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


Monday, June 24, 2013


Hey Mom,

Piano is coming along slowly, but yeah, still trying to get some hymns down. Also,  my companion has been teaching me the guitar. I bought his for $40 and yeah, it was a good deal. I'm coming along pretty quick. Got some songs down too. My favorite one that I know so far is "Hallelujah". It's the one by Leonard Cohen and it was played in Shrek 1. So.....Benjamin is now my height..........Crap. Well, I guess it was a good run while it lasted, but it'll be fine. haha. Maybe jump-roping will help me grow another inch. 
So, Chewy and his family are coming along nicely. Also, Juan Calderon is being baptized on July 13. If ever I saw a man that was prepared to hear the gospel,  it is JUAN. He is just full of light and has a laugh that is contagious. I love that guy. And, we just set up a date for Antonio to be baptized on July 27. He is a nice kid and is learning English right now. (His English is better than my Spanish).  Rodrigo is doing wonderfully. He had a drinking problem and is trying SO hard to not sip any more alcohol. He called me once and asked me if I could help him find a substitute. My companion was like, "I don't know any way to replace alcohol." However, being me, and it kinda just popped into my head, I told him, "Empieza bebiendo Mountain Dew!"(Start drinking Mountain Dew) HAHAHA!!! Yep, I totally got the guy hooked on Dew. And let me tell ya, he has no more problems with wanting to go get a drink. haha. Elder Villalva said to me, "You are the most unorthodox missionary I will ever know." I asked him if that was a bad thing. He told me, "I'm still deciding." LOL love my companion. And I only have a week left with that guy. Muy triste. Oh yes, and I am teaching the Crips still and they all love what they are hearing. And now my teaching group has grown from 5-6 to 10-12. They love learning and actually asked me a question, "So is it wrong to sell drugs? I mean we are just selling it. They're the ones buying the stuff." I just said, "Yeah, because you are the ones handing out the sin." That one kinda sunk in. Tyrone then suggested that they find a different way to make money. Pretty cool right? Preachin' the Gospel to a bunch of CRIPS!!! They all call me "The Fightin' Preacher"! I wont lie; I like the title. haha. 
Oh yeah, so how is dad? And are you doing all right? Our families are still doing well and we are just working hard out here. I love you Mom. Hope you're not having any more anxiety attack because of me. Love you!

Elder Sierra

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dear My Poor Unfortunate Mother (jk),
I am probably the worst son on earth, aren't I? Didn't think that you would react so strongly about that lol. And I wouldn't feel scared for me because Tyrone and William (the guys I took out) and some of their friends are now our investigators HAHAHA!!! Man, that is funny and during one of our lessons, a cop showed up and said, "So, what are you boys doing?" I just told him, "Preaching the gospel and talking about our wonderful Savior Jesus Christ. Would you like to join us?" He laughed and said, "All right. Well, I guess everything is fine." What a sight that must've been, a couple of missionaries teaching the gospel to a bunch of crips. Gotta love being a missionary, right?
 Well, I have been getting praised a lot out here for doing that by the other missionaries, but as for my companion (who was scared out of his mind), the assistants to the mission president, and my mission president (LOVE THAT GUY), they didn't exactly see eye to eye with me on that one. The assistants went pretty haywire and were chewing me out saying stuff like, it was not becoming of a disciple of Jesus Christ at all, and that I shouldn't have gone in that area at all, I should be ashamed of myself for my vigilantism..., but yeah, they had a list and, if you know me, I kinda was a bit ticked because I knew it was the right thing to do and that we have about 6 new investigators because of it, one of which will be baptized soon. So yeah, I kinda threw it all back at them saying things like, well, if you were called into my area you would've known what was right or not..., secondly, our lives were in danger, so what did you expect me to do..... They didn't seem to like that at all. So, Mission President pays me a visit right before I head out to proselyte and...yeah....basically, he told me I'm the cause of his hair turning gray and that he just wants me to slow down a bit and to try not to make the assistants angry, because they were pretty ticked and it disturbed his work quite a bit, to the point that apparently, they were forbidden to mention my name for the next day, practically.  I asked him what he thought about my experience. He just said, "Elder Sierra, as long as you don't get yourself killed and always try to set a good example, I don't care how you go about teaching. Just don't make my wife worry about you." Felt kinda bad after that one. SO, yeah, gotta try to be more humble. However, work is going well and the Valdez family (Chewy's family) is going to be baptized as a FAMILY on the 6th of July. SO EXCITED!!! 
Mom things may get hectic, but I promise you everything is going to be all right and I will come home safe. I'm sorry that you had a rough week, but I love you and hey, I wanted to share with you something that would make you happy. I have learned some hymns and I am trying to learn a few more so that I can play for the Spanish wards now. I'm getting back on the piano, Mom, even learning a bit of guitar (in my personal time, of course). Tell everyone I love them and thanks for caring and reading the blog.
Your son (who is trying not to be completely chaotic),
Elder Sierra
p.s. Olive Garden, Walmart, well, money in general would be great, especially now since my companion doesn't have much financial support (Elder Sierra's birthday is July 20th)
p.p.s send me more of the comments from my previous letter and from this one. They are FUNNY! Everyone here got a good laugh out of it! Also, let me know what everyone thinks haha had NO idea that it would spread like wildfire back home. But haha if I didn't have stories to tell then I wouldn't be doing much, right? Love ya!
A quick response to mom and dad's thoughts about the exchange between Elder Sierra and the APs (asstistants to the president) while he was still online today: 

