WELCOME to Elder John-Gregory Sierra's mission blog! For the next two years Elder Sierra will be serving as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the California Sacramento Mission. We hope you will enjoy his experiences, shared through weekly letters. We will post his letters each week and any pictures he may send.

Write Elder Sierra


Missionaries love to get letters (and care packages)! If you'd like to write to Elder Sierra, please use the following addresses:

Elder John-Gregory Sierra
California Sacramento Mission
8267 Deseret Ave
Fair Oaks, CA 95628


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015


Well Mom, I don't how to tell ya. I'm still trying to realize that this is it, because it doesn't feel real to me either. It's like I am sitting on a train ride and I am the only one there and I don't know how long it's going to take for me to get back. It's pretty rough. I love my mission. Sacramento is my home. The people here I serve, I love them. And they love me as well. These past few days everybody has been trying to squeeze me in for a dinner or lunch or breakfast or brunch. In the past few days, I think I have had, like, 4 meals per day haha. It's been awesome, though, and I feel honored to be treated with such warmth. Last night was pretty special as well. I was eating with the Roberts (the family that houses me) and the Caspers (good friends). They were all commenting on how much they loved Elder Rentz (very great missionary and close friend) and I and were very grateful for our service. The Bishop called and told me that he was grateful for the work I put in for the group and I have been getting phone calls from former companions and other missionaries I served around telling me that I will be missed and, honestly, I am gonna lose a huge chunk of my heart when I return home. President Jardine wanted to give me an interview and it was probably the best one I'd ever had. We talked about what is to come, what I should do, things I should prioritize, and that I should go home, relax for a few days then, GO WILD (no, that's not what he said). I will tell you about the interview in more detail when I get home. At the end of it, he told me, "Elder Sierra, you've been in many places, you have had many "different" experiences that have helped you to grow in ways you never thought you could. I hope you know that your service has been more than enough. I hope you know that the Lord is pleased with you. I hope you know that I love you and will miss you very much." That one almost made me cry. The Spirit filled the room and I knew without a DOUBT that my mission was a success. I love my mission Mom. However, I love you and my family and friends just as much. I am more than ready to move on. I'm ready to reconnect with old friends. I am excited to see you all again and it will be a very joyous day when I get off the plane to hug you all again. It has been a great journey. I am ready for my next adventure. I love you so much Mom. Thank you for everything.

For the last time,

Elder Sierra

Monday, February 2, 2015


Hey Mom,

Yeah, next Tuesday will be my final P-Day! Then I will be prepping to return home. I have a family that's gonna drop off some of my stuff, as well, to make the airfare a lot cheaper. That, and to transport stuff that I didn't want on a plane. So it'll get to you right before I get home. The Casper Family will be dropping them off and from what I hear, you and Sister Casper have been in contact with one another lol. I find it funny how some of the people here connect with you. To me it connects my family to my mission... ,Well Mom, I am happy that I can be of help spiritually when I can. I love being of service to others. It helps me to see the people the way that our Heavenly Father sees them. It allows me to feel His love as well. It converts me closer to the Lord and I lose myself in trying to love and serve others. This has been the ultimate lesson of my mission. 
Well, Mom, the work here is picking up little by little. The Villanuevas came again to church and I have asked Brother Villanueva to teach the lesson this coming Sunday. The Spanish class continues to grow and I love it. This has been one of my favorite areas to serve in. I have been in many and this has been one of my hardest challenges because this one required patience. I know things will work out whether I am here or not. Time and time again the Lord has let me know that the people here will not be abandoned. I am grateful for this place. It has taught me much and I love them and, even more special, I have felt the love from the people that I served here. They wish to keep in touch with me and they want me to return soon. I love it here. I love you Mom. 
This is my last week to go all out. I've got a lot of service meetings with the stake president, bishops and several ward mission leaders and there are, like, 10 dozen members that want me for dinner/lunch/breakfast/brunch/dinner and breakfast haha Seriously! I don't even have much time to even BE trunky! I got complimented by my mission president who said, "Elder Sierra, out of everybody in your group that is leaving, you seem to be the most collected missionary that is going home. You know you're going home and accept it, but you don't use it as an excuse to stop working. I'm proud of you."
I will return home with honor. Love you Mom!

Elder John-Gregory Sierra 
Here's a pic from the temple trip:
 Elder Rentz is on the left, and Elder Hinkley is on the right.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Letter from 1/26/2015

Hey Mom,

I have not received the package yet, but I am pretty sure it's at my place waiting for me. It'll be a nice present to return to. It really will be my final package haha. Man Mom, like, a little more than two more weeks then I will be back. It gets to me from time to time when I am talking to members and I will be setting up stuff in the future and then it hits me, "Wait....I won't be here!". Or my companion would remind me, "Dude, you'll be home by then!" It sucks, but I will be happy to be back. I just really love my area here. The Villanueva family did not show yesterday, but we still had a good attendance. 7 still beats 3-4 (still not including us). The familia Rodriguez are taking the temple lessons and getting interviews with the bishop so they can be sealed and it doesn't look like I will be on my mission to see it, but it's fine as long as it happens. Work is coming along steadily. I have finally made a system for the Spanish group so that they can always have support from the stake. I feel like I have accomplished what I needed to in the area now. All I am doing at this point is just patching everything up. I will be able to return home with a clear conscience. 
....Well Mom, I know it's a short letter, but I figure I'll just tell you the rest when I get home. I love you and will talk to you soon. Thanks for all the updates. 


