Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One-month Accomplishments

1 month home from the mission.  These are the boring stats as they slough from my brain:

9 job interviews; 3 job offers.  3 more interviews set up.
5 family home evenings participated in.
4 dates: 2 with the same girl, 1 with another girl's family.
1 email to my sister on her mission in the Philippines.
5 times entered the temple.
8 medical appointments to general physician, dentist, and ENT doctor.
5 movies watched, plus 3 episodes of BBC's Sherlock.  Dull.  Boring.  Catch...you...later.
2 sessions of Institute attended; 3 church services for young single adults, 8 services in total.
7 Church leader talks read.  2 watched.
1 teaching appointment with English elders.  More to come with Spanish as well.
3 ukulele lessons taught.  2 songs learned.
1 wedding attended.  Good friend.  Was.  Disgusting.
Gas pumped 2 times.
4 packets of Filipino Ramen prepared and consumed with chopsticks.
Almost 44 eggs eaten for breakfast, 89% sunny side up.
2 trips to Cafe Rio, 4 to McDonald's, 1 to Wendy's.
7 Filipino get-togethers with Filipino food.
11 new people met outside of my family who speak Tagalog.
1 YouTube video uploaded.
12+ hours in three-day segments of job-search seminars attended.
~20 posts on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn; 2 serious posts.
2 decent pictures.
$308.40 spent on textbooks.
3 batches of sauerkraut pending.
1 haircut not had.
1 windshield wiper blade replaced, out of 2.
2 more languages initiated on Duolingo.
2 blog posts.
0 personal items needing replacement since mission, i.e. deodorant, gel, cologne, &c.
4 resumes created, 2 cover letters.
70+ words per minute typing.
27 days until Fall 2015.  I'd better have a job by then, maybe a girl too.
1 brain fried from sleep deprivation.
Infinite more projects that I need and want to work on.  Not enough human time for planning or execution.
33 useless statements in this blog post.


Sincerely,
Russell deJesus

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Two Weeks Home

Adjusting back from two years of life as a missionary frustrates me.  After 10,000 hours of performing a complex task, the performer is considered professional.  At eighteen months, I was technically professional at planning, proselyting, and teaching and mentoring, leaving me with six months to actually utilize that profession.  After those six months of using that profession, I stepped aboard a plane that took me away from that professional life into a completely foreign world (my family moved to a different neighborhood as soon as I left for my mission).  I have no job, no friends, no personal phone, no ghettos or chicken shacks to wander into, and no formal responsibility to counsel people.  This must be what it feels like to have your umbilical cord cut (except, anatomically speaking, cut umbilical cords feel no pain).

To keep me busy, I filled Google Calendar with events such as scripture study and Institute of Religion classes, physicals and dentist visits, job searches and seminars, and hangouts and dates.  I am one who does not believe that we can ever run out of responsibility.  Perhaps the most tragic ignorance is that of responsibility.  When we run out of responsibility, would we not thus become held responsible for seeking out more responsibilities?

I gave a talk at church on that same thing, calling it enduring to the end.  I reiterated to the congregation what the Bishop told me prior to my talk.  The purpose for having homecoming talks is to excite the young upcoming missionaries to go on their own missions.   I told the congregation that he instructed me to tell a couple of mission stories so they can glimpse at the life of a missionary in New Jersey.  I did so, sharing stories about Irvington and Bernard, and also quoting Eminem.  At the end of my talk on enduring to the end, I mentioned my belief that the best way to teach is to teach a question.  I taught them what Stephen Covey calls "beginning with the end in mind."  To what end are you enduring?  In other words, why would you go on a mission?  Then, targeting other members of the congregation (as inspired by the Lord in His temple prior to me writing the talk), why get married if it won't last forever?  Why go to heaven when you expect no more responsibility?  Why live?  What's the goal?

Again, I spent two years, practically 24/7, teaching these things, so I could go on.  But I have decided to make this blog my professional blog from now on.

Here is what I have learned so far in my two weeks home:

People are not so individually different two years back, but the general population seems to have changed dramatically.  My brother is still my brother, my friends, my friends.  But my brother is not still my brother in Rush Valley, but in Stonebridge, neither are my friends my friends from high school.  Individuals retained their personalities and most behavior, but the general population now differs from the general population two or three years ago.

