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, October 13, 2014

Letter from Oct. 7, 2014

Hey Mom,

Conference was nothing short of DIVINE!!!! Answered a lot of problems for me, for my investigators, and for how I need to continue to conduct my work. We had many investigators come to Conference and every last one of them loved it. We are looking at what is to be 4 baptisms in Stockton. We are very excited! I want to see the success that we are truly reaping right now, but the Lord has once again called me to go to El Dorado. I will not be staying with Elder Stockton Williams a.k.a. "The Prince of Stockton". I was pretty upset at first, but I know that I need to go and help revive work in El Dorado. It has been very unsuccessful there and it has been said because it is a hard area, that the people aren't prepared, and also, that it is almost impossible to find any Latinos there. My personal response, "What a bunch of half-backed horse crap!!". No wonder work there is slow. I refuse to believe that El Dorado is an area that cannot receive success. I know it will be a challenge, but if there is one thing you never do to the "JG" it's that you never challenge the "JG", cuz you know I'm gonna meet that challenge with joy and I will take you OUT! Ironically (once again), President Jardine called me after I received the call and told me the situation in that area. They may close down the Spanish work there if things doesn't progress. He asked me if I was willing to still give it a shot. I told him, "With all due respect and with great humility, you also told me South Stockton was not getting much success as well, but I came, I saw, and I conquered. We average the most lessons in our area more than any other Spanish area in the mission. We have a large teaching pool of 20, not to mention we have 4 investigators that are set for baptism. You can be sure that things in El Dorado will turn around." Pres said, "Haha. All right Sierra, I expect great things from you. Keep in contact, alright?"
Hence, my next call will most likely be my last and final challenge. One that I will destroy! I am excited. 

Work in Stockton is seriously picking up. Because we have been having so much success here, they have decided to bring back Spanish Zone leaders again (they got rid of them when we first got there because there wasn't much success). My companion was called as one of them. He is a little intimidated and looked to me saying, "Dude! What the heck?! Why am I doing this? It should be you!!". Haha I just reminded him, "Bro it's all good! They picked the right man for the job. I got my work cut out for me in El Dorado, anyway." We weren't exactly excited about leaving each other, but it's been a good run. And last night, we ended it with a BANG! I was teaching one of our most prominent investigators, Teresa, and she is so wonderful. The most humble lady I know. Her family is really going downhill and she treats me and my companion like her grandchildren. When we completed our thought and ended with prayer, we were going to take a picture with her before we left, but her son came over and was being EXTREMELY disrespectful to her and told us basically to leave and never come back. I was getting ticked, but I wasn't gonna shout back, however, he started insulting Teresa and she is such a sweet lady in her 60's and I kinda got steamed up and told him, politely, "Please quit it man. That's your mom. I understand if you got a problem with us, but you don't need to insult your mom like that." He got angry, "Shut up! I pay rent here, you want me to kick you out?!" (He called me out) I get out of my chair and get face to face with him, "Try me SON! FREAKIN TRY ME!!" My companion never saw me snap like this. [Her son] got freaked out and stepped back. He was LITERALLY shaking!! So funny. He gets all freaked out and then tries to pull the 'I threatened him' card, so he goes and calls the cops. We went outside, took a picture, and Teresa apologized for her son. The cops show and the entire time they are telling him off for being a drama queen and trying to impose on another's right to worship. [They] basically pulled out the 1st Amendment on that sucker. I didn't really like cops before, but those guys were awesome. And what was even better, they came up to us and said, "Don't worry we got your back. We served our missions too." My companion and I flipped out!! They were members. God seriously has a sense of humor and He's got connections! Pretty legit story, right? Teresa has a baptismal date for November. We are excited. 

