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, October 28, 2013


Letter from last week, Oct. 21, 2013

Hey Mom,

I'm happy you got those pics. I'll try and do that now when I am with
people that I'm teaching or visiting. Have them send you a pic if it's a nice occasion. 

Linda is doing awesome. She couldn't come to church but she wanted to do something so she asked if there was something she could watch. My companion and I were thinking about something and then she said would watching conference online count? Unbelievably, I asked president about it and it does, apparently, count. So that's exactly what she did. No surprise her favorite speakers were President Holland and President Uchtdorf. She said those were her favorites. Also, she said there was something about the way President Monson speaks that was so touching and so soft and full of sunshine. She asked us who he was (we forgot to tell her who the prophet was) and I said, "Oh yeah, that's the prophet." She is so funny and is so full of energy. She exclaimed, "I knew it! That had to be your prophet." She is incredible. We can't
wait to see her baptized. 

As for the pact mom: yeah, sure, no prob. I got this haha...except for last night, though. We were walking home and someone was cussing us out. I told him to come downstairs.  He wouldn't come down, so I came up to him. He realized I wasn't messing around and tried to run to his apartment. I stuck my foot out to block him from shutting the door. And then said, "You can't insult servants of the Lord and expect to walk away." He was kinda freaking out. He asked, " What do you want?" I just said, "My buddy and I just want ten minutes of your time. Just sit down and listen and depending on how you feel you don't ever have to see us ever again." We taught him the restoration/plan of salvation in less than ten minutes and he sat there quietly. My companion then bore a sweet and penetrating testimony and with that, we said, "Thank you for your time", and were just about to head out the door. He told us, "Stop. Can you guys come back next week same time?" I said, "Sure thing brother :)" His name is Jace. He is our newest
investigator haha. 

Well that's all there is Mom. I hope everything is working out well over there. Also, I entered a chili contest need your recipes mama. 
Love you,

Elder Sierra

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Dear Mama,

Man, these kids are gettin' way too big and too old and new little guys are just coming out of the woodwork. I can't believe how fast time goes by out here and also, how fast things change back home. Tell the Kirklands, the Lindseys, and the De Costas I say congrats and good luck. 
Sister Lewis, Mission President's wife, was asking me, once, what dreams I want to achieve when I get home (kind of a trunky question, right? lol) and I told her I just want to finish school and get into the spec ops team that I want to be in. She was stunned and said, "You don't want to be a Father?" I was, like, "Absolutely NOT!! I'm terrified of the thought of being a Dad." Yeah, so my companion and I were invited over to their house for dinner and it was pretty sweet. President commented on that conversation, saying, "Now, now, Elder Sierra has a little while to think about that, however it is a suggestion that you get engaged 6 months after the mission." So, in short, I'm being bombarded on all sides here, haha. 
Anyhow, back to the work. Things have been progressing. Our teaching pool is ever increasing and we had the opportunity to take an investigator on a temple tour yesterday. Her name is Linda Reynolds and she is a high-spirited 68-year old lady who truly can recognize the Spirit. After the tour, she was crying, saying that, "I know this has to be true, but I don't want to join for the wrong reasons." I asked her what reason that would be. She responded, "To be with my husband for eternity." My companion and I smiled. "Linda, there is no greater reason than the one you just mentioned." Linda Reynolds has a baptismal date for Nov. 12. Hopefully, I can still be around for it (probably not). 
We are very excited about our investigators. We pretty much have many miracles just waiting to happen. Our bishop and ward mission leader sent a letter to our mission president asking him to allow us both to stay in the area (I'm leaving for sure now). I was touched that the ward trusts us and loves the work we do here. They have been very supportive and missionary-minded from Day 1. I really don't want to leave Folsom, but I am pretty sure I will be back in Spanish work next transfer coming up in about 2 weeks. Speaking of Spanish work, we have been teaching 6 Spanish families and have invited each of them to church this coming Sunday. If things work out, then we will have made the first Spanish group here in Folsom and will have opened up Spanish work here for the first time. Needless to say, I am exhausted. 
Mom, my only advice from the mission to you this week is that I have learned that, if we continue forward, not thinking about all the work and challenges that must be overcome, the Lord will naturally lift us up and remove them from us. It is when we do not focus so much on our trials that we then become happy, encouraged, and have a continuous desire to serve others. Do not be discouraged. All will be recompensed soon, and more abundantly than you could ever imagine. Continue to Rise up everyone.