Jobs with my specifications seldom appear in the average job search engine.  It takes creativity, sometimes, to network or be invited to a job interview.

Scholarships also take work.

I am very inspired to change my major from Physiology and Developmental Biology (premed) to Communications.  The Communications major allows me to be versatile in the skills and talents that I enjoy in studio art, calligraphy, film, music, comedy, writing, education, special needs, medicine, culture and languages, &c., and provides paths to career fields such as speech-language pathology, stage-and-screen travel, and diplomacy and saving the world.  This is what I have been telling future employers now, as I have a background in translating documents and speak five languages.

Here are a few purposes for blogs, as explained in the article, "Dear Founders, Startups Are Easier If You Write Everyday:"

  1. Get better at explaining your ideas to others – if you can’t form a few sentences that make sense to other people, you won’t be able to explain these same ideas in person.
  2. Explore a long-form idea over a series of posts. In the same way that you have a conversation with people over an extended length of time, your thoughts on a topic may change. Write about it – the results may surprise you.
  3. You never know who you will meet. Amazing people will find you because they read what you write. The possibilities are endless.
Whether for simplifying ideas for others, exploring long ideas, or networking, the cliche adage holds true, that blogs cannot contain every thought or feeling of any human, even a human as simple as I.  But I plan to devote the rest of my blog entries to my findings in subsequent studies, particularly in those areas aforementioned that I hold close to my heart.  I promise that the entries will be brief.  Again, the cliche, "don't make promises you can't keep."  But those are the best kind.  I hope future employers (and children) find this blog useful.  I do; typing and writing down my thoughts ensures that I can stop worrying about them.

Thanks for reading.


Russell deJesus

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 6, 2015 - What.

Departing
Well,

We're getting doubled out.  See ya in a few hours.

Love,
Elder deJesus

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Checked Out

Hi,

Well, I've pretty much checked out.  Forget that last email that said that I'm not trunky.  Going home, baby!

Just kidding.  Well, half-kidding.  I worked as hard as our new technological responsibilities permitted.  For example, we were expected to laboriously transcribe most of the paper teaching records from past missionaries (the area book) into our new electronic record book (the Area Book Planner app) in our iPads.  We spent much of our backup proselyting time in places with wifi hotspots, such as libraries and coffee shops.  We were to do so before Saturday, and we barely met the deadline.  We have more to transcribe too, so we expect to take some more time in libraries transcribing records this coming week.

The sort of downtime from missionary work caused me to seriously reflect on what kinds of things I should do when I return.  I planned activities and a schedule that will permit me to accomplish these activities.  They cover topics such as my physical and dental health, education, career and finance, spiritual studies, marriage and family, and hobbies.  I just don't wanna be a less-active member of the Church or throw away any minute of my life.

Anyway, kinda a boring week and a boring email.  But the Gomezes are progressing!  I love that family.  I'm sure that Jayden will eventually go on a mission.  And we found Elizabeth and her family.  They are so excited to be baptized!  And I'm going back to school!

Love,
Elder deJesus

Monday, June 15, 2015

Past Three Weeks, Next Three Weeks

Well,

I got 5 minutes left.  

I will miss Jew Nersey.  I will miss even this white man's town; there are a few things that keep me sane.  For example, in front of the library, we encounter the most peculiar people, one of which sports a veiny abdominal protrusion that she said was caused by a radiation ball from an emergency helicopter that hit her during childbirth in the military.  She attempted to cut it out using a dull and rusty scalpel, but her abdominal muscles proved tougher than the blade, so she shaved her head.  Another person graced us with comments such as, "I'm not Chinese; I'm Colombian!" when asked if he has ever heard of the Mormon missionaries.  We taught him the first lesson.

