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.