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, March 31, 2014

Dear Mom,
I heard from those that went to Conference that you looked great mom. They said the choir sounded beautiful. I have been singing quite a bit myself lately, not on as grand a stage as you, but in my lessons, in sacrament, family home evenings, and also for Spanish conference (a meeting for the Spanish missionaries). That was a lot of fun. The conference was the perfect revelation and instruction that we needed for our work. Usually, I don't get too much out of them. This time though, I was just getting a non-stop stream of inspiration throughout those few hours. 
I was very happy to also see my trainer, and all my other companions. I even got a picture with All of them. I really have loved every last one of those guys. They have become my brothers. It was crazy because all my comps have been comps with each other and also have known one another from home or have served around them, so we are all real close. It was cool exchanging stories and experiences together at the same table while we were eating. I saw my entire mission thus far pass before my eyes. It seems as if it's all a dream. I have been slowly losing my grasp on time. 13 months out on the mission and I can feel it all picking up speed. It's as if I am on a slippery slope and I am trying to run up the hill, but I just keep slipping. I will miss these moments. It all kinda hit me that I have been out for a while now when my trainer told me that the next transfer would be his last. I just paused for a sec and realized that he would be my first Spanish companion that would be going home. It's all down-hill from here. These wonderful companions I've had would begin to go home one by one, until I am the last one. Pretty sad isn't it? 
On a happier note, Ezekiel is loving the restored gospel. He is very humble and receptive and when I asked him if he believed what we were teaching is true he said, "All my life I had hoped that there was more that I could learn about God's love for his children. And this entire time that you have all been in my home I have felt a sincere burning in my chest. If that is not some sort of being or power telling me that this is the right path, then I don't know what is?" We were completely shocked by his answer and then gave him a date for April 26th to be baptized and he. of course. accepted. We are very excited for him. That is all the big news we have for today. Things have been picking up through small and simple means. Love you to death Mom.

Elder Sierra

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Dear Mom, 

Don't worry, I am not worried about not receiving the package yet. In fact, my new awesome companion and I have been too busy to even notice!! So, after I got to know the guy and to just give him the benefit of the doubt, I realized that he's cool. Pretty dang funny too and down to work. We have had a total of about 25 lessons/contacts and just received 16 referrals. We've got a lot of work to do. Things are gonna get intense this transfer. We have been tackling a lot of our problem with our branch head-on and are just taking things in our own way, but through the Lord's way. We get along great. 
Thanks, Mom, for the advice and the uplifting words. I will admit that I have been looking back quite a bit but things are looking up and I am moving forward. So don't worry Mom, I won't back down. Things have been going good so far and I will get back to you later. Love you very much.

Elder Sierra

Monday, March 17, 2014

Letter from 3/10/14
Hey Mom,

Calls came in yesterday and I have been called to stay here in West Sacramento again. Got to be honest, I am not excited for this transfer, especially since I just lost my bro Elder Ruiz. I'm gonna miss him a lot...practically my favorite companion. We had done a lot together here and now he's leaving to go and be a district leader out in ENGLISH work. He isn't excited for that either. So....it's gonna be an interesting transfer. But, that's all that is happening as far as mission life goes. The other elders and I are going to this bbq place today to lift our spirits and we are going to a member's place. He owns a laser tag center so the zone is gonna play there today. It'll be fun. 
The pic I sent to you was with Hermana Enciso. She is from Peru and is probably the best cook in all of Sacramento. We love their food and they have always been very good to me., always calling us to ask if we have a dinner and always trying to invite investigators for dinner when we come over. Needless to say, they are awesome. There isn't much to write about this week. I will try to find and do some things to make next week's letter awesome. Oh, and remember the guy that threatened to shoot me? Well, we passed him off to the English elders and.....he has a date to get baptized lol. Go figure right?

Elder Sierra
Hermana Enciso

Monday, March 10, 2014

Letter from 3/3/2014
Dear Mom,

Our investigators are doing alright, but I don't think I will be seeing a baptism here. I do get upset at times, but it's okay. I have seen the change in myself this transfer and I am proud. I don't know what happened with Ricky. I haven't heard from him but I'm gonna try to find out what happened. However, I did read about Lexi and that is a miracle.
Things have been going down again. We have lost our teaching pool again, I almost got jumped the other day and a guy threatened to shoot me. The mission has been very hard for me lately. Don't worry I am totally fine. I have just been losing some wind in my sails lately. The Lord has tested my mettle and I have come to a point where I have almost wanted to throw in the towel. The lack of support from the branch has been very difficult and I have not seen much success come from our labor here. We rarely get lessons and the door keeps slamming in our faces. For the first time in my mission I have felt a deep desire for home... I have had many sleepless nights. Every day is exhausting and I was brought down and low and was considering to take that ticket flight home. But then I thought to myself, "No, that would be too easy." Last Tuesday night, I was on my knees and crying out to the Lord for strength. Just needed something to tell me to push on. Mom, Dad, Benjamin, and everyone else that is following this page, I have a testimony that God speaks to his children and will always speak to them. At the lowest moment I have ever felt in my mission, I heard in my thoughts, "Son, be still. Think upon your success. Keep going. It's worth it. I do care." I remember the less active families I have brought back, my newest friend that I have come to love as family (my companion Elder Ruiz), and best of all, the change in myself. I have become more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
What really struck me the other day was when, during personal study, I received a pretty insightful revelation about my mission. I thought about my purpose and pondered on the many reasons why I am here. Also, I read through my Preach My Gospel and my companion and I had probably the best companionship study we have ever had. My reason for a mission is to become closer to Christ. To push myself, mold myself, to go above and beyond the Call of Duty and becoming more and more a disciple of Jesus Christ. The Lord doesn't necessarily NEED us to help baptize his children. We grow and we learn to be more like Christ as we serve and lose ourselves in the work. This is basically my test. If we don't learn it on the mission, we learn it in life. I know very well that I need to lose myself in the work. I always have and always will. Right now, this is just a hump I need to get over. I will admit that my mission is not the "Best Two Years" [right now], but it is the 'Best Two Years' FOR my life. I love the people I serve. I love my companions. I love being called to serve.  My testimony has increased.
Elder Sierra
 Letter from 2/24/2014