The only productive thing I remember us doing this week with two minutes left was that I rearranged my schedule for college and looked at a few scholarships and other checklist items.  Also, we found 9 new investigators total these past two weeks.  Other than that,

Please rest assured,
I'm Not Trunky

Thursday, June 11, 2015

June 8, 2015 - TMJ Disorder

Ow,

My jaw hurts.  Apparently, I have some sort of disease in the joint.  I've been taking stacks of ibuprofen, which makes driving more complicated.  Just kidding.  I haven't been driving under the influence of ibuprofen.

But things be jiggy.  I've been blessed by these past three weeks.  These past three weeks will be the ones that will make me miss my mission the most when I go home.

Yesterday, during church, Elder Taylor and I received the privilege of teaching about the priesthood in Sunday school.  One of the class members asked an interesting question about women and the priesthood.  The Spirit was present as our very own sister missionaries testified of the divine roles that God has given us.

During the fast-and-testimony sacrament meeting, testimonies were borne so powerfully that I could only compare the experience to the day of Pentecost described in the Bible, when the ancient Apostles awaited to be endowed with power.  The brother that I described last week, whose career in the NFL ended after a severe stroke bore his testimony and the Holy Spirit rushed into the room like a wind.

He asked me to help him walk for the first time in church after four years, as his whole left side did not function.  As I grabbed him by his left elbow and left shoulder to lift him, I was reminded of when Peter caused the lame man to walk through his faith in Jesus Christ.  We walked to the front of the chapel and I held the mic for him.  He recited to the congregation the first paraphrased scripture that he proudly memorized after his stroke.  He said, "Never give up.  Faith is never giving up.  The scriptures say that we have to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost.  Then we can stand before God at the last day.  It says to stand, not sit in a wheelchair."

The bishop of the congregation bore his testimony about how it was this brother's faith that caused him to walk.  As I wheeled him out of the chapel after church, I saw the eyes of everyone still wet with tears.  Many of them thanked the brother for his testimony.

At the end of the day, we taught Jayden with his parents.  His dad, who attended the church meetings, commented on how he only wanted to be active in the Church again because it is a good social club for his son.  He said that when he came to church again yesterday, he fell back into the habit that he was in when he was on his mission.  He said that for the first time in years, his faith had been rekindled by the testimonies of that brother and others.  He bore his testimony to Jayden and us that he knew that the gospel is true.  He and his family will be active again!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through this Church, and I am excited to experience more things like this after my mission is over.  This is what Brazilians call saudade.

Love,
Elder deJesus

( saudade: nostalgia )

And I just read this, in honour of the Apostle Elder L. Tom Perry, who passed away.  He said this when he visited our mission:

“I promise you by the power of the Holy Priesthood I hold and the Holy Apostleship, that the Lord will be there to help you, instruct you, comfort you, give you words and expressions, give you peace and give you experiences that will give you everlasting joy throughout your life.”

That promise was just fulfilled (:  Man, I sound like a fruit, but it feels alright.


June 1, 2015 - Stake Temple Trip

Oh, hey,


Jayden was confirmed yesterday.  He is so excited.  We have taught him one of five new-member lessons so far.  His parents are on their way to receive callings in the ward.  They seem eager to participate in the ward, as we observed in Gospel Doctrine class.

On Saturday, Elder Taylor and I were able to help with the Caldwell Stake temple trip.  One of the brothers was in a wheelchair.  He used to be a safety on the Indianapolis Colts football team and is a very large man.  His career ended when he suffered a stroke that disabled him to walk; his whole left side is paralyzed and he has stayed in his wheelchair for four years now.

At the Manhattan Temple, we helped this brother out of his wheelchair to change into appropriate baptistry clothing.  We wheeled him into the baptismal room in the temple and guided him up several steps leading to the font.  Then we lowered him into the font and watched as he performed baptisms for his ancestors.  Tears diluted the chlorinated water of the font as the faith of this brother emanated into the souls of everyone watching.  The past two weekends have been powerful witnesses to me that the missionary work that our Church engages in is from God.

Well, things be jiggy.  Oh, and we got hatdwogs from the corner after the temple trip.

Stay classy,
Elder deJesus


Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25, 2015 - Ipads!!