I get the point. I just didn't like the way they were talking to me, that's all. But, yeah, things have cooled over. The mission president said that we were both in the wrong for talking like that to each other. Yes, I need to respect the AP's but, at the same time, they need to criticize in a Christlike manner. 

Monday, June 10, 2013


Dear Mom,

Well, I am happy to say that my toes feel a lot better. Also, sorry for not telling you that I sang at a Spanish fireside. The Spirit was powerful and it was literally something that was thrown together in the space of 10 minutes. haha. But, it was great. The Galvez family is doing well, but we couldn't meet with them, so, it kinda put a dent in our plans to ask him to be baptized.  It will all work out.  Pedro is a firm believer. Chewy is also doing great. His family has been coming to church with him these past couple weeks and they are all looking forward to his baptism. That, and we now have dates with Antonio, Juan (also teaching his gf), and Jorge. Things have been picking up well. It has been a very exciting week. 
SO, anyhow, my little story for today is about a little interesting experience that happened about three days ago. And, it required me to bring back the old JG. Friday morning, when we were making plans to go out and tract, I pointed to an area that we have never been to before and I asked my companion, "How come we never tract over in this area?" He told me that is was a VERY rough area and that the Bloods and the Crips are constantly fighting there. I told him not to worry and that I felt that there was an investigator waiting for us there. He was still not convinced, so I told him, "Don't worry, man, if anything happens I will fight our way out of it." He was still not all right with it, but he put his trust in me and we went over to that area. As we began to tract, I spotted a Spanish guy fixing up his car, so we began to walk over, and lo and behold, a couple of guys get in my way. They were members of the Crips and were cussing us out and pretty much bluntly told us to give them whatever money we had on us and to get in our car and get the heck out of their neighborhood. Being me, especially since the Spirit prompted me to talk to the Hispanic guy fixing up the car, who was now looking at us, all I said to them was this, "Get out of my way or I will not be responsible for what happens to you both." My companion was freaking out and the two Crips didn't really like that, so, of course, they attacked me. Took me about 2 minutes maybe 3 to take 'em out. My companion was in awe...  One of them dropped a knife during the fight and I grabbed it and they were freaking out. I told them that I would keep the knife and that I would spare them if they would take two Books of Mormon and go home. HAHAHA!! I wish I had a camera! Their faces were SO FUNNY! We had a small conversation about the Lord and my companion and I talked with them about the Plan of Salvation that brought tears to their eyes. Their names were Tyrone and William. They are nice guys, just a little confused. Gave them each a Book of Mormon and they went on their way. The Hispanic guy watched the entire thing. As we approached him he said, "Why did you fight with those 2 young men?" I said, "Because we have a beautiful message to share with you about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I wasn't going to let two gangsters get in the way of that." He cried. He told us that he was waiting for this his entire life. His name is Rodrigo Garcia. He will be baptized on July 13. The Spirit is always with those who strive to be righteous. You will know when it is the time to stand up for your beliefs and to fight for what is right. I leave you with those words of wisdom.

Elder Sierra, now known as "The Fighting Missionary"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Elder Sierra sent two letters this week. Here are some excerpts:

Hey Mom,

Thanks for the scripture! 
(D&C 121:7-8. My son, apeace be unto thy soul; thine badversity and thine afflictions shall be but a csmall moment 8. And then, if thou aendure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy bfoes.) 
In fact, I share that one a lot with many of my investigators. 

