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, August 5, 2013

LETTER FROM 7/29/2013


Well Mom, I have been out for over 5 months now! (Feels like 2) Missionary work just took another unique twist. We had 7 baptisms lined up for August, but our area boundaries got switched up a bit, so I lost 5 of them. SO TICKED OFF!!! Kinda feel like I will never see a baptism. It's all right, technically, I have a lot just haven't been able to see them. Anyway, Antonio is going through a hard time with his Mom (who is a Jehovah's Witness and schizophrenic), so we rescheduled his date for August 10th. It's very difficult. Olivia, on the other hand, has been coming to church and LOVES IT with all her heart. She has a date set for August 17 and we just passed her off (ANNOYING). I called President and just left a message saying, "Really Pres! Really?! You just took 5 of our investigators with dates away!" He called back leaving me a message saying, "Keep up the good work." Kinda hurt my pride a bit so, yeah, my companion and I are going through a rough patch. But we are still working. 

Well Mom, I have been thinking about what you said and I will try to make peace with the Ap's. I will call President and see if he can put me on a call with them so we can sort this out. A lot of "blood" has been spilt but hopefully, we can bury the hatchet.  

Elder Russell and I have been enjoying the area and he is by far my favorite companion. He knows how to work hard and knows how to play hard (I like that part). Also, we got in trouble.... Elder Russell and I were eating in Taco Bell after 9:30 (lost track of time and forgot), and President called us. He heard the background noises. So yeahhhh......gotta write a brief explanation to the mission why eating out late as a missionary is not the best use of time. I wrote only a sentence saying, "Well guys, just don't get caught eating at night. Peace out!". Wasn't really thinking at the time and I tried to make light of the situation. President called and didn't like that  Don't know what my reprimand is gonna be yet. So, gotta shape up right now.

Anyways, I love you and tell Grandma Williams not to mow her lawn with a broken arm. She has grandsons to do that for her. Oh, and tell Dad I would like to hear from him. Also, my investigator Ricky wants to write you a brief message. He is here with me right now. 
Ricky: Dear Sister Sierra, thank you so much for helping my new brotha JG to encourage him to serve a mission. He has changed my life for the better. I love the gospel and he has literally saved my life in more ways than one. I love him very much and I may be going to Utah to get a job near Salt Lake City. I would very much like to meet you while I am there. I will have Elder Sierra email after I set the date to come up to Utah. Thank you again Sister Sierra. Since you are the mother of my brother, I sincerely thank you and love you just as  much as I love your son here. Thank you.
Well Mom, hope you're proud of me in some small way, as much of a problem as I usually am. Love ya!
Elder Sierra

Some excerpts from a follow up chat:
Mom: Tell Ricky we would love to meet him. When is he thinking of coming? And yes, I am proud of you. Remember the "I will obey ALL the mission rules" pact? If you would do that, you would not be getting in trouble, right? And, when you do mess up, for goodness sake, be humble and take it seriously! That was a dumb thing to write. Take your punishment like a man! ;) I am really sorry about all your investigators, though. Good grief.
Elder Sierra: He is planning on it in about a month or two. Well, IT"S A STUPID RULE! We hadn't eaten and we were hungry!! I mean c'mon, I'm creating a branch, I am working in the 2nd biggest and hardest Spanish area in the mission, and my companion and I are not fluent in Spanish yet. Give me a break, we were weak lol! But yes, it was a dumb thing to write... It's so hard to resist a late night Taco Bell though....
I'll try to fix things with the aps...
...the branch is moving slowly, we have enough for a group and we have classes in Spanish but we can't do a Spanish sacrament so we translate in our broken Spanish (really stinks) 
Mom: That's so neat about a branch.You are at ground level with the church there. Even more so than I was in Spain. It is tough work and the president must trust you. Just work on your patience and forgiveness and anger! Try not to overreact... The Lord is throwing everything at you at once. haha
Elder Sierra: All right, will do. The branch is definitely an experiment and yes, it's tough. Well,  it's hard to work on those attributes when I'm dealing with all of them at the same DANG time!

 AND...It's frustrating. They (APs and older missionaries) are working and having us work as if we are filling a quota and it's not the way it's supposed to go which is why when, for every number I put down for a goal, I associate that number with a person...[just filling quotas] takes a lot of fire away from missionary work.

Mom: Missionary work is a tough balance between goals and people. It's so hard. You want the numbers but you have to remember they are people too...

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