Saturday, December 27, 2014

Leage City, Week 13: December 15, 2014 - December 21, 2014

Monday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas everyone!!! Hope it's a jolly one!

That’s so fun ya'll went downtown! I miss that, especially this time of year. It’s pretty and lively. That’s awesome Jordan sang as well. Yeah, I get to converse with ya real soon! I can call, Skype or Facetime, its up to you. I’ll have all available I believe. We'll be at Elder Ve'e's aunt’s, who lives down the street. I’ll call around afternoon to evening.  Excited to hear from you or possibly see you on Christmas! I’ve got 40 minutes. I’ll probably be different! So, on Christmas, we have breakfast at some wardies, then lunch with Bro. Knabel at the church and dinner with another ward family. I get to open presents and have a Christmas tomorrow too. We have a mission conference and then a party basically. We'll be there all day. Utah Utes for the bowl win, heck ya!!  Seems early for bowl games. 


This week was exciting! Tuesday we had district meeting! I didn’t have to do anything this time, but I enjoyed it. We lost our dinner calendar last Sunday because the relief society president ran off with it. So on Tuesday, we knew we had dinner, but couldn’t remember who and she had the calendar at her house. I went to pick it up and she wasn’t home. I called her after and no answer. So that was lame and stressful. But we lucked out because each family we ate with this week would call or text us first. It’s funny because they were like "Do we have dinner tonight? Are we doing that?” And we were like ohhhhhh, yep. So, we got fed a lot and just hoped that they would keep letting us know.

We went to Jason’s Deli with some newly weds on Tuesday. They were cool, but too lovey-dovey. It was weird. Also picked up a new investigator who was working with the spanish sisters and now got passed to us. She’s 9 years old and her family is less active in our ward. We taught about baptism and I invited her to be baptized! My first invitation! She accepted and her family wants us to work with all them. Plus we can’t baptize unless the family will help her live the gospel and get her to church. 

Wednesday, we moved in the Janson dude into the ward! He came from Atlanta and has a family of four. He had tons of stuff and the elder’s quorum was supposed to help, but it ended up just being us and them. That family is way sweet. 

Thursday we had an awesome day. We met with Kasey and talked about the plan of salvation. She had some great questions. She told us the family situation. It turns out she  and Dave aren’t married. Dave doesn’t believe in the restoration either. He’s friendly, he just doesn’t believe everything we say and then talks and fights with Kasey after. But, we got to understand more of her life and past. We just listened and then I bore my testimony after her telling about everything she’s been through and putting up with at the house. I told her the gospel just makes life easier and that Christ will make us stronger and make good things happen if we let him. The Spirit was strong and then the baptism invite just rolled off my tongue. She accepted. We just need to figure out the marriage situation, help Dave see that some of  the things he has heard aren’t true and help him understand the restoration. Hopefully Kasey, and maybe even Dave, are baptized by January 31.

We went to see the Albrights on Wednesday too. They are some investigators that were referred to us by bishop. Things haven’t gone too well with them until recently and we've seen them for a month. We have had some more serious lessons and we invited them to be baptized as well! There is a mom, Brittany whos 11 and Loretta whos 12. The daughters accepted. The mom, ever since we met them, said that she could feel the Spirit. Its too bad though because she has that feeling but she could feel it more if she just read the Book of Mormon or came to church. But, they’re starting too. They also get super nervous to pray before we leave and they finally prayed this week! It took a month to get them to pray. It was hard but it was emotional once they did.

I went on an exchange on Friday to Bacliff, which is right by the gulf shore. The elder I was with was a little rowdy and I had to step up and tell him we don’t do certain things. I also lead out the studies in the morning because I could tell he wouldn’t talk about anything spiritual. It’s funny because he’s 24 and been out for 6 months. We had a good day though. We saw lots of people and taught well together. We played guitar for a family too. But, that day was terrible with the weather, it rained and flooded everywhere. It rained for 13 hours straight. I haven’t seen anything like it before. It was like a monsoon.

Sunday, I got to sing in sacrament meeting. We had a group of ten members. I did not know what I was doing because they wanted me to sing the alto line and an octave below. We only had one practice last week and that didn’t help. It was scary but I finally felt comfortable on the third verse. We sang Far Far Away on Judea’s Plains. All of sacrament meeting was music. It was instruments and singing, way neat. Ashely has been out of town for the past two weeks. She’s missed church, but we will try and see her tomorrow. The Garza’s came to church though! They came because they had both of the kids this week. If they start becoming more active, their son can be baptized. He is 9 yrs. old.

Last night was pretty crazy. We had to usher 'The Messiah' Sing Along at a Methodist church. So, we welcomed people and gave them programs. I mostly just told people where the bathroom is. Then, they asked us to collect offerings! Weird, weird. A lot of our stake came because members performed and so the stake president okayed the collecting of offerings if we took off our nametags. But, we literally passed a bowl around in another chapel, it was nuts. But a fun week as you can tell!

