Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Firstly thank you all so very much for the gifts! My birthday was
wonderful, due to your love and lots of great people here. 

I have been thinking I know a thing or two about being a missionary
recently. I have even more recently realized the vast expanse of
knowledge I haven't even touched yet. I have so many more reasons to
be humble, rather than prideful in what I have learned and do do well.

I am extremely grateful for everything I have around me to help me learn.

I am sorry I am a little without words this week, for now at least. I
have been doing a lot of thinking recently but I don't know really how
to convey anything useful home. For now anyway. We are on our way to
the library of congress right now, so if I think of anything extra
good there I will write it up.


Elder Bigelow

So excited to open them! Valene sent me a package too.-- you all would
be so proud. I even waited until my actual birthday.

I am not quite sure how I forgot, but I remembered what I was going to
write you about this week... The Salazar girls got baptized! Andy and
Aury were baptized this past Saturday. It was tremendously small and
pretty private. The two extremely reserved girls didn't want many
people to come. It was a really special experience. Mostly because of
the preparation, work and care that it took the dad to baptize them.
He had to wait a little. We were involved but really it was all up to
him. He did an amazing job.

When they were baptized the simplicity of the process was so powerful
to me. All the the lead up was evident went they went down into the
water. I don't think I have been at a more powerful or passionate
baptism. For me at least.

Also, we just went to the library of congress after we had gotten our
library cards. We went and read a first edition copy of the Book of
Mormon. It was owned by some guy neither my companion or I knew but
Martin Harris and joseph smith had signed it. So that was pretty

We are on our way home now so, I will talk to you next week!


Elder Bigelow

Monday, November 10, 2014

We are helping a family through an interesting situation right now. They are a wonderful family who have been going to a local Lutheran church for the past 20 years. The interesting thing is that the parents and the oldest daughter are members. The girl was baptized when she was 8 and remembers hardly anything. The parents have deep running testimonies, that have been uncovered slowly by missionaries for the past while. In the middle of our teaching the mother jumped out of her sullen cage of a countenance and said, "I am coming back, we are coming this Sunday. When does it start? I am coming and I am bringing Sara." She finally made the decision to come back. She told us that she has actually stopped going to church over the past three months and is going to go to talk to her Lutheran pastor this week. She told us that she has finally promised God that she will raise her daughter Sara in the gospel even through her other kids have missed out. This all happened because because of Sara I think. She is this women's youngest daughter who finally got here from Bolivia. She is so smart and so inquisitive and has so many questions about the plan of salvation. That is what we taught her last night. She finally reached an understanding and her happiness has helped her mother change. They are nearly done with the excavating, and they are going to get to work on the bridge building. Their journey will be long and difficult, but they are going to make it, the mom dad and Sara at least. The other three children is still left to be seen. I really hope for them. We are going to work for them too.

I am grateful for the gospel in my life. I am grateful for the way that you have always encouraged me to love it and live it but never forced anything on me. Keep up the good work! Keep fostering those desires for good in everything you do especially in those that you would hope that the Gospel would grow again, or for the first time. Keep inviting others to enjoy some of what you feel. I have appreciated your invitations to me. 

I have a sticker on my door telling me that Fedex came to the door but I haven't got the package yet. I think I will get it later today and I am sure I will love it! So thank you in advance. 

Also, I loved the pictures, and expect a really cool quilt for my kid. REALLY COOL. But don't worry, you have quite a few years to brainstorm. 

Send everyone my love. <3<3<3<3


Elder Bigelow

Here I am back with elder facer, my second companion. We are back to basketball

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nov 3

Today I am happy, again.

I love being happy. I love being peaceful and I love understanding.

Those are some of the main reasons I think I have come to love the
gospel. As I continue to study I continue to find answers and develop
a stronger relationship with my Heavenly Father. Of course I continue
to have and unearth new questions and curiosities but I am confident
that in time all things will be brought to my understanding.

Many of these things I owe to how I have been raised and what I have
learned throughout my life.  One of the people we have been teaching
for the past few weeks is finally starting to really understand how he
gain can the same sort of understanding. He came to church for the
first time yesterday. We challenged him earlier this week to write
down a personal question to bring to church with him. We promised him
that if he did so and was attentive to the spirit during church he
would receive an answer. We asked him after the services how it went
and he told us they answered his question 4 times! We were pumped! He
is starting to have a lot of the same experiences while reading the
book of mormon on his own. The thing that is so amazing about this is
that he is finally becoming spiritually self-relient. That is the
process I have gone through and am still working on. It has been so
great to help him through that same thing, because he started at
basically 0. You really do learn a lot while teaching.

Watching him receive a testimony has turned me to think a little bit
more about the "daily bread" videos again from Elder Cristofferson.
Daily spiritual nourishment really does/can make all the difference.
Small revelatory experiences day after day can bring us to a higher
plane of understanding.

This past week was packed with meetings, long ones too! We have three
more this week two of them really long. In my job in real life, I
would prefer not to have so many six hour meetings. This whole foreign
service thing sounds more and more appealing ever day... I think I
want to go to africa and learn french. :)

You are all number one!


Elder Bigelow

Oct 28

Yesterday was a really, really good day.

