Thursday, December 27, 2012

MY DISTRICT GETS TO GO CLEAN THE TEMPLE TODAY! I AM SO PUMPED, I HAVEN'T WORKED IN THE TEMPLE FOR SO LONG!


Heia!
 
I haven't had a chance to go pick up that dear elder yet!  Today is a busy day!  My district gets to go clean the Provo temple today!  I am so pumped, I haven't worked in the temple for so long!
 
About the boots, I tried my ecco's on that I have now with a pair of big socks and they seem to work fine. They are size 45's.
 
Nothing super cool has happened since Tuesday, but I still love every day here!  We have gotten a lot of snow here, it was so fun to have a white Christmas!  I have continued to study and work hard over the past couple days. 
 
I have been working hard to learn more about the Spirit and how to use it and recognize it.  The thing that I think has helped most is sincere prayer.  It is funny but since I have gotten here prayer has become such an amazing tool to seek guidance and direction.  As we pray more sincerely we gain the influence and compansionship more closely in our lives.  We are telling Heavenly Father that we are ready and willing to do what He wants and we will listen when He tells us to do stuff.  It really is a wonderful thing.
 
Other than that we got to teach the law of Chastity for the first time to our investigators.  That was a fun experience.  It is funny how two 20 year old kids can come as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask people to do such hard things.  When you think about it this whole concept of missionary work probably doesn't make any sense.  I know that the authority of our Savior Jesus Christ is with us and because of the faith that we have missionaries have the power to do anything that the Lord requires.  This includes asking people to do hard things.  I know that as we do them the people that we teach will be blessed and we will be.  It says that the windows of heaven will open and there will not be room enough to recieve it.  I know this is true of any of God's commandments.
 
I have to go get lunch before going to the temple. 
 
Jeg elsker deg!
 
Din s√łnn,
Eldste Jones

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

BONUS EMAIL FROM CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!


Hei sann! God Jul! (Merry Christmas, pronouced gu yul)
 
Thank you so much for the Packages and all the stuff you got me!  It made my day so awesome!  I love the pajamas and the sweaters and I am wearing one of the new ties right now!  
 
The mtc president is giving all the missionaries some time to email home today! I am so happy that I could send something on Christmas.

We just had a wonderful message from Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles. He spoke about a lot of different things. Mostly it was just counsel for us when we get to the field. I love every time I hear an apostle of the lord speak to me; one can feel the power of there testimony every time.

I have been learning and growing everyday here in the MTC and it seems that the last two weeks have been the best. This week we got two of our current investigators to commit to baptism! I cannot tell you the Joy that fills your soul when a person decides to come unto Christ.

I am so thankful for the blessing it has been to learn more of the Savior here. I love Him so much. He did in reality give His life for each and everyone of us. During this Christmas day think of that. Think of Jesus Christ. Take some time to read out of third Nephi and try to understand the Lord more intimately. I know that he did come to the Americas and that he came so that we would have the Book of Mormon- Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We come closer to him everytime we read it, there is no Book that can do it in the same manner. I have learned of it's divinity through sincere prayer. As promised throughout the Book of Mormon we can know the truth of all things through the power of the holy ghost.

Sincere prayer to invite the Holy Ghost is not easy, nor should it be. The atonement of Jesus Christ was not easy, nor should Salvation be. I ask you to kneel in sincere prayer to the Lord and thank him for what you have in this life. Let the spirit guide you in prayer and let the Lord tell you what to ask for. I have discovered that my prayers are so much more meaningful when I allow the spirit direct them.
 
Choose to share this with others that they might feel the Joy that we have.  Missionary work can only be sucessful if we have members helping.  The investigator, missionary, and member must all want the conversion process to work before it can. 
 
This has been a wonderful Christmas day.  I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and I hope you can tell everyone hei for me!  I love every letter I get from you so thanks for them!  They are the best.  Let me know how your Christmas goes!
 
Jeg elsker deg mama min!  Jeg hoper at dere skal ha en bra jul! 
 
Vi ses!
 