Love ya,
Elder Janz



Sunday, December 21, 2014

League City, Week 12: December 8, 2014 - December 14, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Christmas initiative is sweet huh? We use it a bunch. OYM’s (Open Your Mouth, talking to anyone new)), lessons, and of course get referrals. That came out the end of November. The cards are received well. People like them and sometimes we can do more than say hi and wish them a merry Christmas after we give it to them. 

We met Gwen at a gas station on Tuesday and she wanted to come to church and said she liked our first lesson. Then we met her again at the same gas station cuz her friends tell us where she is and we found her outside. She didn’t look too good, smoking a cig and not too happy. We started talking to her and found out that she talked to her pastor, big no no for us. She doesn’t believe in a prophet and isn’t interested anymore. We listened to her concern, tried to explain and we stood on the curb out front for 30 minutes, I swear. She won’t meet with us anymore. We just kept bearing testimony, then thanked her for everything and left. It’s a bummer, but I’m used to it. It just means we have someone else waiting and we can find them.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers. Had an interesting week. Went up and down during the weekdays. Not much progress, but were trying our best. Yesterday and today have been great. The Spirit won’t leave and that’s how it should be. My favorite part of the week was giving two blessings this weekend, both to members that we’re close to. One is going in for eye surgery and other is way sick. I love those. I still get a little nervous, but that’ll go away soon.

I had a spiritual experience by myself during my personal study the other day. I was praying to close  the study and the Spirit overcame me and revealed that I can do better. Iit cheered me up. It testified that everything I was doing was right and it was just what I needed. All week, there were things that got me a little down and I also wanted to feel closer to my Savior, so my prayer was very sincere and repentant. I cried and had a good time, ha ha. But, I know that prayer, when done with full intent, works. We will receive if we pray, have faith and try our best.

I have some musical performances coming up. I’ll be singing in an octet next Sunday in sacrament meeting. We’re singing "Far Far Away on Judea’s Plains".Then, on the 23rd, I’ll be singing and playing guitar at our mission Christmas Devotional/Zone Conference. I’ll play "Away in a Manger during the week.

Life is good, having a good time
. We just need to work a little harder, find and help people come to Christ. We can get lazy or forgetful. I’ll let you know in two weeks if I’m outa here. It’s quite possible. That would be sad.

Love ya,

Elder Janz

Friday, December 12, 2014

League City, Week 11: December 1, 2014 - December 7, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014


Yeah I’ve spent some money... but the cleats were only 5 dollars. You called it. They’re from Walmart. Elder Ve'e doesn’t play guitar. He just knows a few things. Feels weird to be playing again. Man, I kind of stink at playing now, at least the first night I played. I’m better now.  Oh thanks for the package. Ill probably get it at our mission Christmas devotional on the 23rd. We’re going to be all gathered in Sugar Land. I’m excited. It’s an all day thing too.

This week was unique. I went on a exchange, all the way out of the zone. An elder from the area I’m in had to come down to League City to see a family that connected well with him because they’re not doing so good. I went all the way to Richmond on Tuesday. I got paired up with the elder that I stayed with my first night in Houston. So, I was happy to have an elder I already knew and loved. I drove in that area too. But, we biked that first night I got there. It was the coldest night I had felt here yet. We got lost, saw a member who was ill and then biked back to the car. We drove to the house he stayed at and I was flippin out. It’s in a brand new neighborhood and the house was huge. We had a room right by the entry and he showed me around. I thought it was the craziest thing. Couldn’t believe I got to live there for a day. Next morning, we worked out in their workout room and then went out at 10. Again we drove to a certain point and then just biked around. This time it wasn’t as cold but i brought socks to wear as gloves. Some other elder gave me the idea a week ago. That day i biked more than i ever have. We biked the whole day. My bum had some saddle sore. We mostly just tried to find people because they have hardly any investigators. So, we biked all day and saw two members, one in the afternoon and one had us for dinner. While biking, I had a strange feeling that this area would be where I will be transferred. Not just because its super nice and upper class, but it felt like home for some reason. I told Bro Knabel a couple days after at lunch and he said Ill go to Sunnyside, the most slum like area in the mission …yikes, no thanks. But, I could deal with any area. We'll see. Transfers are on the 30th and, ya, I’ll probably get a new area and companion. My companion will most likely stay since his zone leader companion is going home.

Wednesday, we had zone conference in Friendswood. Usually conferences are in Sugar Land, but we got lucky because Friendswood is a lot closer. We had training on teaching repentance by the APs and then by President and his wife on becoming consecrated. It was a really good conference. We learned how we can give our whole heart to the Lord, just like the Savior did when he performed the atonement. We may not like our challenges or duties, but if were consecrated, we understand that it is for our growth and possibly others. Then we face them. We learned that we should never set limits on our work. Never be satisfied completely or think that we’ve already done this much and we can’t do the rest. It was good. I feel the Spirit so strong when President and his wife talk to us.