Yeah,

We got iPads this week. We also baptized Jayden. I'm typing this using
this voice thing on the iPad. I may misspell a bunch of stuff but but
but I guess it all works out. Jaden's baptism did. We didn't do much,
And there wasn't a lot of people that came, and I don't know why that
and is capitalized but whatever, and we had a last-minute practicefor
the musical number but everything turned out well. The Holy Spirit was
there. I might attach a picture of the baptism. This thing is flipping
cool. Ha ha lowell. Loel. LOL me to sleep.

Love, elder to Jesus


Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 18, 2015 - Kniha Mormonova

Here's two guys,

Guy 1: Last Friday, before teaching Jana from her new Slovak Book of Mormon, we were searching for members whom the leaders of the congregation, the ward council, did not know.  We were at a point where we were sort of discouraged in finding new people to teach and baptise.  Being inspired to visit a particular house of one of these lost members, we knocked on the door.  Of course no one answered!  But we were certain that the Spirit prompted us to knock on her door!  What happened?  We decided to ask her neighbors about her whereabouts and one of them said that she moved nine years ago.  We were prompted to teach the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the neighbor said, "So, you ain't cops.  I'm looking for a church to join."  We told her that, no, we are not cops, and that we are missionaries from the Church that she should join.  It was apparent that the prompting of the Holy Ghost was real when she accepted the invitation to come to church next Sunday and we found a new person to teach.

Guy 2: Last Wednesday, while still in the same rut that we were in regarding the number of people to teach, we gave a card to a young boy on the street.  He asked if the person on the card was Jesus.  We said yes and taught him the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He invited his seven other friends to join.  We taught them as well.  As a result, we told them that we'd come back on Saturday.  On Saturday, we received the opportunity to teach the same lesson to their parents, who invited us back next Saturday.  We also taught seven other lessons that day.  God rescued us from the rut that we were in.

The lesson that I learned was Exodus 14:13 and Moroni 7:33; again, this is not my work, but God's.

Love,
Elder deJesus


Happy Mother

To whom it may concern, Esq.,

President Taggart may be sending me home early.  I'm proud of it.  The reason is that my sister is Sister deJesus reporting to the Philippines mission a day before I was scheduled to go home.  So I'm still worthy but going home early!

iPads are coming soon, much like the mission has reported for years now.  But we're receiving training on using them this week.  We can teach people here with people on Skype; you can help teach the gospel remotely!  I'd love to add you all on Facebook to help teach people here.

We went to a Bible study group and a Messianic Jew church service the other day.  I do not understand why people confess their sins in Bible study or why the Messianic Jews don't consider the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of their church.

Jaden is en route to baptism; Jana is not....  We'll work on it.

I Skyped my mom yesterday.  I love that woman, and you should too.

Ja vim ze Buh je, a ze vas zna, a ze vas miluje.

Love,

Elder deJesus

May 4, 2015 - Two months

Ya guys,

Imma vomit.  There's only two months left of my best two years.  I thought they just started.  The mission office sent me an email to confirm my departure date, which is 8 June 2015.  Then they will buy my plane tickets.  How far away is that plane?  Imma vomit.

Well, I'm still adjusting to this crazy place.  Caldwell is full of trees and rich Europeans.  We live in what Jersey people call "the mountain," or what people call "hills" in Utah.  Hopefully, we don't catch Lyme disease!

So far, we have two people who have accepted a date to be baptized at the end of the month: Jaden and Yana.  They look forward to it!  Hopefully Jaden's parents and Yana's husband will be active as a result.

We just had interviews at the beginning of the week.  Basically, President Taggart and I just talked about me going home in two months.  Imma vomit.

Well, there it is.  Love y'all.

Love,

Elder deJesus


Never mind.  8 July 2015 is the departure date, as my non-American Haitian friend thankfully corrected me.  I guess I was trunky for no reason.

Apr 27, 2015 - Caldwell is Good

Ya guys,

Caldwell is good, but it's definitely not hood.  I'm still adjusting to it.

Here there are Filipinos, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, Lebanese, Haitians, Africans, Greeks, and other Europeans and Mediterraneans.  I may actually like it here.

So far, we have three progressing investigators.  We will be baptizing one in May.  His name is Jaden.  Let's pray that he makes it to church two more times!