Elder Sierra

Monday, October 7, 2013


Hey Mom,

I wanna first off say sorry for not being able to talk to you last

week. A missionary that I loved broke his nose (my fault) [knee to the face (little sporting competition)] and I had to help him get to the hospital. I couldn't find a darned computer and felt terrible that I missed you. 

So, I gotta little bit to talk about: There are miracles
in Folsom. As a zone, we were pumped up by President to Find, Teach, and Baptize here in Folsom, because there have been little to no baptisms in Folsom. The companionships here went from 5 to ten, with two Spanish missionaries in two different areas. NEVER has happened in the history of Folsom missionary work. 

I came here and met my awesome companion Elder Stradling. He was companions with Elder Amos!! (Elder Amos is from our old stake in Orlando, FL.)  He and I loved swapping stories about that guy. He is by far the humblest guy I know. He told me coming in that I may have heard some stuff that Folsom is hard to baptize. All I told him was, "Whatchu talkin' bout boy? We came here to fix that!!" He couldn't help but hug me. He really didn't want another companion that was depressed about the circumstances. 

These last 2 weeks have been unbelievable. We have an investigator, named Bernard, who referred himself to us and loves the gospel. We have him set for a date at the end of this month. Another sweet spirit we found is a wonderful woman named Heather. She has been investigating the church for 20 years!! I kinda told her, "Heather you are done investigating. You need to
decide to join the church or not now. The Lord needs your talents and this is an urgent gospel. Will you be baptized?" [She replied]  ".....yes, I think I have held it off long enough." That's two planned for the month. Also, we were teaching a family of 5 (plus a boyfriend) and as we taught we committed them to read the Book of Mormon and, upon receiving their answer that it's true, followed up with them inviting them to be baptized. They said yes. That's 8 for the month. Also, we just got 6 referrals that another Spanish elder and I are going to teach this coming Wednesday
. All of them are Spanish families and we are doing exchanges that day.

Our Spanish group is about to start in Folsom. I just called President for the translating equipment, because I already have 5 Spanish investigators and Elder Echanique (the other Spanish Elder) has 6. Folsom is exploding. I never believed for a second, that we would not baptize here and that is what's happening. I truly do believe that I am needed here in this place at this time. I have no "Ammon Moments" to report yet, but I will get on it later. However, I will leave a little spiritual thought taken from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk and mixin it up a bit: "Champions are not measured by how many times they are victorious, but by how many times they fall and Rise Up to meet the next challenge." My family, brothers, sisters, and friends, we will all, at some point, fall, but what makes us great is when we RISE UP!! This is the Lord's Kingdom on the Earth that we are blessed to be a part of. We cannot dwell in despair. Our Father in Heaven has promised us that He will lift us up and exalt us on high if we endure our trials well. We are Sons and Daughter of a King, ALL of us, including those not of our faith. And as a missionary, I remind them of their divine destiny, for our Father in Heaven wants all of us to come home to him. Just as it hurts me to leave my family for two years to serve people that I don't know, some that would love nothing more than for me to drop dead, I will gain a testimony and help others come unto our Savior. My friends that follow my Mother's blog, we are
all on Missions. It pains our Father that we must leave Him and that
we may risk the chance of not coming back to Him, but think of the joy that will come when we do come back to see Him again, better than what we were before. This is the way I want to return to my Father, Mother, and my best friend, Benjamin. My friends, whether you are a little lost right now or not, come and bring your sorrows to the Lord, for He loves us unconditionally. There is always a place for you here. I love you all so much. I love you, too, Mom.

Elder Sierra

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The server was down so we did not receive a letter from Elder Sierra, just a short reply to an earlier question about his eating.
Note from Sept. 30, 2013:
Yeah, mom, I'm eating very well. The Lord really does provide when you're not concerned about your next meal. Just work and it all comes to you. I remember down in Manteca, I was working with Elder Lee and we were just knocking on doors all day and we had not planned dinner and we had no food at home and it was almost 8pm. We were also out of funds. I told Elder Lee, "Let's just knock one last door." We did and a very nice lady, named Maria, opened the door and she invited us in. We shared a message of the Restoration and she loved it. She also asked us if we had eaten dinner yet. She fed us homemade quesadillas (meaning every part of it including the tortilla was homemade) and it was probably the best I have ever had on the mission. So, don't worry about my eating; I'm doing just great, especially now that I'm in English work.