Elder Sierra

Pictures from our last temple trip:

My mission president, President Jardine, and his wife.


Elder Sierra got to go back to his first area in the mission and baptize his first investigator, and friend, Ricky, who he found knocking doors. It was awesome!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Letter from Jan. 19, 2015

Hey Mom,

I am fine. Trying to stay busy to keep focused. It's working. Our part-member family was at church the other day. And we had other Spanish members there as well for support. So, instead of 3-4 people, not including missionaries, we had 12 people (still not including missionaries). It was a great Sunday yesterday. The Spirit was strong.  We are going to try to keep the momentum going. Today we are going to a members house (it's more like a castle) and we are going to have  a BBQ and play a whole lot of sports.
Tell MJ I love them too and I would be both honored and happy to go and be with them again.
Well, Mom, I gotta get going.
Thank you so much for helping me with school and finances and what not
Couldn't have done it without ya.
Love you very much and I will see you in about 3 weeks
Elder Sierra

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 12, 2015

Hey Mom,

Ricky's baptism was AMAZING!!! I have to say, probably the crowning moment of my mission. His family was all there and some of the missionaries that were there when I first taught him were there. The mission president was there, as well, so that was real cool. I had a member accept Ricky as my friend on Facebook so he could tag me in all the photos of the baptism, so you will be getting a lot of pics your way. All 85 of them.....it was great, to say the least. We went and got Chinese food afterwards and we gave him a quad with his full name on it as his gift. We had a great time. 
[In answer to your questions:] Thanks, Mom... the pants fit perfectly! I did the [baptismal] ordinance, so HECK TO THE YES!!... His family was super excited and there are two in particular (his sister and brother in law) that I know will get baptized someday. And no, none of them are members...yet. And yeah, that's his goal to go through the temple in a year with a faithful lds wife. He is SO EXCITED!...He plans to come to Utah in June. He wants to move out there someday...
I loved that baptism more than all the others. The Spirit was unbelievable. Even President commented to me, "In all the times I have ever seen you, you have never looked happier. And this baptism was one of the most spiritual that I have ever seen." Nuff said. 
 Work here on the other hand is really improving. The Villanuevas have started to come back to church and Hermano Villanueva is gonna give the lesson this Sunday on testimony and conversion. We are making progress and we are now teaching the Rodriguez family the temple lessons. Bishop is interviewing with them to make sure they are ready. We are LOVIN our time here. 

Thanks for helping me with the FAFSA stuff. I really needed that out of the way. And also for inviting my old companions to come to my homecoming. Don't worry I'm not TOO trunky. I am, of course, excited to return home and enjoy the luxuries of life, but I really do love it out here. It tears me up a little that it is almost over. It was so quick, so out of nowhere and it's passed like a dream. I am different now, I understand things differently, I think a little differently.....but I still act insane haha. Mom, don't worry, I am still having the time of my life out here and am growing a lot. I've got a lot to talk about when I return and I am excited. The families are already turning around and honestly, that came out of DILIGENCE. Truthfully Mom, anyone can be obedient and I am striving to do so, but there are obedient people that don't baptize at all because they don't obey the Spirit. That is the key here, honestly. Follow the Spirit. It can't fail you. Whenever I have ever given a training on obedience I talk about what we must be obedient to. It all goes back to following the promptings of the Holy Spirit who will always show you where you must go. He is showing me right now. We are seeing little miracles happen here and there and it's all because of that... if you're in tune with the Spirit, then you will automatically be obedient. So, there's nothing to worry about when you do that.
I love you Mom and there's not much longer until I return, and time flies when having fun =)
Love you Mom.

Elder Sierra

Monday, January 12, 2015

Letter from Jan 5, 2015

Hey Mom,

Thank you for the pants. I appreciate it. Can't wait for Ricky's baptism this Saturday. I got off the phone with him and he just got his ankle bracelet cut off and he is walking to his interview with President Jardine. I am really happy right now. I talked with President Jardine asking for permission and he said, "OF COURSE!! This has been a long time coming. There is no better way to end your mission than to go back to your first area to see your FIRST investigator finally get baptized. You have full permission to go." Like I said, I am very HAPPY right now! Now I am working on getting a ride, but Prez gave me permission to just drive there if there was no other way. There is nothing stopping me now haha. 
The area is going good. We are focusing everything on our less-actives and part-member families. We received spiritual confirmation that that is the best course of action. No point in finding new people to join a group if there is no group, right? Our top priority, however, is to get the Rodriguez family sealed. We are working very hard on that. We are teaching the temple lessons and we are setting them up with the bishop so that everything will be set in about 6 weeks for them to finally get sealed for all of time and eternity. There is not much to talk about on work. Not too much has changed between last Thursday and now so next week will be a longer letter. I love you Mom.

Elder Sierra