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.

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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, August 5, 2013

 Letter from Aug. 5, 2013

Hey Mom,

Mission life is treating me good! This week, Antonio's baptism is set for Friday, Olivia for next Saturday, and Chewy for the 17th. My companion and I are trying to get a baptism for every week of August. So far, missionary work is good. We are teaching another crip haha. I don't know how I find 'em, but it's a blast. He loves the gospel and accepted a baptismal invitation for the 24th. Unfortunately, we have to pass him off since he does not speak Spanish.  It's sad, but we are counting him as ours anyway. And the bishop in the Rossmor Ward, the one Ricky is going to, is petitioning to have the Presidency allow Ricky to be baptized now rather than waiting a year to get his ankle bracelet off. We are praying and keeping our fingers crossed. 
The group is doing very well. (Elder Sierra is helping form a branch of the church in Rancho Cordova.)  I've been learning a lot more Spanish this transfer because I need to translate some of the speakers. It is tough. I ask the members if they hate the way I translate, but they all say I sound fine and I speak like a Cuban. So, I've got no complaints haha! That'll make Dad proud. Also, we talked to the stake presidents and also with the mission presidents and they are in agreement in creating a branch in RANCHO CORDOVA, BABY!!! Our hard work FINALLY paid off!!!!!!! Take that AP'S!! (They told us not to do it, BUT I DID IT ANYWAY!!!) The members are very excited. It saves them a 30-minute drive to the church and it will take, at the max, maybe 5-10 minutes to get there. So much easier and a lot of less actives (because it's hard for them to do that and, some don't have a car) can't wait. It's such a relief to know that if I transfer I left my area looking better than before. So, President Lewis is happy that we talked to all the right people to set this up and believe me, it took A LOT of work. So, in my first 3 transfers we created a new branch, a new Spanish area for the mission, divided up the boundaries to make everybody's life easier, and have brought 15 souls unto Christ (mostly English-speaking guys that we passed off and Spanish investigators that moved somewhere else to be baptized. Go figure). Love the work! It is so freaking hard, but it is SO much fun, too. If I knew a mission would be this fun, I would have gotten better prepared a LONGGGG time ago. 
Well Mom, I love you. Tell the rest of the family I say, wassup! And, I am about to pass my 6 month mark in a couple of weeks. Te amo.

Elder Sierra

p.s. Don't worry about my funds! We just moved in with a member and he makes some pretty awesome food!! (he's Italian/Russian)

A few extra tidbits:

Mom: Holy Mackerel! I cannot believe all you've done!... I thought Olivia had to be passed off? Are you still able to baptize her?...And yes, where DO you find these crips? And speaking of that, why does Ricky have an ankle bracelet on? How can he come to SLC with that on his leg?

I am so proud of all your hard work young man. And yes, preparing sooner would have been wonderful, but the Lord knows all and you are where you need to be, when you needed to be there. 6 months! Unbelievable. Miss your face.

Elder Sierra: Yeah its pretty sick. Just gotta be yourself and follow the Spirit and it all works out. Not follow all the mission rules out of fear. President even quoted me on that. I am ROCKIN THIS MISSION! Gonna turn Sacramento UPSIDE DOWN! And yes, I did bury the hatchet (with the APs), but they are still being themselves, but it doesn't matter, I still only report to President for this transfer. It's all good! Oh yeah, we still get Olivia, haha, then we give her to the other ward lol. We scored on that one. I dont know how I find the crips. Honestly, I think they find me and they are my favorite investigators. They keep me down to earth and normal... BE YOURSELF PEOPLE NOT A ROBOT! Anyhow, Ricky can go anywhere in the world as long as he wears the bracelet and he can be tracked. That's all.

He was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time but had a record from previous juvenile stuff so they sent him [to jail] for a month and he has been on parole for a while now...
He won't be going to Utah for about a year now and by then he will be a baptized and active member. The guy has not missed a Sunday since we invited him.
He loves church and they gave him a proxy calling teaching gospel principles haha
It's real cool. He teaches it in ebonics (the way young people talk haha). They love it. The ward is in love with him.
Oh, and they made new new rules for the mission.
Now I can wear more ties. They've gotten pretty relaxed with the rules. Apparently, they wanna make the missionaries look more hip. We can wear khakis and any kind of conservative sweater without having to wear a suit, as well, and we can wear tan and other colored suits, as long as they aren't flashy.
Lovin' the mission right now.
And also, we are not required to wear a part (in the hair).
Yep, we can wear brighter colored ties and also solid colors.
Love my life.
I'm floating on air right now.

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