Din sonn,
Eldste jones

Thursday, December 20, 2012

GOD JUL! (MERRY CHRISTMAS)


Hei Hei!  God Jul! (Merry Christmas)
 
I love all of the gifts that you have sent me!  They are awesome... and somewhat of a distraction haha.  Haha thanks so much for the ties!  Me and Eldste E love them! 
 
I talked to my teachers and they said that the ecco high tops with Gortex would be perfect for boots.  I can't  think of anything that I need at the moment.  Everything is perfect!  the jackets are great and both work super well.  We have had a lot of snow here the past week, I love it.
 
Language is coming great, everyone is really starting to pick up on it.  I am starting to feel wierd saying prayers in english and what not, so there is definitely some progress haha.  Investigators are coming well.  We got two more, Remi and Mikal. They are both awesome.  No commitments yet but they all love the Book of Mormon and just have some stuff that they need to work on and we have a lot of work to do to get them commited to baptism.
 
Here are some of the stories from this week. It has been such a good one!
 
This week had been full of ups and downs. We will start with the downs cause the ups are so freaking awesome! Anyways, so the tri-panionship of the the Norskies has been struggling. So Eldste E, Sister S, and me all teach together since we are the only Norwegian speakers here right now. We have really been struggling to teach the people and not teach lessons. It is a real abstract idea but it really makes you focus on the spirit during planning, studying, and teaching. We haven't really made any real headway with the people we have taught in the light of moving them toward baptism but we have definitely suceeded in bringing them closer to God and Jesus Christ. So this week after a particularily bad lesson we came together with our teachers and focused on solving the problem. I am proud to say that we are doing much better now and have had several great lessons. I love learning and growning, it really is a cool thing.

Now for my coolest story of the MTC yet. Over the past two weeks Eldste E, Aldste A, Aldste M, and I have been studying together how to become like Dan Jones, Wilford Woodruff, Alma, Amulek, and other very successful missionaries (Aldste A and Aldste M are our zone leaders that are going to Sweden). We have beeen pouring over the Book of Mormon looking for things to help us understand that better. This intially started when we read the Sweden mission dedicatory prayer and heard that the European dedicatory prayer as well as the Norwegian dedicatory prayer all have promised blessings of a second harvest. With the hastening of the work we decided now might be the time. When Elder Holland came on Thanksgiving he also said that our group of missionaries would be the ones to "hit it out of the park." Needless to say all of these things made us really excited. Two sundays ago we came together to meet after we were challenged by our district president in the MTC to be the missionaries that would baptize thousands. We began to read the scriptures, trying to understand what makes great missionaries. Each of us finding a piece of the puzzle that would help make us better. These scriptures include Ether 12, Moroni 7 and 10, and Alma 26:22, the stories of the stripling warriors and much more. At the end of these study sessions we would pray for the things that we would think would make us better, and I cannot describe the level of the spirit that would fill our souls. The Lord was telling us to continue.

We did continue, we have had several more meetings together and countless more witnesses to move forward with the challenge to baptize thousands. I believe that I can.

On tuesday Night we had a devotional. It was Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy. He began by saying that  when he was preparing for his talk he started out with basing his remarks on Christmas, but the spirit prompted him to change his remarks. I know that this prompting was for me and for the other three elders that were studying with me. He then began his talk with a story of a missionary who changed his mission in which he was presiding by obtaining a baptismal number of 23 where the previous highest number was 11. The mission became alive and had soon baptized nearly quadrupled the previous mission statisics. He then described and used every single scripture that we had studied for the two weeks prior to that. He described how we need 4 things: faith, obedience, sacrifice, revelation. Each one of these topics used one of the scriptures above.  The spirit remained with me the entire night. I knew that everything he said had personal importance to me. I know that I have a mission that will influence thousands. I know that through my sacrifice and obedience I can obtain the faith and revelation necessary to baptize thousands. When I met him after he looked me in the eye and said "people are going to tell you that baptisms do not happen in Norway. Do not believe them."
 
