Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hello Everyone,

Things are progressing smoothly here, and we have picked up a few more investigators too! We are teaching Rosa, who is the aunt of one of our recent converts. She is really interested because she has seen the massive positive change in her nephew's family. We may pass her to the spanish elders since she is having a hard time understanding everything in english. We also are working with Linda. She is from Haiti, but grew up in New York. She ordered a bible form the TV ads and is really interested in learning more about our church. She is REALLY Catholic though so we will have to see what happens with that.also we are still working with Lorena. She is the mother of another recent convert and has come to church a lot. We are meeting with her on Friday and going to try and extend a baptismal commitment. yay! Other than that things are rather smooth here in Miami Shores and not much else to report. But... heres some more pics though!

Love, Jared

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Free Meal at Dennys

Dennys offered free Grand Slam meals after the Superbowl. Where else can you feed 8 missionaries for free.

Zone Conference:
(top to bottom: Elder Smith, Jensen, Steckling (looking up), Cox, Jorgenson (ap), Barber (ap), Sis. Halverson, Taylor, Cook, me, Somerville, DeSpain, Brogdon, Sis. Salazar, Sis. magnusson, Sis. Fiala, Elder Pinard (South Africa ZL), Elder Rivera (ZL)

March Update - Another Transfer

March 2, 2009


I was transferred yet again, but this time I was tranferred back into the Miami Shores Ward! YAY! I'm in the other area though, so i get the best of both worlds: New area to explore AND old friends to catch up with! I'm really excited about this transfer as we already have a lot of work that is being done!


My new companion is Elder Gundry. He is from a little town of 900 people names Grace, Idaho. He acts just like hes from a backwoods town too. His favorite pastimes are "muddin' out in the brush wit' my bronco" and "shootin' small critters." Yes those were actual quotes :P

We are getting along really well, and I once again am Senior companion. He has been out for 5 months as of yesterday.


We have a couple people that we are working with currently. One is Patrick, who we met through a media referral. We just contacted yesterday. He is from Haiti and really has a lot of faith in God. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and are meeting with him again later this week. We also are working with Norma, another media referral. She already knows the Book of Mormon is true and wants to be baptized, but she works 16 hour shifts on Sundays and can't come to church. bummer!


We had a really great experience on Saturday with Jim Emmerman. Jim is a member in the ward who is really having a hard time of it. He works as a security guard for a company who will not under any circumatences give him time off on Sundays to go to chuch. he has been trying really hard to find a new job but so far has had no sucess. Because he is really poor, he lives in rather... unlivable.. cicumstances. Besides all that, he is really a spiritual guy and tries his best to keep faith in Christ. He is a Jewish convert and this is his story:

For almost 30 years, he has had on and off contact with the church. Unfortunately the first time he was taught, one of the missionaries that was teaching him did not really have interest in him and it showed. Needless to say he lost interest. He had a hard life, getting himself into alcoholism and drugs and really dropped far. Until one day he was walking through Walmart and he sees 2 Elders. He walks up to them and asks to once again meet with the missionaries. They tell him that they don't cover his area but that they would pass his name and number to those who did. They give his number to my trainer, Elder Seegmiller (who was at that time in his first area if I've counted it out right) and his companion. When they arrive at his house, the place was so disheveled, there was a 6 inch layer of rotting newspapers covered in cocroaches and other nasty things, all th furniture was either broken or disease ridden. (his description.. no lie) Nonetheless, the missionaries began to teach him. Jim tells them that he has no reason why he would keep on living and that he was planning to commit suicide. He then PULLS OUT A GUN and shows them the gun he planned to shoot himself with! holy crap!

But undeterred, the missionaries still showed him love and compassion and helped him through those tough times. In fact, on one visit, Jim had the flu and the elders gave him a blessing that he would recover and be able to go back to work. While Jim went back to sleep, the missionaries took on the task of cleaning up his house. When Jim woke up the next day, he found his whole apartment cleaned up, redecorated, and looking like an actual home instead of a disease-ridden hovel. He was baptized soon after and now has a great testimony of the power of home teaching and love. His home teachers take great care of him even though he feels like he can't give as much back to the church because of his work situation.