We had a half mission conference with a man named Elder Kopischke. He
taught me a lot and he invited the spirit in a way that taught me a
whole lot more. The German, Elder Kopischke, taught me that. He taught
me, Jonny Bigelow, to relax, to loosen up and be okay with my
shortcomings, and to STRIVE to become better. He invited the spirit to
teach me that ME is what the Lord wants, and he wants me to be ME. I
hope that makes sense. I feel liberated in a whole new way that I have
never perfectly felt before. He invited me more fully to use my
freedom to choose to create a better life for the good person I
already am. He taught me through his yielding to the spirit its
absolute power and authority in this work.

I have recently learned that more important that my recognizing of my
weaknesses is my consistent striving to slowly but surely become a
better me. One day at a  time. This gospel is much more a thing of
hope than that of condemnation. It is of light and peace not of
overwhelming tasks. All the dark, heavy and worrisome things are true
but much more important is what we can gain if we choose Christ.

It is all about choice. My life is all about choice. I will do my best to
live my life within a given frame to be the best me I can be.

That was one of the highlights of my past week, and of my mission. I
don't have a whole ton of time to tell you about it right now but I
wrote it down in my journal and will write even more down, so you can
ask me later.

Concerning the things you write about in the email, you are great. I
love your emails and they do not make me homesick. They make me happy.
Facebook, you don't really communicate with me on facebook so its not
a problem. Just don't start tagging me in stuff or making not gospel
centered comments on my stuff that I post (I don't think you will, so
you don't have to worry!)

What do I need on my mission? AKA things I might receive on my
birthday....:) ----Craisens and Roasted Almonds. Another cool journal,
I am almost done with the red one. And I still longingly miss my
dear Arc'teryx Atom jacket, it was the bomb. But, really, I have everything I need other than that, and those
things are pretty wanty.

You are great, keep being great.

Elder Bigelow

ps. you can show this to the crew. I love this shirt.  THANK YOU by the way, one of the
dopest packages a missionary could ask for.

Oct 20

Highlights of the week:

-someone at church thought I was from Puerto Rico after I bore my
testimony last week.

-we started teaching the Dominican guy that came to church out of
nowhere and he feels a love and support that he has never felt in his
life before. He recognized the spirit and wants to change so he can
have more of it in his life.

-We went to the Masonic Memorial thing in Alexandria last pday. It was
crazy, and pretty cool. We went on a tour and learned all about their
clubs within their clubs and just all sorts of stuff. The coolest
thing was learning about the origins of the organization and why it

I realized the other day how much time I really have left in my
mission. It is nothing, it will be over so soon, so fast, so quickly.
I really want to give everything  before it is over. I felt really
good at the end of this week, numerically it wasn't the greatest but I
felt really accomplished. I think I finally totally know what feeling
satisfied with my work is like. We really worked hard in the ways that
we have been asked to. Or course there are so many things we messed up
in and so many ways we can improve but we really worked hard. It was a
coinciding of my understanding and my willingness to give more of
myself. I want to see miracles and I know they will come.

One of my favorite talks this past conference was the skier guy. Elder
Kacher talked about currents in our lives and how we can let them take
us to the highest heights or to the bottom of a deep dark ocean. I
know that as I continue to try and let this good current take me where
I need to go I can be made whole in my service as a servant of God. I
can be made into something that I cannot become on my own. That is
really what I want. I want to be powerful for Him.

Thanks for being great, and thank you for the pictures from Henry's
thing. If you see him at Harmony any day wish him my best.

Love you lots!


Elder Bigelow

Oct 14

Good Day!

So, I am now in Annandale as I had previously commented. The move was fine, and I love the new area. The ward is bumpin' and I have another great new companion. His name is Elder Erickson, he is from Arizona, loves to sing and has one more transfer in the mission than I do. We are both experienced and driven missionaries so I really hope that lots of magic happens here. I know that we will be able to accomplish a lot.

-Some highlights of this week were first meeting this great little kid named Gabriel who was baptized on Saturday. He loves the church in its most basic form and more than anything can truly recognize his relationship with his Heavenly Father. The best part about that is that he got baptized to try and make his relationship better. Next is that is rather less active mother is on her way back because of her little sons example.

-I have come into the ward where everyone seems pumped on missionary work. It is amazing and almost unbelievable. We have received references, members are so down to come out to lessons with us and we even get fed a ton. I am so motivated by their drive and want to serve them the best I can

-At church we just finished a little eventful but overall calm fast and testimony meeting where we meet this guy who had been sitting the couch during the whole sacrament meeting. A member came up and told us, "I have no idea who this is but he said his friend sent him here..." We met him and it turns out he is SWEET. His name is Eoris and he is from the Dominican Republic. He loved church and wants to meet with us on this coming Wednesday. He has a true desire to learn and has real questions. On top of that he has a relaxed sing songy droll of the Caribbean. Which I LOVE. I think I will probably go to the Caribbean to speak some Spanish for a while.

There are so many other great things going on in our area. I feel like I don't even deserve them. IT is crazy to come somewhere where all sorts of things are happening. That has never happened to me in my mission so far and it is so exciting! I think that might be the point though, as I have worked hard for a long time I have finally been blessed with the magic I have faithfully waited for.

I really do love this work. I love work. I love progression and I love seeing people figure out things for themselves.

I want to continue to change and give more and more of myself while I still have time. Can you imagine what could happen If I leave it all on the field while I am supported by God through all these members? I hope to see the results I dream about. That is what I will work for.

Love you lots.
-Elder Bigelow