I love this witness that I have been blessed with.  I know that the Lord has something that he is preparing me for.  I believe that I can influence thousands and be the missionary the Lord would have me be.  I know that we are blessed and we submit to the Lord and give him our will. It is really the only thing that we have to give to him.  We give all that we have he will give us all that he has.  This is our promise.
 
Jeg elsker deg!  Jeg sier alt i Jesu Krist navn, amen.
 
Eldste Jones
 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

THE FIRST PICTURES FROM MY MISSIONARY


Hey there!
 
So I just finished lunch and I am writing you before I got to the temple.
 
To answer your question about gym, everything is going great.   I play basketball everyday.  I have noticed that my knees are sore but its nothing bad.  It is not nearly as bad as it was during football.  Other than that I haven't really been sick, but I have had a runny nose for like the past week or so.
 
We had an elder that had to go home last week from one of the english districts in our branch.  He had problems from anxiety and what not though.  Other than that we are all holding up pretty well.  We are all loving the work and growing really close.  It has been a real blessing to be with the swedish elders and sisters as well, they were the other people in those pictures I sent you.  We might as well be one district here.
 
Visa's as it turns out, are no longer required for norway, just a work permit.  We went in today actually and signed it and they are sending them over to Norway soon.  So that is a big relief.  Still don't know about travel plans or anything like that.
 
Our teachers are portraying people that they had to teach in Norway.  So yes they are typical investigators.  However, it seems like Brother D really likes choosing the hardest investigators he had... haha.  It makes for interesting experiences.  We had to go "contacting" the other day.  Basically we walked oround the MTC and our teachers pretended to be people on the street.  We had to stop them and talk them and try to set up appointments.  Definitely made for a fun time!  I can't wait to actually do that in Norway.
 
Other than that I have just really focusing on being focused haha.  The MTC is a distracting place, but when you are focused you just learn so much!  I have also really studied charity and faith.  I believe that if I can have these two qualities I can really do something great in Norway, and I expect to.  The Lord has not sent us to fail, if I am a representative of Jesus Christ I should have the same affect as if Christ himself was serving in Norway for 2 years. This is what I am called to do, this is what I should expect.  If I humbly submit my will to the Lord's I will do the things he would do.
 
I know that my savior lives, that he died for me.  I know that this is his Gospel and through the atonement I can do everything.  It really makes sense that through the atonement we are everything and without it we are nothing.  Just some food for thought.
 
Jeg elsker deg!
 
Eldste Jones

Dallin sent these pictures with no explanation or information. From what I can tell the Sister in the orange shirt and the yellow sweater in the picture right below this is the  sister in his tri-panionship, also going to Norway.  The other sister must be one of the sisters going to Sweden.  The bottom picture is of the 12 Days of Christmas bags that my mom and I sent to Dallin (and his companions).  I was hoping that they would arrive in time for Day 1 which is today!  I'm so glad he took this picture for me!!!










Friday, December 7, 2012

WE ARE BEING SENT TO BRING PEOPLE TO CHRIST! ITS THE BEST WORK OUT THERE!

Well I am just finishing up laundry here on p-day.  We go to the temple at 2:20. 

The lessons have been really hard.  Both of our investigators have a strained relationship with god and are not sure they even believe. They haven't even prayed with us yet after 3 lessons each.  Keep in mind that these "investigators" are actually our teachers.  We have three teachers; Brother S, Brother B, and Brother D.  They are all awesome.  We have two classsroom periods a day so we usually see 2 of them a day.  Brother S has been sick the last week or so so we haven't seen him in a while. 

I am still DL.  I will be the whole time. It is really interesting because it is just me and my companion.  We usually combine with the swedish elders and sisters when ever we have to do something though.  So it is like there are two DL's for the 13 of us.  I had to teach the district meeting on Sunday.  I did it on the Christlike attribute of diligence.  It went really well.  It is amazing just how influential diligence is in our lives.  It affects every other Christlike attribute and is the means by which we bring change. 