Now, drumroll please! The Stockton Street Wings STOLE THAT LOCAL COMPETITION!! We won our semi-final and last Friday, after a long game, we won 2-1. It was awesome. It was a hard game. We were going back and forth the entire game. We scored one goal in the 43rd minute and they scored against us in the 77th minute. So therefore, it became close. We then scored again in the 88th minute. So things were getting REAL CLOSE!! I had to step up the game so, I started bringing out the aggression. I played it fair though. Just had to make it look like I am going for the ball and not their ankles ;). So during overtime they slipped through our defense, they made one shot, which the goalie blocked, but they got a rebound shot and he dove to block the rebound. So the goalie is down and the opposing team got the ball AGAIN!! You can imagine my frustration. They made one last shot so I blocked it......with my face!!!! It was a [bold] move, but I blocked the shot. However, you'll never believe what happened next. THEY GOT THE FREAKIN BALL AGAIN!!! They made one last desperate shot, and in my head, "This is BULLCRAP!", so I blocked it........with my hand lol. They were pretty [ticked]. The ref came and gave me a yellow card. They were given a penalty shot, so it all rested on the goalie. All of us were breathing hard, crossing our fingers, and our eyes were keen on the ball. The shot was made......and it was BLOCKED!!!! The ball was rolling back to their team again, but I was like, HEAVEN FORBID if they get ANOTHER REBOUND!! SO, I sprinted, kicked that ball to the other side of the field and out of bounds. That ended the game. Time was up. We totally STOLE the championship title, which means bragging rights for life! haha. We felt like bosses. That, and our investigator had a great time. Even better than that, a guy named Javier, who is less active, got reactivated through the activities and is now preparing for a mission. My work here in Stockton is done. We have done well here. I am content with leaving my area with Elder Williams. He is more than capable of leading the area. 

Well Mom this concludes my letter for this week. I hope you and Dad are safe. I miss you all! I love you all! And I will be home in 3 more transfers. Pretty crazy right? You all have fun on your business trip. 


Elder JG Sierra
Uhh, yeah. Mom had a few questions about his 'encounter' and a general conference talk about meekness that he'd just received. ;)

Yeah Mom, the temple was amazing!! Throughout the entire thing I felt a spirit of gratitude radiating from all around me. I am absolutely sure I felt a thank you from my great grandfather. I look forward to seeing our eternal family beyond the veil, but I need to finish my work among the living first. I read the talk [on meekness!] and it was amazing, but this moment was literally a moment of RIGHTEOUS FURY! I truly felt that I needed to stand and tell him to back off! My companion (I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!) told me that when I stood up, "...there was a hush in the entire home for the space of two minutes. It was as if all the elements of the home practically obeyed your very essence, that was literally RADIATING! You truly are a frightening man when you are pissed off in a holy way lol" It was a pretty cool experience. And Mom, once again, leadership doesn't suit me. It's too easy... I am here to cry repentance and baptize. I can lead others by being an example. They can see my work and learn what they need to from it. It's okay Mom. I get the hard assignments for a reason. It's not because I'm obedient to the white handbook, it's because I obey the Spirit. That is literally my secret. It's what makes me tick. I don't really follow my plans that I make. It is all on the spot and it's really cool. And I have realized that my companions are a big part of my journey. All of them I learned from and they have all learned from me. Heck, five of my companions tell me all the time that I am their favorite. I'm trying not to brag, but I just love being a missionary so much. It's just SO COOL! I can't wait to hit up El Dorado and bring the freakin RAIN! I am ready.
And Mike's business is EVERYWHERE! He is gonna try and visit me from time to time. Because I am a bauss like that lol. Also, I had dinner with Ricky the other night at Olive Garden. The guy is SO SOLID! He has his date for baptism all set up in January and he is still strong in the faith. I love him so much. He still wants me to baptize him. I think he just might be the only investigator I will actually baptize. He is doing electrician school and he just got top of his class. His school is getting paid for and he has a side job that pays $15 an hour. He is doing very well. He is gonna try to see me this month as well.
I do know my companion. His name is Elder Osorio. He is REAL CHILL! I can't wait to serve with him. He is a native as well so that is helpful. I didn't want a companion that had crappy Spanish. I don't need that handicap right now. This is the big leagues!

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