Monday, July 29, 2013

I don't have a lot of time, but know I love hearing about your trips and bike rides and everything. I will give you a little update of what is going on.

This week has been another wild week. We have been working a ton and met with all of our investigators many times. We specifically have had a lot of success with playing soccer recently. Being able to bond with the people through this thing that means so much to these people has really helped them be comfortable with coming to church and specifically with our own relationship with them.

The youth here are amazing. They are an amazing example to me and how I want to raise my children, especially in a place other than Utah. The more time I spend out here the more I want to spend more time of my life moving around a little. I definitely want to spend another year or so living out here after my mission. This area really is something special. Speaking of, I went to The Crystal House this past week. I went to Alexandria for an exchange and was able to go over. We looked for the Pentagon City Mall and then saw the park, the fire department building and then the library. It was so weird to be in that area. I didn't really remember too much, but it felt so familiar. I will go back and take some pictures to send home.
I am so sorry this is so short. Where we normally email is being remodeled so we only have a little bit of time to get stuff done.
I love you so much,
Elder Jonny Bigelow
Dear Family,
We have been doing a lot of the same things. Lots of teaching, a fair amount of soccer and lots of good stories. One of the most impactful days this week was yesterday, Sunday. We had the second installment of our 3 part "teach how to share" firesides. This time we had a small presentation and showed the video "I'll go where you want me to go." You guys should go and look it up on It really is a great example of how big of a difference one family can make through their example and simple invitations, just like you are doing right now. We then had one of the presidents of our mission, President Burton, speak who focused on: how we receive revelation of who to teach, how to do it, and how to obtain the desire for it as well. I love him. He is loud, energetic, passionate, and a little crazy. He is actually a lobbyist for an oil company and has a suite on Virginia Ave. needless to say, cash money. He shouted "Abrir la Boca," literally shouted, as the way to break the ice. Be forward and frank as to who you are and your desires for your friends and family. Of course there is only so much we can do, but often love will do the rest. We then taught and showed how to share the Book of Mormon, the Proclamation to the Family, and a restoration pamphlet.
 Love you Mom, Dad, Julia, and Evelyn
Love always, Spread it where I can't,
Elder Jonny Bigelow

Monday, July 15, 2013

Family and Friends,

This week has been pretty amazing. We taught tons of lessons and were able to help a lot of people. This week Christian was baptized. It was such a great event and he even asked me to baptize him. He was so nervous that he did not sleep for a second the night before but came to church on time and was baptized that afternoon. He was so happy and I think just overwhelmed by the spirit. Some amazing talks were given and a few people were, I think, inspired to challenge him to go on a mission because of their experiences. The ward mission leader Hermano Penaranda taught a 19 year old in Bolivia and later in his mission got a letter from that young man saying that he was serving in the very same mission he was. They were able to grow together in the Gospel over the rest of their missions and see more changes they could bring to others' lives. One of counselors in the Bishopric, Hermano Aliaga, was able to tell his story of being baptized at the very same age as Christian and his own path to the mission that he was able to serve. Christian was challenged and encouraged many times to go on a mission and has even talked about it before in our lessons. Later that night we had a fireside that we (the missionaries) coordinated centered on missionary work. Christian went to it along with all the other youth. It was a very interactive fireside about revelation, with over 60 people there. Despite all this, and it being his first day of being really a part of all this, when the stake president asked who wanted to be a missionary soon, he stood up. I think it is something that will be very good for him and I think there is a really good chance he will do it. I am excited to see where this Gospel can take him and what he will do with it. I am even more excited that I get to be in Virginia for the next two years to stay in touch with him and watch side by side more of his changes.
We are going to DC today for the first time for real and I am way excited to go to the Smithsonian. We are busing and then taking the metro in--true big city style. We are going in with all the youth so I will be taking a bunch of pictures and videos that I will send home shortly. There are all sorts of great families and great people I am excited to come see again after my mission.
I am excited for this next transfer; our goal is 7 baptisms! My job is to make it happen.
I love you guys so much,
-Elder Jonathan Bigelow

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Week before the transfer

The Fam Bam,
This week has been really interesting and different because we have had a meeting pretty much every single day. It was exhausting but we learned a fantastic amount
One of the coolest and profound things we listened to was actually a rebroadcast of a Brad Wilcox I have seen before. I did get a lot of new things out of it this time. The most impacting thing was referring to Christ's Atonement and the plan made for us. Brad addressed the atonement in the steps we teach it: faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism. receiving the holy ghost and then enduring to the end. He said some of these things that evoked some of my thoughts. 
Without faith there is no desire to change and come to Christ. This being the first step is essential. The more and more I think about this Gospel the better I understand the need for faith and why it is faith rather than knowledge that we are to walk by.
Without commandments there is no bar or standard to measure our change or repentance that is needed. We need set guidelines to see our progress and make the necessary goals to come unto Christ. We need to know where to go before we get going.
Without endurance, or keepin' on keepin' on, there is no way to imbed and internalize that necessary change to prepare to meet God. We need the opportunity of endurance to helps us better understand and realize the importance of all these things and because of that learn about God. When we do that we learn more about ourselves.
He said, "without practice you can never become a pianist" or in other words without going through these trials we can not become the thing we need to meet God. We do not become the pianist. That is why this whole earth phase was and is necessary for all of us.
Learning about this stuff from so many different sources, circumstances and viewpoints is something I have really enjoyed. We also have the opportunity to learn from a guy who was one of Steven R. Covey's primary partners, Elder Ritchie. He has a lot of knowledge I get to pick at for two years. He evoked something that I have heard before but have never felt the same. I feel different because I never have desired success like I do now in all parts of my life. "Be the change you want to see" Be Bigger, Be better, Do more. I have already tried to apply this to myself more and more. I am trying to lead by example even though I am a newbie.
I am excited to keep working and I still love and miss you guys a lot.
Love you all so much, spread my love where I can not.
-Elder Jonny Bigelow