Eldste E and I don't have any new roommates.  It is so nice having our own room! During gym I usually play 4 square for like 10 minutes and then basketball for 40.  There is a pretty good group of guys that play so the games are fun.

Other than that not a whole lot is going on.  Just the same old stuff, learning teaching and growing.  I have really been focusing on how to listen to the spirit more and follow promptings.  I think before I thought through things to much.  I realize now that any good thought that enters my mind is from good and I should be acting up[on it.  Elder Bednar gave a great devotional on that topic that really got me thinking. 

I love the devotionals and talks that we hear here.  We had Elder Holland on Thanksgiving and we have had a bunch of 70's come through for tuesday night devotionals.  Elder Holland mainly talked about how every prophet up to this dispensation knew they were going to fail, but now in our dispensation we are going to succeed gloriously. 

We are being sent to bring people to Christ!  Its the best work out there!

Laundry is done, so I got to go.  I love you so much! The lord loves you as well!  He will bless you!

Jeg vet at Jesus Kristus er min fresler. 

Jeg elsker deg!

Eldste Jones

Thursday, November 29, 2012

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS


Hey Mom!
 
It is totally Christmas time!  They have a ton of lights up here as well.  It is really cool.  I can't say that I will see the lights in temple square either.
 
I see travis sometimes, he is living on the floor below me.  
 
Haha so many questions.  Yes the raincoat came, it fits.  Today was our first real p-day so we did laundry and I go to the temple in like an hour.  The companions and I get along really well.  It is sometimes hard to focus cause we are so similar haha.  But that is a good problem to have compared to others.  I haven't gotten the chance to take a lot of pictures, I just barely took some with the elders that are going to Canada that were rooming with us.  They left on Monday and now me and Eldste Ellsworth have the whole room to ourselves!  It is so sweet.  Our zone got 16 new missionaries yesterday but none of them came to our room.  Sister S is from Orem. 
 
We got three new new investigators this week.  (Keep in mind when I say investigators I mean that our teachers are playing the role of investigators that they taught in Norway)  We have taught two and we have another lesson tonight.  We also have more tomorrow and Saturday.  The lessons have been pretty rough.  The one we taught last night was absolutely brutal.  The investigators name was Evan, and he is in the military and has pretty much no belief in God.  When I asked him if he thought Heaven was important he asked if I had seen star wars.  I said yes.  He then proceded to ask if I thought the death-star was important.  I said no.  He then asked why; I told him because it isn't real.  He then looked at me and just glared...  I had no idea what to say.  Needless to say the rest of the lesson was quite tough.  I didn't want to try and prove anything by showing him scripture or anything like that so I just told him that I have a testimony of heaven that I know that is where I want to go.
 
The language has been coming well.  I am struggling with pronuciation still but I learn the vocab and grammar rules pretty quickly!  It makes it really hard to teach when we have only two weeks worth of Norsk under our belts.  I know that we will learn the stuff we need to and have the gift of the spirit to help!
 
Other than that I have really just enjoyed being here.  I have had lots of opportunities to teach being a district leader and stuff.  We combine with the swedish elders when we have distric meets and what not, so either me or eldste H (the swedish dl) teach.
 
Other than that I am doing great!
 
Jeg elske deg! (I love you)
 
Ha det bra!
 
Eldste Jones

Thursday, November 22, 2012

MY FIRST P-DAY. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Hey mom!

Today is my first p-day.  Well not really cause they are not techinally calling it a p-day. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

I haven't even done laundry yet.  Our branch president said we could write though.

Everything is going too well here.  I am loving every second of it. 

My companion is Eldste E and he is from California.  We room with our zone leaders who are going to Edmonton, Canada (Elder R and Elder C).  I am district leader of our little district. The district is made of one tri-panionship.  Its me and my companion and then a sister that is going to Norway with us.  Her name is Sister S.  There are also 9 other Eldstre that are going to Sweden that are in my zone.  So we talk to them in Norsk and they talk to us in Swedish.  They have told us that we are the last group to be here the full 9 weeks.  I have two teachers, Brother S and Brother D.  They are awesome!  I absolutely love the language. 

