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, April 30, 2013


Excerpts from a letter that arrived today in the mail that should have gotten here last week and Elder Sierra's e-mail from this week. Enjoy


Hey Mom,

I wrote a letter to you, but I guess you haven't gotten it yet. You should soon, but if not send a package to elder Dansie but send it to his entire zone. They are all still there and I finally found my address book and I want them to know that I still love and miss them, for they are all my brothers. Also that shirt is hilarious haha I want one. Anyhow, I'm happy to hear Ana is out and starting her mission. It is incredible so far. If you send me her email I will email her next p=-day.
Work here in Sacramento is going a little slow. Our families aren't keeping up on commitments, we are having problems finding new investigators, and my companion and I have been getting a little discouraged, but our saving grace this week was Ricky. He is really excited about the gospel. He believes that the Book of Mormon is true and is practically a "Dry Mormon". When we discussed with him about the word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity, all he said was, "Alright, as of today, I am abstaining from all of those things. When can I get baptized?" I was about to shoot through the roof. I have never met anyone with such a desire to become closer to God and to follow Christ. He came to church last Sunday and he cried telling me, "I have never felt so much peace in my life before." I can't wait for his baptismal day. He is gonna be getting an interview with President Lewis soon and we are excited for him. The gospel is true and I, along with my companion, will continue to proclaim the Savior's work. I have not lost heart. I know this is where I need to be. 
Mom I love you so much. Thank you for always cheering me on, even when I didn't want it. Dad, thanks for setting me an example perseverance and to work hard. It really has helped. Benjamin,  even when I wasn't always the greatest big brother growing up, you have and still love me, THANK YOU SO MUCH. I gotta get moving soon so I will talk to you all later.  Please send that package to my old zone. My letter should get to you by today. 

Elder Sierra


Dear Mom,

Sorry for not e-mailing you back in time. Hopefully, you'll get this before next p-day. I'm happy to hear about Ana being ready to go out on her mission. Tell her that her cousin in Cali, Sac-Town is proud. She's a tough señorita; I'm sure she will do great. Please send me her address and email; I'd like to root for her while she's there...
As far as life goes over here, well, let me tell you that it has been a struggle, but this week, everything has been picking up and moving forward so fast. The Valdés family has gone to church for about three weeks now and are asking more about when they could be baptized.  I was about to shoot through the roof. I couldn't believe what they were saying. I asked them why they were feeling this way. They just flat out told me, "We just feel that it's right." I was so happy that day. This Saturday, we are going to set up a date with them.

Raúl and his family were progressing very slowly and we felt that they weren't interested anymore, but I told my companion, "Let's go visit them today and found out." we drove to their place, knocked on the door, and lo and behold, his wife, Rafaela, answered the door and said, "Oh my goodness! Elders, you came by at the perfect time! Can you answer some questions about the Book of Mormon? My husband and I have been studying it and there are some scriptures we don't understand very well." My companion's jaw dropped. I just laughed and responded, "Claro que sí!" (Of course!) They are very interested in our church and would like to come our ward with us this Sunday. This week has been full of blessings.

The one investigator that we are really excited about is Ricky. He has been very receptive to our lessons and has an unbelievable desire to change. Our last lesson we had with him was a huge step forward. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and we taught him the principle of faith. During the lessons, he told us all his concerns. One in particular was that he felt God hated him because he has come across a lot of trials and he has been striving to be a good person. I bore my testimony to him that God loves all His children unconditionally. Then I compared his experiences to when Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail and was abused, mocked and fed rotten human flesh (is that true, Ralynne?!) He was a prophet of God, he was suffering in a horrifying prison for a several months and he felt forgotten. He cried to the Lord for help and to end his suffering. I read to Ricky what the Lord said to Joseph Smith in D&C 121:7-8. (7. My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; 8. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.)
Ricky responded to me in a way that I would never had imagined. Never in my life have I seen such faith. He told me, "I understand. Or, at least I think I do. The Lord has put me through my hard times so that I would listen to your message. Thank you. I don't know if, or actually, I don't have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, but I want to so badly belief that this is true." I felt the Spirit fill the room with such power. I challenged Ricky to not just take our word for it and to pray for that surety and knowledge that this is true. He gladly accepted and went on to tell us how he would stop smoking, drinking and that he wanted to take his daughters with him to our church this Sunday. I could go on about Ricky. He is a miracle. I love being out here. The Church is true and the work is real.

I love you all very much. Please get all the folks back home to e-mail or write me. I love you.

Elder "J.G." Sierra

P.S. My current address is:
Elder Sierra
8267 Deseret Ave.
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Monday, April 15, 2013


Hey guys,

I am loving Sacramento, California (Sac-town). It kind of reminds me of Pembroke Pines, FL.  I have been teaching a couple of wonderful families. The Valdez family, from Mexico, and the Gullermina, also from Mexico. They have been progressing very well and I do love their families and teaching them about the gospel. The other day, when we taught the Valdez family, we explained to them in depth about the Plan of Salvation. The spirit swelled the room and they were crying at the end of the lesson. I bore my testimony and I couldn't help but try to hold back my tears. It was a wonderful lesson. They want to be baptized so my companion and I are ecstatic about that! My companion is Elder Villalva, from Ecuador, and he is so AWESOME! He's been showing me the ropes of being a missionary and is so much fun. He is also hard-working, which keeps me motivated to go out every day and teach. He has been helping me with my Spanish quite a bit. So, in short, he is the best trainer I could've asked for.  I'd send pics, but I forgot my camera... I gotta head out, but I love you Mom, I love you Dad, I love you Benjamin, and I miss you guys, but right now I love the mission more. I love being here and I love serving the Lord. The church is true.