Things have just picked up immensely!! However, it happened after the trial of our faith. We were losing investigators left and right and it was getting us down quite a bit, especially while doing a service project out in the Sacramento Race Track. An elder dropped a VERY heavy metal rail on my foot. Broke two of my toes on my right foot. When that hit my foot, I lost it, and I hopped about 20 yards away so I could vent, haha. And what was worse was that some of the sister missionaries were there...(I was pretty enraged). So, that was the icing on the cake of a bad week. And to make matters worse, none of our investigators came to church. So, that kinda got me very depressed. I am a sleep deprived, handicapped, and depressed missionary. I prayed to the Lord saying, "Lord, I have been trying as hard as I can to work hard, and my companion has also been giving his all. I have two broken and swelled up toes, and I'm still biking and running door to door, and let me tell you, it's not fun. We REALLY need you to throw us a bone here, please." Right when I said that, a less active member brought two friends and his nephew inside our class and they were all non-members that have a very intense desire to learn about our church. HAHA! I then prayed again saying, "Sorry for complaining and thanks for throwing us a big, fat, juicy steak, instead of a bone." We taught all of them that same night. All three have a baptismal date for June 29!!!!!!!!!!! That's a miracle. Their names are: Antonio Franco (the nephew, very excited to learn), Juan Fraga, and Jorge Gonzales. That was the miracle of the week. 

Chewy Valdez is still doing great and now his daughter wants to be bapitzed, but she is scheduled for two weeks after Chewy's baptism so that he can baptize his daughter. The work is moving along. As for Pedro, he is making steady progress and we will challenge him and his wife to be baptized tomorrow. Nothin' is gonna keep me down, haha. I love being a missionary. I do miss you guys though, but there will be more hikes and family outings when I get back (until Benjamin heads out on his mission). I love you all. Thanks for the support.

Tu hijo,

Elder JG

Excerpts from Dad's Letter:

Hey Papi,

...Well Dad, I know no one can beat you in practically anything when you put your mind to it. I still haven't been able to beat you mano-a-mano yet. However, that will change when I get home. I have been filling out haha. I am also happy to hear about your class. Dad...everyone loves you. Honestly, I still hear from people to this day, including __________, who just wrote to me saying, I wish I had a Father like yours. No one can compete with you. You're literally the perfect Father, at least to me. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that My Father in Heaven can love me infinitely more than my earthly parents. I promise when I get home to do much better about spending a lot more time with you. Because I want my family to be close to you and Benjamin. That's the way I want it to be. I don't care if that means I gotta move to Utah. 
My sleeping is very bad right now. I get about 2 hours a night. It's hard for me to get up on time and it does affect my studies, but I am working on it...This time of the year is when many of my friends passed away so it's kinda normal for this to happen. But it does not affect my teaching. I do not allow it to.  I may be broken by the time I get home, but it will not be while I am working. So don't be surprised when I get off that plane and want to take a nap. I never stop working out here. Sometimes my comp gets tired rather quick and wants to rest, but I push us both forward. I dont believe in surrender. 

Dad I will be fine. The Lord will not allow me to fall. Whether it's on my mission, at home, in the military, or fighting the adversary and his hosts like I did, before, back in the pre-mortal life. For just like Boyd K. Packer said (try and find that talk for me). "[I] was a General in the war in Heaven. [I] was held back 6000 years because [I] was one of the most loyal, obedient, courageous, and talented among all the spirits in the premortal world." I have been saved for this reason Dad. Even the misson president said that Spanish work is, right now, at a low point and it has been spiraling down for 5 years, but this is the generation of missionaries, [we] that are here, right now, that will turn this work around. Don't worry Dad. I will not fail. I can't stop and I won't stop the work that I am doing. This will be just a small moment and before I know it, the trials will be over and I will see the fruits of my labor. I have NEVER DOUBTED MY GOD!! HE IS MY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF! MY FATHER IN HEAVEN!!! I CANNOT FALL! I am being righteous and striving to be better. Even though I am a SINNER, I SHALL NOT FALL! I love you Dad and tell your class what I said because I know they all need to be reminded of this. For they are also Generals of the WAR IN HEAVEN! We are the ARMY of HELAMAN! We have been TAUGHT in our YOUTH! And WE will BE the LORD'S Missionaries to BRING the WORLD it's TRUTH! My Mother and Father taught me to have faith in Jesus Christ, to pray always, and to praise God. Yea, it was my parents that changed me into a faithful young man. The Lord is with me and whether it is physical or spiritual, as long as I am with the Lord and rely on Him, I can never FALL in battle. I love you Dad. Thank you for being my perfect example of a soldier. I may be the so-called "Golden Generation", but you are the best teachers, in my belief, for it was your duty to raise up this generation. I love you Father. I will be just fine.

Your Soldier,

Elder Juan Gregorio Sierra