We have a mock investigator named Anton.  We are only allowed to teach him in Norsk, so the lessons are really rocking but we just commited him to going to Church on Sunday!

I am learning Norsk very fast.  I definitely understand the most of the three norwegian speakers but I have the worst speaking ability I think.  Surprisingly German has been a double edged sword.  It helps me figure out words but it ruins how I say them.  I sound German when I talk apparently. 

My branch president is President Watts. 

I have seen everyone!  I saw Taylor Blanchard, Travis Clarke, Mason Ming, Ian Nelson, Nate Jensen (he works here in the mornings), and a couple other guys from school and what not.

Other than that I am so happy here.  I am definitely exhausted though.  It is a lot of work, and I am always busy.

I love you!

Eldste Jones


P.S.  The cinnamon rolls were delicious!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

WALKING AWAY


THIS WEEK'S PHOTOS

HOMECOMING/FAREWELL DAY
TRYING ON HIS NEW COAT (LOOKING VERY SUAVE)
BOARDING THE PLANE IN LONG BEACH
HIS LAST FEW BEAUTY WINKS

SO EXCITED AS WE WERE ABOUT TO PULL INTO THE MTC






MAYBE A FEW NERVES
ELDER N HELPING HIM GET HIS LUGGAGE

Monday, November 12, 2012

ELDER VS ELDRE

I have been told that I spelled "Elder" wrong! I just wanted to let you know that the translation of "Elder" to Norwegian is "Eldre" and that is why at the top of the blog you see "Eldre Dallin Jones" or at least that is what google translate said!!  So, it was done that way on purpose. If Dallin gets to the MTC and he goes by something other than "Eldre" I will have to change it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

FAREWELL TALK

BEWARE CONCERNING YOURSELVES

Good morning brothers and sisters! During this past week I had the opportunity to go to Utah.  I was fortunate enough to see many of your sons and daughters that are away at school there.  I really enjoyed this experience, and I was so happy that I could go say goodbye to all my friends that I have known while growing up in this ward.  They have all been so kind to me and I have really enjoyed their friendship through the years.  This trip was relatively short, Taylor and I left on Tuesday morning and spent all day Wednesday and Thursday there.  We made our return journey home on Friday, however this return journey was more eventful than it should have been.  We left Friday morning at about 8, and I took the first shift at the wheel.   It was around 11:30 when the seemingly normal drive home turned into a nightmare. We were just about to drive into St. George when I fell asleep at the wheel.  Now I don’t know if any of you have had this experience, but it is not a comforting feeling to wake up behind the wheel of the car and realize you are not in the lane that you were in a second ago.  Taylor was yelling “Dallin!” as he grabbed the steering wheel to correct our course.  Unfortunately it was not enough time to completely avoid impact with the guardrail.  We bounced off of the rail and returned into our correct lane with no injuries.  I then looked in the side view mirror to see the damage, and determined to exit the freeway to get a better look.

As we exited the freeway I was thinking to myself, “we could have just died.”  This helped to soften the blow when I stepped out of the car to see a two-inch wide section of paint that was stripped off from one wheel well to the other.  I then did what I most certainly did not want to do; I called my parents to tell them what had happened.  I was surprised to find that they were not mad; but were, in fact, happy.  This might have been because I was still alive to talk to them.
Now, after hearing this story that I have shared I would imagine that most of the priesthood brethren know which talk I will be basing my remarks on today.

