as much time as we wanted to go out and talk to people as we would have liked, because Elder Abbott wasn't feeling to well at the beginning of the week and we spent a ton of time going through weekly planning.  I am quickly coming to learn and understand the area better!  I see why it is important to have a Spanish Elder down here!  There are a lot of Hispanic folks down here.  It is interesting how they are much quicker to say not interested than those in Sparks.  It is kind of nice because we spend less time teaching not interested people. 
   We have taught Nacho this week. He is so awesome, he is a hard working man that is lonely because all of his family is in Mexico and he spends 6 months here and 6 months there. He has been very kind to us and very receptive to the message and now we are going to teach him the Gospel and English! 
   Other than that, we have been able to get in with a lot of different less active families, including one that we didn't know were less actives. There are a lot of teaching situations that are different here, people with different backgrounds and lives. We have seen a lot of significant miracles this week the most surprising to me was a street contact we had the other day. We said hi to a lady and she seemed in a rush so we asked her if she knew anyone that needed a message of prayer. She turned around and commented on how important prayer is. She asked us what church we were from and as I said the churches name she said "Mormons?!"  She then proceeded to say how she wanted to come and try our church because our focus on the family was important to her and she wanted to stop smoking.  She seemed super excited when we left!

Elder Abbott, who has only been out on his mission 6 weeks.  Elder Jarnagin's new companion.

Deep Thoughts... with Elder Abbott

Shrimpy, the water dispenser...

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Eight! and I got Transferred! (Again!)

Sorry everyone for the delay... two weeks of posts here-

Eight!  (Monday, August 29th)
   This week has been miraculous!!  We had 8 investigators show up to church and 1 returning less active came for the first time!  We had a great lesson on Monday with one of our newer investigators, Maria, about the plan of salvation. At the end, we committed her to read the Book of Mormon and she said that of course she was going to read it because she had already felt peace while she read it!  On Tuesday, we had a great lesson where we got dropped.  Getting dropped is always kind of sad, but this man, Hector, said that he was ok in his religion but he would read the Book of Mormon with his wife!  Even when people don't accept the message it is good to know we touched someones life. 
I think this zone conference on Friday was awesome!  After zone conference we felt super pumped to teach the restoration simply and smoothly and we have seen miracles from that.  We have been able to work in unity more and follow the spirit better!  Our two investigators with a baptismal date, Maria and Eric, are progressing a lot!  We had a lesson with them about baptism and they are understanding why it is important more and more!      

We also had a temple tour with Daniel our recent convert!  We had set up another member to give us a ride, but it fell through so we ended up going with him!  It was really fun, we were able to get to know him better and to feel the beautiful spirit of the temple!  On Sunday everyone came to church and came for all three hours!  Our members did a better job of getting to know them!  This week was awesome!

I got Transferred! (Again!) (Monday, Sept 5th)
   Soooo, I got transferred again.  I have had to pack my stuff to move for the last three transfers.  So far I have served completely in the Reno/Sparks area and now I am leaving to a little town called Yerington, south of Carson City.  It will be a big change for a lot of reasons.  For one, it is an english speaking area.  Two, I am finishing training a missionary.  Three, no Walmart :O  I will be with Elder Abbott.  I know I'm supposed to go to Yerington and that it will be awesome to learn and grow some more! 
   This week has been pretty good!  We had a great week teaching and working in unity.  We had a lot of lessons where the spirit was really strong!  We had one lesson with a returning member family.  The daughter had come to church one week before and the mom was scared to come to a church because she wasn't sure what she believed in.  We taught the plan of salvation and talked a lot about testimony.  I think what made that lesson so great was that we transitioned well and relied a lot more on the scriptures!  
   Other than that, we have had a lot a service.  We helped a less active family move their stuff to a storage unit and that was good.  We also shoveled three truck loads of stone into our investigators yard for 5 hours.  That was pretty intense.  The biggest miracle of this week, I think,
A kind member texted us this picture Monday night- Elder Jarnagin's final night in Reno
On splits this week!
was that although not many came to church, we did have 3 investigators there who have never attended church!