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


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Letter from 1/26/2015

Hey Mom,

I have not received the package yet, but I am pretty sure it's at my place waiting for me. It'll be a nice present to return to. It really will be my final package haha. Man Mom, like, a little more than two more weeks then I will be back. It gets to me from time to time when I am talking to members and I will be setting up stuff in the future and then it hits me, "Wait....I won't be here!". Or my companion would remind me, "Dude, you'll be home by then!" It sucks, but I will be happy to be back. I just really love my area here. The Villanueva family did not show yesterday, but we still had a good attendance. 7 still beats 3-4 (still not including us). The familia Rodriguez are taking the temple lessons and getting interviews with the bishop so they can be sealed and it doesn't look like I will be on my mission to see it, but it's fine as long as it happens. Work is coming along steadily. I have finally made a system for the Spanish group so that they can always have support from the stake. I feel like I have accomplished what I needed to in the area now. All I am doing at this point is just patching everything up. I will be able to return home with a clear conscience. 
....Well Mom, I know it's a short letter, but I figure I'll just tell you the rest when I get home. I love you and will talk to you soon. Thanks for all the updates. 


Elder Sierra

Pictures from our last temple trip:

My mission president, President Jardine, and his wife.


Elder Sierra got to go back to his first area in the mission and baptize his first investigator, and friend, Ricky, who he found knocking doors. It was awesome!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Letter from Jan. 19, 2015

Hey Mom,

I am fine. Trying to stay busy to keep focused. It's working. Our part-member family was at church the other day. And we had other Spanish members there as well for support. So, instead of 3-4 people, not including missionaries, we had 12 people (still not including missionaries). It was a great Sunday yesterday. The Spirit was strong.  We are going to try to keep the momentum going. Today we are going to a members house (it's more like a castle) and we are going to have  a BBQ and play a whole lot of sports.
Tell MJ I love them too and I would be both honored and happy to go and be with them again.
Well, Mom, I gotta get going.
Thank you so much for helping me with school and finances and what not
Couldn't have done it without ya.
Love you very much and I will see you in about 3 weeks
Elder Sierra

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 12, 2015

Hey Mom,

Ricky's baptism was AMAZING!!! I have to say, probably the crowning moment of my mission. His family was all there and some of the missionaries that were there when I first taught him were there. The mission president was there, as well, so that was real cool. I had a member accept Ricky as my friend on Facebook so he could tag me in all the photos of the baptism, so you will be getting a lot of pics your way. All 85 of them.....it was great, to say the least. We went and got Chinese food afterwards and we gave him a quad with his full name on it as his gift. We had a great time. 
[In answer to your questions:] Thanks, Mom... the pants fit perfectly! I did the [baptismal] ordinance, so HECK TO THE YES!!... His family was super excited and there are two in particular (his sister and brother in law) that I know will get baptized someday. And no, none of them are members...yet. And yeah, that's his goal to go through the temple in a year with a faithful lds wife. He is SO EXCITED!...He plans to come to Utah in June. He wants to move out there someday...
I loved that baptism more than all the others. The Spirit was unbelievable. Even President commented to me, "In all the times I have ever seen you, you have never looked happier. And this baptism was one of the most spiritual that I have ever seen." Nuff said. 
 Work here on the other hand is really improving. The Villanuevas have started to come back to church and Hermano Villanueva is gonna give the lesson this Sunday on testimony and conversion. We are making progress and we are now teaching the Rodriguez family the temple lessons. Bishop is interviewing with them to make sure they are ready. We are LOVIN our time here. 

Thanks for helping me with the FAFSA stuff. I really needed that out of the way. And also for inviting my old companions to come to my homecoming. Don't worry I'm not TOO trunky. I am, of course, excited to return home and enjoy the luxuries of life, but I really do love it out here. It tears me up a little that it is almost over. It was so quick, so out of nowhere and it's passed like a dream. I am different now, I understand things differently, I think a little differently.....but I still act insane haha. Mom, don't worry, I am still having the time of my life out here and am growing a lot. I've got a lot to talk about when I return and I am excited. The families are already turning around and honestly, that came out of DILIGENCE. Truthfully Mom, anyone can be obedient and I am striving to do so, but there are obedient people that don't baptize at all because they don't obey the Spirit. That is the key here, honestly. Follow the Spirit. It can't fail you. Whenever I have ever given a training on obedience I talk about what we must be obedient to. It all goes back to following the promptings of the Holy Spirit who will always show you where you must go. He is showing me right now. We are seeing little miracles happen here and there and it's all because of that... if you're in tune with the Spirit, then you will automatically be obedient. So, there's nothing to worry about when you do that.
I love you Mom and there's not much longer until I return, and time flies when having fun =)
Love you Mom.