That brings us to Saturday. Elder Gundry and I were making some stop by visits when my companion gets the impression to go and visit Jim. So, we head over to his place and we knock on the door. Jim answers with a look on his face like he just woke up. We come to see that his bike (his only mode of transportation) had broken. Jim was offered a bike from a friend, but he had no way to pick it up and because of this, he had gone back into a depression low (he has clinical depression). Suddenly, I had a prompting from the Spirit. It said clear as day, "you have a bike rack in your car, dont you?" So I offered to go pick up the bike for him. He was SO GRATEFUL! Elder Gundry and I went and picked up the bike, and while we were strapping the bike on the car, I got another impression to ask if there was anything else he needed while we were out. He said he needed to go to Walmart to pick up the HD converter box to get his TV wokring again (Miami has recently switched form UHF to HD signals so those with old tvs need to get a converter box to handle the signals). So, off to Walmart we went. When we came back from the store, we were headed up to his apartment and another man was on the elevator with us. Then and there, Jim starts testifying to the man about how much the church has helped him in his life and how his knowledge of the truth has brought him, "from the pits of despair to the heights of excstasy" Needless to say, I was on quite spiritual high after that visit.


This week was awesome. Jim is probbaly one of the most grateful, humble, thankful people I have ever met and he really boosted my testimony in the healing power of the gospel. Suicidal maniac to stuggling, yet faithful disciple of Christ is quite the change! Well thats all for this week. love y'all!



Jared had his HUMP day on February 20th. Hump day is the one year mark on his mission. Here are some pictures he sent. I guess they have a tradition of taking an old white shirt, marking the accomplishments of the first year and then, well.... take a look.

The shirt says, "1 year OR 12 months OR 52 weeks OR 366 days OR 8765 hours OR 525948 minutes OR 31,556,926 seconds. 12 companions, 8 areas, 8 transfers, 3 baptisms, and who knows how many lessons taught, doors knocked, and drops sweated, AND EVERY ONE OF THEM WORTH IT!

Jared Update of his Activities in Jan and Feb.

Summary of Jared's doings and whereabouts for the past few months:

For the past month, I have been working with the deaf members of South Florida. My companion, Elder Brogdon, who is really cool! One of my favorites already. He is really energized about the work and we have been taking the branch head on. We have 3 active investigators with the possibility of a baptism this transfer, which would be the first baptism the branch has had in 8 months! yay!

I saw Karen Cotton again and she is doing AMAZING! She is really involved with the ward to which is awesome! The Hollywood Ward has really brought her into the fold and she is happier than I've ever seen her. When she was getting ready to be baptized, I don’t think I’ve prayed harder for anyone before. It was a really intense week with her and I am glad I was given to opportunity to be there. It is kind of funny she has taken on the title of my, "good southern mama" for me and Elder Crowther. Which is kind of funny, :)In other news the knee is improving. im meeting with the doctor today to see the progress so keep your fingers crossed.

Also... we dropped one of our better investigators, Rogelio. He decided that he was going to refuse to pray.The ASL sister missionaries with whom we work just broke the mission record for lessons in one week. Before the record was 63, and the sisters beat it with 80! go ASL program! w00t!We going to try setting Judy Jones with a baptismal date tomorrow. Pray for us there. She is progressing really well, but she needs to get Sundays off so she can come to church.Sthis is a big problem since she only works weekends as it is....things are progressing quite well here in the ASL program. we are teaching a lot of people, especially we are working with Nelson and Paula to increase their missionary efforts as well as prepare to enter the temple and be sealed. thus this letter is quite short... sorry but things do progress slowly here so not much has changed since last week.oh! i got the boxes! THANK YOU!!!! the needles are so cool and ive already casted on a pair of socks with them. :) and the food was much appreciated. :)

Things are continuing to improve here in the ASL south area. We recently picked up a new investigator, Yveltalene (sp?). She is totally awesome and has already read the Book of Mormon stories through and watched the Restoration dvd. She has prayed as well which is awesome. We will be encouraging her this week to watch the actual Book of Mormon in ASL as well as possiby commit her to be baptized! Yay!

She attended Presinnia's baptism which went really well. Im so excited for presennia as she is the first baptism the branch has had in months! Double yay!

One of our other investigators, Jessenia, is also coming along nicely as she is steadily reading the Book of Mormon. She has committed to come to church for the first time on Sunday so we will be excited to see her there.