They just sent me an email saying that I need to confirm my departure on 8 July 2015.  I'm gonna vomit.

Anyway, 309 Mt. Pleasant Av #2, Woodland Park, NJ 07424 is the new address.

Love,

Elder deJesus

Apr 20, 2015 - Cwalwell

Homies,

I feel unworthy to call you that now.  I have been transferred from the hood to Caldwell, which is just as good as Beverly Hills.  This is more appropriate:

Sire,

Here is a ward that functions.  When we baptize someone, they will stay active.  Where is the challenge?  Who will I yell at now?  What will I yell?  My new companion has leaky gut, so he says I will have to eat his portion, double the food, double the weight gain.  Every member we visited has told us, "We gotta have you over for dinner."  What am I going to do now??  This is my worst nightmare.

We have a developing area.  We only have one investigator on a baptismal date.  We also received a referral last night.  I guess the challenge is there; we will accelerate the growth of this area by finding people to teach.

Before we taught that referral last night, we went to a mission-held fireside.  Sister Stout and I performed His Hands, which is a song that makes me cry.  As I looked over at the people we were performing for, people from Scotch Plains Stake that I have come to love after a year and a half in their service, I cried.  I will miss Jew Nersey.  My days as a missionary are almost over.

Love,

Elder deJesus

Apr 13, 2015 - Happy National Poetry Month!

Freestyle this poem
Watched jazz,
   poetry,
      pepperoni with cheese
Sushi.

Freeze-dried pouches,
   frozen entrees,
     fried tortillas,
      one dollar.
Missionary.

Weather warmer.  People out.
French family confirmed in French.
Fufu up the heezy.  Honey on chicken.

Guitar class
    ASL class
        English class
             Church, investigator bears testimony

Transfers.  Where to?  Where to?
Transfers.  Goodbyes.  Embraces.                      Car.  Tears.
Transfers.  Bye, Newark = 
                         Bye, traffic.
                        Bye, gangs.
                         Bye, Africa, South America, Europe, Asia.
                        Bye, Spring Garden!
                         Bye, comp.

Bye,
Elder deJesus




Apr 6, 2015 - General Easter

H,

The subject box refers not to a militant general with an odd surname, but to the past weekend holiday that was general, and a sort of portmanteau of General Conference and Easter.

Elder Johnson and I now have the privilege of teaching 18 investigators.  I am very pleased to see his eyes glow when we count our blessings and miracles that happen in our missions.

General Conference was interesting.  They talked mainly about marriage and family, pride and hypocrisy, and the last days.  The talks emphasized in my heart the stupidity of divorce when not founded upon spousal or child abuse.  There are many that I taught in Kearny last year who talked with me, mentioning that they are considering such a hasty and selfish act for their children.  They agreed that it's stupid.  Things can be worked out!

Robert and Sis. Dore should be confirmed this coming week.

Below are pictures of an in-between Conference meal, a returned sister missionary from Newark from 18 years ago, and Elder Johnson and I.

Sincerely,

E




Mar 30, 2015 - iPads!!!

Ya flips,

This has been the most productive week of my mission.  We saw a lot of miracles.

First, we went to the General Women's Broadcast.  The Brazilian food was delicious.  Then, yesterday, we had a multi-unit function.  It was in English, Spanish, and French.  The African food was delicious.

About that function: Sister Dore is the wife of the second counselor of the branch presidency.  She was Muslim and has been taught by the missionaries for two years.  Their friend, Robert from Guinea, moved in with them temporarily with the goal of having his family move to America.  His brother is a pastor and they know the Bible very well.  We have been teaching both of them for two months.

Attached are pictures of the baptism of Robert and Sister and Brother Dore, the iPads, and a good reminder.

The baptismal program included talks by Sister Saunders and Kathy, baptisms in English and French, and a musical number performed by me.  The Spirit of God was there.  Elder Johnson was excited.  Then there was African food.