Hey Mom, 

Sorry all your plans were thrown for a loop. Ours were, too, sort of, but we did have an amazing miracle. Last Saturday, I was able to witness the baptism of Nick Nelson (one of my investigators from Folsom) and it was the best one I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Nick had been investigating the church for almost 4 years. His wife was baptized 3 years ago. He has three beautiful children: a 6 year old girl, a 4 year old boy, and another boy that is about to turn 2 years old. They are all so sweet. Their family is so blessed. I remember talking to him about the gospel and trying to get down to why he was holding himself back. He came to church every week, participated in all the activities, and loved everything about the doctrine. He just had some pride to swallow as far as the restoration of the priesthood. I explained and testified countless times about the purpose of that divine authority. In the end, I left him saying, "You know what Nick, I am not worried about you. You will make the decision to get baptized and it will have nothing to do with me or anyone else. You will want to do it because you will come to realize that it all makes sense. You will come to realize that it is all true. You're going to want this for yourself. You're going to want to have this forever. You're going to want to be with your family for all of eternity. So, know that I am not worried. Your foot is already across the line. You just gotta take a leap of faith and jump." A few months later, I recieved a call from him. He asked me if I would sing 'Nearer My God to Thee' for his baptism. Of course I couldn't refuse, but I had to ask what changed his mind. He told me, "It all makes sense. It's true, and I want it with my family forever." I believe that everyone in the world at one point or another, in this life or the next, will come to a crossroads on their own road of forging their destiny, to decide whether they will accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their life or not. It may take longer for some than it will for others, but I know that God is our Father in Heaven and that He will do everything within His power (without denying us our ability to choose freely) to help us return to Him. I know that this is the true kingdom of God that has been restored on the Earth once more. I know I felt the Spirit so strongly at that baptism. I saw the completion of a family in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and they are on the road to eternal happiness. I had the honor to sit next to my Mission President in this baptism during the ordinance (REALLY COOL, RIGHT!!!) and he whispered to me,  "You see that, son. This is our work. We play a small role in this and you helped make this happen. Now go out there and harvest. I love you my son." I almost broke down. Kinda reminded me of Helaman when he referred to his soldiers as sons, not because they were all young, but because he loved them. My Mission President and I have not [always agreed on everything], but I love him and he has always loved me. I love being a missionary. It's sad that I now have only a year of service and now the clock is counting down. I will be home sooner than you think, everyone. I love you all and I pray for you all.

Elder Sierra
Letter from 2/17/2014

Hey Mom,
Ricky's baptism in not this Saturday, but hopefully, next Saturday, if everything works out alright. And, I will probably sing I Have Seen Him or Come Thou Fount. It's still in the works. I just sang Nino de Luz last Sunday for church and it was wonderful. Spirit felt beautiful. 
I'm happy you liked the e-card I sent. I tried to send something classy with a bit of jazz to it lol. Did you have that dance with Dad? 
This last week we picked up 8 new investigators. We've got a lot of work to do now (which is great), so I am no longer bored out of my mind. Also, we have been doing a lot of service for the people here. The other day, we were tearing down a house. I was destroying walls and taking out the ceilings but, I've got a lot of fiber glass in my skin still haha, and I messed up my arms and my right foot. I have been asked to sit out of anything very strenuous...
Well I am feeling very uneasy right now. Seeing one of my best friends getting married and Mj looking like she's about to 'pop' soon. Kinda realizing how fast life is moving and I am not liking it. But I am relieved to see that they are happy and progressing in life. I just wish I could be able to be there and be a part of it. But, I still have a year left and will have to catch up quite a bit when I return home. 
Well I don't have too much to talk about, but tell Nic and the rest of the family that I love and miss them and also ask Sister Boga if she got the card I sent her. I love you Mom. Talk with you soon.
Elder Sierra

Follow-up to Mom's interrogation!:
My right arm feels like all my muscles are strained and my bones are fractured. My left arm is lacerated from the sharp steel; my right foot is crushed and big toe on my right foot. So, yeah, I'm hurtin right now. I kinda fell through a ceiling so, haha, it was fun...And yes, we got your package and LOVE your ties.
haha Well actually I and somebody else fell through the ceiling, haha. The beams couldn't support our weight, but when we fell we fell on the insulation so it was a soft landing. And,  yeah. I think my arm is fine and no, if it was fractured I'd be in more pain, I think. And yeah, those ties are BOMB!!
I got checked up. I also had my first aid
I feel much better. The project was about 5 days ago
and I have not felt sick or anything. I have taken the right antibiotics.