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 4, 2014

So Mom,

First things first, tell Dad that he needs to act like a mature adult. He can't be spraying people with water everywhere haha. Especially, WITHOUT ME!!! Man that sounds like fun. I would say I wish I could've been there, but we have been doing such awesome work here in Stockton. We have a teaching pool of about 17, 7 of them have a date for baptism for August and September and we have a baptism this Saturday. It's not exactly mine, but the Sisters asked me to talk to one of their investigators, JP. He and I are pretty tight so they thought maybe I could connect with him better. So, gladly I made an appointment with him (last Sunday) and we had a little pep-talk. I didn't want to pressure him because he already had enough of that from his family who are members. I just wanted to go over what was holding him back. At first, he told me he didn't really know what was holding him back. He went on about how he knows this is a good thing and that getting baptized is something that we wants to do, but there is still that doubt that he had. Then I gave him a questionnaire, basically, and went down the list on what he had doubts about. We arrived fairly quickly on that he just didn't know if Joesph Smith was a true prophet (I thought to myself, "That seems to be the silver bullet to everything nowadays!!). I then received inspiration to look up Alma 32:21, explaining to him how faith is believing in things that are not seen, which are true. Faith is a lot like the wind. We can feel it and see things it affects around us, but we can't see it. This is the way our Father in Heaven works with us. I went further in that chapter how his faith is comparable to a seed. I expounded on how you have already allowed the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to be planted within you, and you also know that it is a good seed. You are at the same stage as I am. I also do not "know" that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet. I wasn't there in 1820 on the morning of that first vision. I wasn't there to witness such a divine vision. That's knowledge. I have not received that blessing, yet. I however, have been steadily and surely strengthening my faith and it is slowly, but surely becoming, and what I deem to be, knowledge. It takes great patience, not to mention iron diligence. But through time that plantling of faith will take root and spring forth into Everlasting life. I gotta say Mom, there is nothing better than seeing the lights all click in the eyes of someone that you're teaching, especially when the Spirit descends so softly. I had to stop the lesson to tell him, "Hey JP, do you feel that?" "...yeah I do." "That's the Spirit. It's testifying to you right now, that this is true." Next question was, now the Lord doesn't desire you to know that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet, only to believe he is. Then came the invite, "Do you believe that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet?" "........(10 minutes of silence).....Yes..yes I do." "At this point the only one stopping you from being baptized is yourself. With that said, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by immersion by someone holding the proper priesthood authority?" "Yes! (It feels SO GOOD to hear that)" "Will you be baptized this Saturday?" "Yes!" "I want you to promise yourself now and forever that you will always 'Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith'. Will you do that?" "Yes, I will." "Awesome. Well we got 6 days to prepare. Let's get this shindig started!!!"

It was a pretty BAUSS! Lesson. I called the sisters and said, "Hey Sisters, got you both a baptism for Saturday! No need to thank me, I know I am awesome haha!" I'm kidding. I was just acting on inspiration at precisely the right time the Lord wanted me to. I am very happy right now. We have a very supportive ward (which I heard was not that great) and they have been coming with us non-stop on lessons with our investigators and we have gotten to know the families here so well. We are fed almost every night here and they treat me and my companion like their kids. Stockton, ironically enough, is paradise for missionary work right now, at least for our area haha. A lot of the other areas are not doing so well. Humility is something we try to remember. Also, that our success comes from the Lord. At times, it is hard to be humble, though. Anyway, things are great, my companion is my new best friend and it is just great to see so many miracles every day. Mom, these next 6 months are going to be full of success and they will go by quickly. I love you so much. 

Elder Sierra

No comments:

Post a Comment