Love,
Elder deJesus










Mar 23, 2015 - Food Poisoning

Poop,

Well, all week was a medical disaster.  Since we are the chauffeurs for the Ironbound Spanish elders, we drove them to various doctor's appointments that turned out to be vain.  Elder Marquez was driven from pharmacy to pharmacy trying to obtain a tightly monitored drug equivalent to methamphetamine, aderol.  Many pharmacists ended up giving all of us suspicious looks.  But we finally worked it out.

We went to an eight-hour leadership conference where we were fed pulled pork and potato salad.  The potato salad was a lot like a cannonball.  It went right through us.  For two days, Elder Johnson and I slowed down the work in order for our bodies to adjust.  We napped for a part of the day, then went back out to work.  Much Gatorade and apple juice was consumed.

Then we ate some week-old couscous from the refrigerator.  We were also fed some delicious African food.

We should be baptizing two people (in French) next week!  Please pray for Marie and Robert.  We also found eight new people to teach.  Despite the medical disaster, we had a good week.  God works miracles.

Love,

Elder deJesus

Mar 16, 2015 - The Week Was Good

Well,

The week was good.  We went to a Relief Society party and to Young Women's class over the weekend.  And we ate fufu!!!

Love,

Elder deJesus

Mar 9, 2015 - Sister deJesus

You are hereby going on a mission and stuff to, like, the Philippines and stuff.  Woohoo!!!  My sister just got her mission call to the Philippines!

Transfers just happened.  I stayed as a missionary in Newark's Spring Garden Branch and as Elder Johnson's trainer.  Here's what he's experiencing, his first impression of New Jersey:

Once, we entered an elite chicken shack.  The perimeters allowed only five people to enjoy loitering in the humid, greasy air.  The rest of the restaurant housed the dirty kitchen, surrounded by cheap, seemingly bulletproof plexiglass.  As we awaited our order, the line of impatient customers acted as slave-owners, yelling, "Where my food is at?!  I'm hungry!"  Recognizing us as foreigners, they handed us compliments such as, "What these mutha--- doin here??  They don't belong here."  We were approached by a schizophrenic man, foaming at the mouth.  He said, "Them thirteen-, fourteen-, fifteen-year-olds and they mutha--- principal!  I had my first kiss in high school!  Mutha---!"  We left, content.

Also, I got to participate in a miracle.  His name is Mike.  He left for boot camp before we finished all the lessons, and I was also transferred away so I didn't know what happened to him.  I worried since his parents are anti.  When I called the bishop in my last area, he told me that Mike was baptized in boot camp.  A couple of weeks later, he went to the temple and received the priesthood.  As a missionary, you are in the front row to people's salvation.

I'm going to the temple in two weeks!

Love,

Elder deJesus

Mar 2, 2015 - Lost Phone

Dood,

We lost our phone....  That's our livelihood!

We also prepared and participated in a luau.

I am teaching my own English class.  It's been my dream.

Max, Meylyn, Marie, Robert, Marvin, and Crystal all have a baptismal date for the end of March and the beginning of February.  Please pray for them to receive answers to their prayers.

Sincerely,

Elder d.

Adventures in Newark (attached to previous post)


This was our zone temple trip.


Us with Bishop Brown

Feb 23, 2015 - Details

Addressee,

I guess I missed a couple of details these past weeks.  I ran out of meds, so I've been forgetting a buncha things.

We are now teaching more investigators rather than members.  We recently received 17 referrals in one day.  We have taught more Spirit-filled lessons than I ever have in my mission.  We visit hospitals, shelve books, tutor elementary kids, and teach English class, guitar class, and ASL class.  The branch is finally putting together an activity at least once a month.  The upcoming one is a luau.

The other day, we went hunting for a chicken shack.  In the 30 minutes it took to find it, we saw many things.  Driving through an abandoned alleyway, there was a middle-aged man hunched over a giant wad of $100 bills, greedily counting them.  Walking into the shack, desperate panhandlers met us from every angle, asking for wads of cash, please; are you Christian?  Sitting down, we were encountered by a schizophrenic man.  He said profoundly, "And the 13-, 14-, and 15-year-olds.  My first kiss was in high school.  Tell that to your principal.  My principal name be John.  And the 13- 14- and 15-year-olds."  He mentioned that about 7 or 8 times.  We invited him to be baptized.  He accepted and proceeded to froth at the mouth.  We said, "We gotta go."  And, without words, he turned and left the store.  So we ate our chicken.  It was delicious.

