Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To all sorts of everyone,
This week has been really interesting again. We have lots of ups and downs, like anyone, but at the end of the week we are still able to look back and see what an amazing few days it has been. This past week we have really connected with a couple less active member  families and some part member families who all live in the same house that are becoming stronger and more active. It is great to see this real growth in a family who lacked the same sort of conviction as some of the stronger families in the ward. We also were able to take Christian, our 19 yr old investigator, to the temple visitors center and he liked it a lot. He even  asked what he needed to do to become a missionary later on in his life! I am pumped for his conversion to continue, for him to love the Gospel, and to begin to share something that blesses his family and his life.
This coming week we have a ton, a ton, of very long meetings. We had one yesterday so we had to switch our pday. That meeting was almost 7 hours darn long. It was full of a lot of great teaching, practicing and learning going on. Our Mission president shared a couple of experiences about how revelation blessed his life and particularly how asking "is there more?" when we receive some can be. He was working on a case that was going to be made in to law (as he is a lawyer) and he felt very passionately about how the law should be and how he thought God would have it be. He had solid arguments for 4 out of 5  points but was very weak on the fifth and couldn't think of where else to approach it from. When he was driving to a pre-lim case, as he described it, he was listening to a conference talk and the thoughts just began flowing. As he was driving  and after as he pulled over, he wrote down all his thoughts that he felt inspired to jot down. He then asked, is there more that I can have, that I need to know for this case? The revelation from heaven started again and he was able to construct a strong defence against the other argument. As we live our lives and we have the few or many experiences of revelation, we need to ask for more. Sometimes the Lord is just waiting to see if we have the faith to ask for more. Or, at least that is what I got out of it.
We went to the DC temple today. It was tremendous. I loved the stained glass and the rich wood.  Most of the decorations were timeless and full of class even though they must have been at least 10ish years old. The Celestial room was stunning and our session was great too. A recent convert was getting her endowments out for the first time at 50ish and our witness couple had dreads, and tats, one of them being deaf. It was the most diverse temple experience I have ever had (it is DC, so it makes sense). I love that no matter who we are, what we look like or what we may have done in the  past we can change, find a new passion and, through this Gospel, become more like Jesus Christ. That is what I try to imagine every time I look at a new person.  What kind of strong ward member can they be? We met an older guy from Salvador yesterday who would be the fiery, excited, spiritual pocket rocket on the member soccer team; or like a few weeks ago, the strong minded tenacious Baptist lady who would give the best testimonies. Also, Christian, who has the potential to be the sharp new missionary serving who knows where. This is why I serve, so I can help others find these people inside themselves. It makes me happy to watch this transformation, to see the happiness it brings them. Everyone already has the skills, the talents, and the desire somewhere inside from their life before this. The only thing they have to do is let the spirit change them through their simple actions; like coming to church, doing service for others or praying because of their lack of "truth" in their lives. The same goes for all of us, I think, who are already on the path.
Love you guys so much and still can't wait to see you guys again
-Elder Jonathan Bigelow

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week, well one of them, I don't remember Still Cookin'

This week has been killer again. We have done so much and there has been so much change, which has helped me stay in my groove. We had a new elder come up into our area and met a bunch of RM's who are selling pest control for Alterra. We are able to have splits with members (young men in the ward).  All these Spanish speaking RM's that are in our apartment complex and are even comnig to our ward now. We are able to get so much work done with all these willing members. I love it.
The other thing that I have noticed this week goes along with everything we have been able to accomplish this week. I have tried to strive for a new life goal: "Do More." This has always kind of been active in my life and I have said it before but this week it has just been on my mind always. I want to live my life in a way where I accomplish so much in all areas in my life. I want to do it with my family, my career and of course my mission where I am right now. I want to do more than others think I can do; I want to do more than I think I can do; and most especially on my mission I want to do what God knows I can do, through him. Dad has said now a couple times "Look to God and Live." I have gained a new understanding and new appreciation for this through this past week. When we do all we can for what we are pursuing whether it be a new investigator, a new career, a new song, or a new goal. If it is good for us and for others and then turn to God when we can do no more due to exhaustion or the efforts of others against us, God can shake and bake where we cannot. In the mission this is God's work not ours so he is extra sensitive and willing, I think, to lend a helping hand to bring others to Christ and to Him.
I don't have much time again, I will try to write again as well!
Love you so much!
Elder Jonny Bigelow

Monday, June 10, 2013

While in the MTC Jonathan was among friends.

Jonathan and Christian Garrett

Jonathan and Aaron Davis

Dear Mom and Fam,
We are doing great here and having all sorts of changes and all sorts of success. We have lots of investigators in nearly every stage of their spiritual knowledge and development. We have 3 people on date now for baptism, which is so exciting. One family (who we took to the visitors center this Sunday--Mercedes and Raul) love learning about the Gospel and know they need more in their lives. They have both said they know it's true but want to learn all the commandments first, which is what we are supposed to do anyways. The other person who has committed to a date is a guy named Christian. He is 20 and loves learning about the Gospel. It is amazing how hard he has taken a hold of the Gospel and wants to learn more. He has already changed so much and made huge efforts to change. He has stayed home from parties and turned down alcohol and drugs, all before we have even taught him all the commandments. I love teaching young people. I get to see many of the same realizations and epiphanies that I came to recently about my life, my purpose, and the Gospel. Watching that same thing happen is an amazing experience and helps me learn so much more about myself. I want to do more and achieve more and help more people change. I know that through my efforts, and the help of the Lord in His own work, those goals I have are possible.
Like always, I don't have enough time to tell you all I want to or get pictures together and all sorts. But, know that I love you, I'm working hard, and I'll try my best next week. Spread my love to whoever needs or wants it. Peace
Love Always,
Elder Bigelow

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Virginia Bound

Jonathan is now in Virginia--Herndon to be exact.  We recently got our first email from the mission field:

Mom Dad Fam and Loved ones,
We flew into Dulles airport so we didn't really get to DC. We just saw the outskirts of Virginia. The mission president and his wife picked us up and then we went to his house for a get to know you, an interview and dinner. The next day we went to a transfer meeting and got our companions and our area assignments. I am in Herndon Virginia and have a few other towns like Reston, Sterling, and Franklin. My companion is Elder Earnshaw. He is a enthusiastic, excitable, and hard working. All are good for me to learn and work hard in my area. I love the people here and am teaching people of all sorts. I will probably stay in this area for awhile, at least 3 months, and then go to Alexandria or Arlington, both of which I would love.
Everything is going well here except the amount of spare time I have. I was gone almost all day today doing errands and going shopping getting set up and cleaning. Hardly any time to email, and the first thing I sent got deleted somehow, long story--don't worry. Next time will be better. But know I love you guys and love to hear what you are doing. I will tell you investigator stories soon! Love you lots and thank you for all the help.
Elder Bigelow

He also sent photos with the DC South Missionaries and Mission President.

"These aren't the best but here is our crew!"