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


Sunday, December 28, 2014


Recent pics from the Sacramento Mission:

Christmas Day on Skype

Some members sent this pic of Elder Sierra and Elder Osorio helping them with their Christmas tree!

Our Soccer team

Up in the mountains near Placeville, CA

Letter from Dec. 15, 2014

Hey Mom,

Sorry I am sending you a letter so late. A LOT has happened today.
Well Mom, its hard for me to think of a present. I really got nothing. I mean maybe a harmonica so I can start learning how to play that too. Benjamin told me about his plans for the dance. I am happy he is having fun. It seems like he has a good group of friends and is happy, which really puts my mind at ease concerning him. He has always been a good kid... His date was cute. Tell him I say good job. 
So, work is beginning to pick up A LOT! We just got a new investigator, named Antonio, and we have a return appointment for tomorrow. He actually called us over and asked us to teach him. It was very cool. He enjoyed hearing the Plan of Salvation. He has just moved to Placerville and had seen missionaries in Mexico, but never actually talked to them. So when he saw us, in his own words, "No fue coincedencia que les vi aqui!" (It was no coincidence that I saw you here!) He invited us to come back and since he found out that I like to spar (he is a boxer) we are gonna have a little match tomorrow. It'll be fun lol. I will update you on what happens. Work is moving along. La familia Perez came to church yesterday and that was awesome. We are gonna see them again on Wednesday. Elder Osorio and I have seen that, little by little, we have been seeing miracles here. The best part is that we notice them after the trial of our faith and diligence every time. It's awesome!

I almost forgot to mention that something BIG just happened in the Sacramento mission. It was SO BIG that President Jardine called all the missionaries on a huge conference call last night. The news was pretty huge. We were the first ones to find this out. The stake presidents don't know, the Seventy doesn't know, and the other mission that is involved doesn't know either. They all won't know until tomorrow or so. So you will be also one of the first to hear. Our mission is getting SPLIT! Bottom half of our mission and a small part of the Fresno mission are going to become part of a new mission that will be known as the California Modesto mission. It was hard to take in. I served in three of the four zones that will be going to the Modesto mission. I loved serving there and I guess for me and a lot of the others we just feel that they are splitting our home. It's our mission that's taking the biggest hit. It'll be rough for the missionaries to adjust to, I feel, but I know it will be fine. California will have 20 missions total by July. That is when the actual split will happen, so I will be long gone before it happens for real. My companion is worried about going to the new mission. He'd rather stay in Sacramento, as I would assume most missionaries feel that way. It was tough for President Jardine as well. He is going to have to reassign about a 1/3 of our missionaries to this new mission and the language programs will be taking a huge blow as well. Well, only the Lord knows what's best so it's in His hands. That's all I have for ya Mom. Love you and can't wait till Christmas to Skype you again. Talk to you soon.

Elder Sierra

Letter from Dec. 8, 2014

Hey Mom,

The concert was great! One of the missionaries took some pics and some video of the songs, so it worked out great. My talk is being made as I go.  I'm kinda just putting some dynamite stuff in there as I receive inspiration throughout the day. It'll be great... And yes, we did see the Christmas devotional with the members that we live with at their parents' place. It was a nice family setting. I enjoyed Elder Christofferson's talk the most. When the guy speaks I swear he just commands the elements around him. Real Majestic-like. Although, the part that touched me the most was the part when they were talking about the children waking up to a dill pickle on their plates, then hearing about all the things that they have to be grateful for. Then the boy finds a dime, runs immediately to the store, to which the store owner charitably takes time away from CHRISTMAS MORNING to give him bags of sweets for his whole family. To me, that really made the devotional. True love between your fellowmen and I think about the boy and how he didn't use the dime to get something for himself, but instead ran out to get his whole family sweets just because he believed Santa left a dime for them =) Work here is a bit slow at the moment, so there isn't too much to talk about, but we have a killer week planned that is full of appointments with investigators, service projects, and temple trip with the zone. I am very excited for that. Other than that, sorry not too much more to go on. A lot of appointments got cancelled so that's part of the problem, but we have been getting somewhere with our less actives. That's been AWESOME! We may start doing some reactivation pretty soon (which is a miracle in itself). We are still happy. I love you Mom Merry Christmas!