In Anthony D. Perkin’s talk, “Beware Concerning Yourselves” he shares a childhood memory in which his family would take a very treacherous road to visit his Grandparents.  This road would go up a steep mountain and had many hazards.  Some of these include falling rocks and steep drop offs.  Fortunately for drivers, there were warning signs and guardrails that would warn of the dangers ahead.  These guardrails would help “protect travelers” as they made their journey.  He then goes on to liken this to a Priesthood-holder’s pathway through the gospel. The way is steep and has many hazards that will make life difficult, but there are always things to help guide and protect us along the way. He describes 6 fundamental principles that will act as guardrails and guides for us as we go throughout our lives while here on earth.  These are:

1.     Prayer
2.     Scripture Study
3.     Worthy participation in priesthood ordinances
4.     Showing genuine love toward family
5.     Obedience to the law of tithing
6.     Obedience to the law of chastity

As we look over these principles we must realize that these are things that we have been taught since we were little children.  We have heard them preached from the pulpit in General Conference. We have heard them taught in Primary to the littlest children; they often sing “I love to see the temple, I’m going there someday.” 
We have even heard these principles taught from Bishop Loy.  I cannot think of an interview with Bishop Loy where he did not ask about every single one of these items.  He has stressed these things over and over again to both the young men and to the congregation. 
We have even adopted all of these principles into our Mission Viejo Stake: Vision, Mission, and Goals. Our goal as a stake reads:

Our goal is to establish righteous patterns of living by keeping God’s commandments and standing as witnesses of Christ.  We show our love to God by striving diligently to serve others with charity, qualify for a temple recommend and attend the temple regularly, keep our covenants, hold weekly family home evening, enjoy wholesome family activities, worthily partake of the sacrament, and magnify our callings as we follow the promptings of the Spirit.  Our daily focus includes personal and family prayer and personal and family study of the word of God, especially of the Book of Mormon. As we do these things we will drink from the “well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Now, as promised by our goal, by doing these things we are keeping ourselves out of spiritual danger.  This does not mean however that we are not going to have trials to go through.  We learn from 2nd Nephi 2:11 that there needs to be trials in our life that we main gain knowledge, good from the evil.  We also learn in this chapter that we have agency to choose eternal life through Jesus Christ or Captivity and death through Satan.  We must then understand then that we will still have trials in our lives that will test our faith, but if we are following these principles we will not falter in our faith. 

To look back on my life I can honestly say that making commitments to each one of these principles has made my life better.  As I have gone through high school and into college I have seen the strength that each one of these commitments gives to me personally. 

In high school it might have been going to seminary each day so that I might have the spirit to be with me.  In college it was kneeling in prayer to ask the Lord in comfort when I was having a bad day, or reading the scriptures to understand more about why I was doing the things that I was doing.  In the past 7 months it has been more than anything to prepare me to serve a mission.  I have needed to learn how to maintain these habits that I might be more in tune with the spirit as I go to serve the people of Norway.  But most importantly they have served as guardrails for me allowing me to overcome temptation.

Elder Perkin’s clearly states: “Satan seeks ‘to destroy the souls of men.’”  It is this very reason why these habits are so important in our lives.  If we are reading our scriptures each day, and praying to our Heavenly Father, while worthily participating in priesthood ordinances then we are cultivating a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  It is this divine relationship that is protecting us from those temptations that Satan is throwing at us.  If we are close with the Spirit we will be more readily able to deal with the challenges that will undoubtedly face each of us. 
In Alma 5:14 Alma asks, “Have you been spiritually born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have you experienced this mighty change of hearts?”

If we as a people have indeed felt this level of conversion then we will not allow ourselves to be tossed about in the storms of life, but rather we will be steadfast and immoveable in the Gospel.
We learn in section 121:37 of the Doctrine & Covenants that “the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.” 

This teaches us why it is so important to be obedient to our Lord’s Commandments.  As I go to serve the people of Norway I cannot have the spirit to be with me as my companion unless I am obedient.  This might be the most vital characteristic of missionaries; they are so close to the spirit. Missionaries teach, it is only through the spirit that others may come unto Christ.  Nephi teaches “when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the holy ghost carries it unto the hearts of the Children of men.”

In this I have a testimony brothers and sisters, that is only through the power of the Holy Ghost that we can be truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Now I also have a testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  We being human will always make mistakes.  We can’t always stay clearly within lanes as I so amply demonstrated on the I-15 on Friday.  But I can testify…





FAMILY IN ATTENDANCE MINUS 17 THAT HAD ALREADY LEFT