Elder Sierra  

Monday, April 8, 2013


Hey Everybody,
Tomorrow I head out to the field! It's pretty insane what goes on here in the MTC. You make a lot of good friends and if you want to shoot an email or write a letter you gotta be on the ball! It is pretty overwhelming at times, but I know I am supposed to be here doing the Lord's work. Every day is another struggle with the language and another lesson for me in humility which can get a little tough, but you can't help but love the Spirit that radiates here. It's gonna be hard to leave my zone because I have so many amazing brothers that I bonded with. However, we will all meet again someday. I know it. Today has to be short since I've got to finish some other letters and I have to make sure I am all packed and ready to go.  I love you all, this church is true, and I cannot wait to finally go out to Sacramento in the Spanish neighborhoods and proclaim the gospel, telling everyone that the True Church has been restored on the earth, that we have a Living Prophet, that Christ Lives and that God has a wonderful Plan of Happiness for all of His children. I testify with all of my heart that I know these things are true! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder "JG" Sierra

Elder Sierra sent a whole slew of pictures. Enjoy!
My previous zone leaders Elder Dearden (white guy) & Elder Agor (Hawaian guy)

Me and some of the old districts of zone 1.

Elder Wall and I!

Elder Bailry (the BAUSS!) and me

Elder Fuluvaka and me in the laundry room on P-Day (Preparation Day). (They have Mondays free until 5:00pm. That's the day they do their laundry, write letters home, go to the temple and relax!)

My companion (Elder Crook) is looking for the secret door.

My companion and I with the New District that just came in!

Just enjoying the temple walk

Loving the weekly temple walks again

My district!

Sister Wallentine and me!

Sister Briggs and me

Sister Jorgenson and me

Sister Hammer And me (lookin' like a BOSS!)

The Famous Elder Cassity Bow Tie!!!

Me, pranking Elder Turley!
It was legit!
Gotta have some fun! HAHAHA!

He begins to wipe the shaving cream all over his face!
Victory was mine!

We wrestle for a bit!
It was fun!
He was a good sport!
(I won)

Our district with our branch presidency!

Elder Vogel copies the Elder Cassity bow tie.

Elder Jensen

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Enforcer Prepares to Step Down

I left out a story from last week's letter:

"...We do what we can to have fun around here. Thanks for the nerf guns, by the way! It's been great. The zones from upstairs came to attack us and we were armed to the teeth (thanks to my extra ammo). They didn't stand a chance and I tackled their zone leaders and we literally hogtied them in our room, and we weren't releasing them until we had a signed surrender from them. HaHa. Our mission president found out and told us all how proud he was... lol".

(Classic JG!)

Here's this week's letter:

Hey Mom,

I loved the Easter basket! The pokemon cards made the egg, lol. It was awesome and everyone in my zone is so jealous. But, yeah, its been insane being here for over a month and in a week from today, I'll be out (which means I leave on Tuesday morning). We get to baptize Francisco this coming Sunday so it'll be great a great way to end our learning at the MTC, with a baptism.  My companion and I are doing amazing! We didn't get along at first but, after a long companionship inventory, we are both doing a LOT better. We make a killer team. Anyhow, my reign as the "Enforcer" will soon be at an end. I have been planning with the man who I have appointed as the new "Enforcer" to 'fight' me (choreographed) to end my rule and usurp his authority as the next "ENFORCER"!!! It's a tradition of SANGRE! lol It's real fun. I take great pride in being the "Enforcer" because the real job that is passed down from missionary to missionary, is to love everyone, make sure they are all right, that they aren't homesick, he is everybody's best friend, and can be a shoulder for those who need to cry it out. I have definitley tried to live up to my calling to the LETTER. Everyone has always come up to me asking for advice on how to get along with their companions, for comfort, a friend, food, or just to have someone to talk to. I always go to everyone at night and ask them three times if they are okay and if there are any problems. I love them all and I tell them that everyday. What makes my title so great is that as much as I love them, they all love me just as much and a few have come up to me today, crying, because they were going to miss me. One in particular, Elder N..., hugged me the other night and I just told him sincerely, "I love you man", and he completely broke down. He told me that he never had a friend that was so sincere and cared so much for him. I cant help but tear up almost everyday with the experiences I have at the MTC. I will miss them all so much when I leave, so I will make this last week count, big time. Mom, I know this is where I need to be. I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be right now.

That's pretty sad that Will has to wait even longer before he can come to the MTC [visa delays]. I'll send him an email telling him not to despair. No matter how long it takes, and when he gets back, I'll be there to greet him. Being in St. George sounds fun! I saw some of the pics and they look great. So do Stephan and Emily! Please send them my love. They look great. Also, send Michael my love. We didn't get a chance to talk before I left and I honestly miss the guy. I hope he will do okay with his foot surgery, and I will pray for him. I love you Mom! Please tell Grandma Gail and Aunt Ramee and the others to write me some time. I wanna hear from them. 

Your Son,

Elder Sierra