Elder Sierra
Letter from Nov 27, 2014

We asked Elder Sierra what he was grateful for this year and this was his reply:
 1.) I am grateful for my freedom. Freedom is God-given and it allows us to choose for ourselves what path to take. As we obey His commandments, we can achieve the peak of spiritual freedom. We were never created to be bound or enslaved by anyone, or anything. 2.) I am grateful for my family. For the bonds I have with not only my parents, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, etc., but also with my friends that I consider my family as well. I am grateful that My Father in Heaven placed them in my path so that I could truly enjoy my life and share it with all of them. They enrich my life with happiness. 3.) I am grateful for the Atonement. I don't and will never understand the sacrifice of our Savior fully in my mortal life, but I can appreciate and apply it as much as possible. There is nothing more comforting than to know that my guilt can and will be swept away from my past mistakes. I can scratch it all away and move on. This to me will always be the most important part of the restored gospel that I share. The Restoration of Prophets, Apostles, Temples, and all the other little blessings are wonderful, but they are merely just icing on the cake. None of those things could exist without the Atonement. That is how Jesus Christ saved the world. 

D&C 46:7-8 

We must always remember to be thankful. Honestly, I do not believe the Lord really cares so much of receiving thanks, as much as he cares about us being able to see His acts of love and charity in our life. As we are thankful, not only do we show gratitude, but we notice the worth of what we have and it implies a greater meaning. It armors us against the adversary. We need never feel that we are alone, unloved, or forsaken. We should always be grateful that we are never alone. As long as we live in a state of Thanksgiving daily, Hell has no power over you. As a special servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, I testify that we will always be protected by the Armor of Righteousness as we clad ourselves with love, gratitude, and purity. May we celebrate Thanksgiving daily. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

His letter:

Hey Mom,

Sorry for not mentioning that last monday was not gonna be P-Day. Hope you weren't too upset lol. Las familias Garcia y Villianueva estan haciendo muy bien. No sentiamos que estan listos para aceptar una invitacion por bautismo pero vamos a tener una actividad la proxima semana con todas de las iglesias en la comunidad. Se llama "Guardando Cristo en Navidad". Voy a cantar por el evento y invitabamos las familias para venir. Ojala que sienten el espiritu muchissimo que pueden reconocer que estan en el camino correcto. (The Garcia and Villanueva families doing very well. We don't feel they are ready to accept a baptismal invitation, however, we are having an activity next week with all the churches in our community. It's called Keeping Christ in Christmas. I will be singing at the event and we invited our families to come. Hopefully, they will feel the Spirit and can recognize that they are in the correct path.) 
Anyway, so work is going great. We are moving everything along. What is cool that we have noticed about our teaching pool is that all of our investigators found us, instead of us finding them. We are LOVIN it! We just need to keep the momentum rollin. I received one of the packages two days ago. I didn't get the other one yet, but the pink camo stocking sounds legit haha. Speaking of camo-style Christmas, I have begun an operation here in El Dorado, an operation that has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. It will be a stake-wide activity with members and missionaries alike, bringing good cheer and hope to the poor in heart and spirit of El Dorado. Operation SECRET SANTA is BACK!! We will be donning the santa camo hats once again. We are already beginning to find homes and families that could use some serious Christmas joy. The phase one: "Mark Your Targets" has already begun. I will update you on that operation next coming P-Day. So the zone here would like to say, "THANKS FOR THAT PECAN PIE!!!!!" (I shared). It was AWESOME (as always)! We appreciate the treats you send us, thanks. Also, for today we are eating with some members. We've got like 4 families that invited us over. We feel ill-prepared to eat 4 Thanksgiving meals, but we will see what happens with the upcoming match on Elders vs. Food! Other than that, we just had a turkey bowl that was setup by yours truly (that's just tradition!) and it was a blast. We got some good hits and I had some pretty good runs. Caught the ball on the 50 yard line, then I ran it down to the end zone (got by 7 people). It was legit. I got hit pretty hard as well (totally blindsided), knocked all the wind out of me, but I'm all right. It was a lot of fun. I'll send you a picture of my team (we won). We played against some guys we found on the field already. So much fun (cuz we WON). We are having a great time right now. It's a full-day p-day. So about the tree, we will be working with some members on a Christmas tree farm this Saturday and they said we can buy a nice size one for cheap. We are gonna have all the elders at our place opening presents at our tree, so we are gonna get a good sized one. It'll be pretty sick! I wouldn't send any ornaments until I get the actual size of the tree. I'll send you a pic on my next p-day. So touching on the new baby, she is ADORABLE!! I hope I get to meet her someday. There is not much else to talk about right now. Love you Mom! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Elder Sierra

p.s. tell all the Family that I love them.