If you have previously had any emotional attachment to your phone, you you may be able to sympathize with Elder Johnson and me as I tell this story.  We lost our phone.  Our phone is the gateway to everything we do as missionaries.  We searched and did not find it in anyone's house.  We said a prayer.  A thought came to our mind to search in the snow.  We found it and immediately placed it in a bag of rice.  The best feeling is finding your phone.  Prayers are answered!

Yesterday, Spring Garden Branch received training from the Scotch Plains Stake high council.  I recently celebrated one whole year as a missionary in Spring Garden Branch.  Trust me when I say that that training was one year overdue.  I am grateful for that prayer answered.  I also know that God answers prayers in His own time.


Love,
Elder deJesus


Pictures of my favorite stores:







Feb 18, 2015 - 6 Degrees

Ya guys,
That's how cold it is today, and, in fact, to-week.  Six flippin degrees Fahrenheit.
I guess my dad called the mission office to check if I was dead.  It turns out that I'm not.  Sorry....
We talked to a man on the street.  He smelled like Bud Lite and grade A weed.  He told us about how his wife needs to go to the hospital and they will be evicted and his wife and his kids and no drugs, see?  He seemed very engaged in our gospel conversation until he asked us for cash.  I smelled that coming a mile away.
People here just need to work and not make excuses.
On a positive note, Elder Johnson gave his first training in district meeting yesterday.  It was bomb.


Love,
Elder deJesus

Feb 9 - Electronic Mail

My stomach is yelling at me.  Gotta run!


E

Just kitten.

This week, we shelved books and walked a lot and our car got iced on.  We got free fries at a coffee shop.  We went to Hamburgao for Elder Johnson's first time.  People birthed people.  Sadly, people's parents passed on too.  And people went to the hospital.  It was a slower week.

I let Elder Johnson lead out in planning the area for a bit to see where he's at.  This coming week, we're gonna take turns.  Then in the last week of the transfer, he will lead again.

Love,

Elder deJesus

Feb 2, 2015 - Freezing Rain

Ya guys,

We went outside of our apartment and found our car encased in an inch of ice.  We scraped it off using our bare fingernails and pushed the car about seventeen miles to the nearest dealership to hijack a new one, crossing only fourteen frozen fjords.  Life is tough here in Jersey, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  You don't know nothin bout guns, as they say.  But freezing rainis miserable.

But to-week, we went to Jersey City to fix our car.  Juneau the storm convinced the Pep Boys mechanics that they should not show up to work even when there wasn't even a storm....  We also went to a pet store and almost petted a few newborn chihuahuas.  Elder Johnson and I made shark tacos and enjoyed them.  We finished moving the rest of our stuff from the old apartment.

Our new apartment is in the basement.  It's cold.  The roof leaks.  The floor creaks.  There's a man-eating clam in the backyard.  18 Brill St Basement, Newark 07105 is the address, in case you want to send a cake or two.

As per the work, rules are changing.  We found a new investigator.  We should be baptizing people by the end of February.

Also, Betty came to church!!!  I was the happiest man!  That's one step closer to going to the temple with her.  I'm going to go with Margaret and Samantha as well before I leave this mission.

Love,

Elder deJesus

Monday, January 26, 2015

Juneau

Ya boi guys,

New Elder Johnson is swag.  They cancelled church last week....  Preparation day was fun; we went bowling.  On Elder Johnson's first day on the mission field, we moved from one two-story apartment to the basement of another.  Here's a few pictures.






We got 9 people from our area to the temple on Saturday, 4 with names!  Woot!

Also, there's gonna be a huge whiteout snowstorm coming today.  Like, they named it and everything!  Our leaders told us to take our 72-hour kits into our cars.  Lol.

Anyway, wish us luck.  We should be having a few baptizzles next mizzle.

Love,
Elder deJesus

By the way...

18 Brill St Basement
Newark, NJ 07104 is the new address. 

 Please send a cake promptly.