Elder Sierra

Monday, January 12, 2015

Letter from Jan 5, 2015

Hey Mom,

Thank you for the pants. I appreciate it. Can't wait for Ricky's baptism this Saturday. I got off the phone with him and he just got his ankle bracelet cut off and he is walking to his interview with President Jardine. I am really happy right now. I talked with President Jardine asking for permission and he said, "OF COURSE!! This has been a long time coming. There is no better way to end your mission than to go back to your first area to see your FIRST investigator finally get baptized. You have full permission to go." Like I said, I am very HAPPY right now! Now I am working on getting a ride, but Prez gave me permission to just drive there if there was no other way. There is nothing stopping me now haha. 
The area is going good. We are focusing everything on our less-actives and part-member families. We received spiritual confirmation that that is the best course of action. No point in finding new people to join a group if there is no group, right? Our top priority, however, is to get the Rodriguez family sealed. We are working very hard on that. We are teaching the temple lessons and we are setting them up with the bishop so that everything will be set in about 6 weeks for them to finally get sealed for all of time and eternity. There is not much to talk about on work. Not too much has changed between last Thursday and now so next week will be a longer letter. I love you Mom.

Elder Sierra

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Letter from New Year's Day 2015

Note to Dad:
I have already accepted such a challenge. The Lord has asked it of me. I will run to the finish. It means that my last transfer will go by the fastest, but it also means that the work will hasten and move along. My goal is to leave a STRONG foundation for the Spanish group so that when missionaries come in, they will no longer need to say, "Let's make a game plan!" There will already be a game plan. Instead, they will ask, "What needs to be done next?" I will achieve this goal and more, if I can. I have been honored to finish my mission in the El Dorado area and leave my mark. I will come home with my shield, with my honor, with my head held high......and exhausted. I love you too, Dad. I accept your challenge. I will talk to you next week.

Elder Sierra

Hi Mom,
I just got online and was talking to Ricky, telling him, THAT I GOT PERMISSION FROM PRESIDENT TO BAPTIZE HIM!!
I AM SO HAPPY! He called me today saying that if I'm not there, there will be no baptism. I am real excited... I love Ricky to death. He is one awesome convert.

I enjoyed Skyping with you all. It was weird because I knew in six weeks, I was going to see you all again face to face. However, it gave me great comfort to know that you were all happy and are okay. 
Well, we just had transfers yesterday. My brother, Elder Osorio (one of my closest companions) has been called to serve as a DL in East Sac. I was very sad to see him go, and from what he told me, he was very sad to leave me. We accomplished so much together and we had hoped to serve one more transfer together, but life goes on and he had to move on to bigger and better things. My new companion is Elder Mortensen. The guy looks a LOT like Jace (I found that very weird). Anyway, he is from South Jordan and has been out a little under 6 months. He is obviously a little fresh, but he is excited as any to go forth and work. He is a good kid and is pretty dang funny. We will make a good team. His Spanish needs much improvement, but that will come, all in due time. I am gonna have him start translating next Sunday. His Spanish will improve a ton by next transfer. I am leaving this area in his capable hands, so I gotta show him the ropes quick so he can take the reigns when I am finally gone. He was excited to serve with me haha. He heard a lot of stories about me and was pumped to have the chance to meet me and be my companion. I told him, "Whatever stories you heard.....they are probably all true haha". I am happy to have a good companion at my last transfer. I am very blessed. 
Well Mom, tell Ralynne I say happy belated birthday.... So. there isn't much to update you on. You heard it all when we Skyped last week. I will write again next Monday if anything comes up. I am trying to keep the momentum here and am praying that we will be able to go where the miracles are at. I love you Mom. 

Elder Sierra