We met a new investigator this week using the "He Is the Gift" initiative. Did ya'll see the video and website? christmas.mormon.org. Her name is Gwen and she is a single sister in her 40’s. We gave her a Christmas card from that and started talking. She told us we could come back and share more. So, later we went back with a member and taught the Restoration. She was confused on and off but she learned by us addressing her concerns. The other investigators are good. Dave and Kacey didn’t come to church unfortunately,  but are hopefully still on for the 20th. Neither Gwen or the other families we work with were there. But, Ashly came and even sat by some new friends. So thankful for their fellowship. Ashley doesn’t like to be social sometimes.

We went to the temple again this week. We went with a recent convert that was taught and baptized in my ward but then moved to another one soon after. We are good friends with him and his wife. The elders for their ward also came and we all crammed into his truck. It was an amazing day there. It was his first time. My comp and I got to be witnesses for some baptisms and even got to confirm his wife and another sister there. That blew my mind and I was so glad that I could do that. We had our ward Christmas party this week too. That was fun. My goal was to meet everyone that I hadn’t talked to or seen before. I’m getting courageous at this now. Then, on Sunday, a new family moved in and I met him in priesthood and his first name is Janson!!!   What the...  So that was super nice I met him, knew I had to. But, things are good. We’re going to help a family move soon.

Love you,
Elder Janz
 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

League City, Week 10: 11/24/14 - 11/30/14

Monday, December 1, 2014


Well my week was terrific. It was: Man vs. First Baptism. That was my highlight. Ashley’s baptism went really well. Way spiritual. Elder Ve'e baptized her. I spoke on the Holy Ghost and she and I cried, haha. Then Sunday I confirmed her and also spoke in church. So, pretty nuts. Ya, I loved it. Dave and Kasey are out of town. We'll see them in a couple days. But, they’re good.

Had a great thanksgiving! Played turkey bowl in the morning, which was 2 hours of football with a bunch of people. I bought cleats for it. I had two meals with members that night, yummy, yummy. It was super funny becuase some elders with us had been to a big meal right before the one with us and they were about to puke and couldn’t walk or stand and they were like walking dead. But, it was just so funny how they tried to be polite but were not doing good at all. We can’t watch tv, so no football or anything on the tv, mother. The ward mission leader, Bro. Knabel is fine. He got out of the hospital on Thursday. Alma Laurie is way cool. Yeah i wanna see her again before i get transferred.

I ummmmmm bought something. It’s a new guitar, Fender acoustic. It’s a way cool style. It’s an older more country design. But. It’s new and plays great. I also was given a cowboy hat, so you can say im stylin'. I got a tie and letters from the ward, that was nice.

My card reader doesn’t work on this computer. It needs to be "formatted",  but I cant do it on this computer apparently.  So i’ll do what i can.

That’s way cool Mason spoke and leaves soon. Time really does fly when you look back like that and realize its December somehow. We have zone conference this week, should be pretty cool. Hey check out christmas.mormon.org. It’s a new initiative the church put out for Christmas and it reminds us of how important the Savior is. There’s a sweet video that hits me hard with the spirit every time and there are ton of links to learn other things.

Things are fun out here. I’m doing good, gaining weight and muscle again. Gotta keep it up.  I’m growing up each week. I know that i wouldn’t have fun if it wasn’t for the spirit, obedience or focusing on Christ. These are things we need to enjoy the ups and downs of life.

Love ya,
Elder Janz


Ashley's Baptism day.
Santa hat selfie




Elders strumming some country Christmas Music
Janz' new Fender


Friday, November 28, 2014

League City, Week 9: 11/17/14 - 11/23/14

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another crazy week. Weather is still so dark and rainy. We have a weird thing here... sometimes the clouds decide to tease us and instead of rain just blanket the city with mist. It gets everywhere and you cant see, especially when driving. But yesterday and today have been warm and sunny so it’s good to have both.

Monday, I went out with a member while my companion helped at our FHE activity which was basketball. We went to visit people and the first stop we made was at an old folks home. I met an old lady named Alma Laurie and she has paintings in the Vatican! She’s a renowned painter! She has Parkinson disease and cant talk or remember much but she was an angel. That’s what I kept thinking. She was so happy to have visitors. I gave her a blessing before we left and it was a very spiritual experience.

We also visited other families and i lead out the night. it was good to have responsibility and show that i can be a leader. Tuesday, we did an exchange and I had another major leader opportunity. Elder Walker, my MTC companion, came to my area for the day. So, obviously we’re gaining trust because were just young hooligans. But, we had a super day! We taught 5 lessons! A few weeks ago, Elder Ve'e and I said hi to a guy as we walked around this one apartment complex and just talked to him for a minute. I decided with Elder Walker to go check on that guy because we hadn’t seen him. He had potential and I knew by the Spirit that he could become Christlike. So, we went to his place. He wasn’t home, but his wife answered and said we could come back that night. So later, we called a member to come with us and we taught this family. Their names are Dave and Kasey and they have a 4 year old boy, Levi. The first lesson went really well. Left them with a Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet. This family is great. During the lesson, they were so curious and willing to hear everything we had to share. Elder Ve'e and I stopped by again a few days later and they were about to head out to see some family. But, we quickly followed up on the Book of Mormon and what they were thinking. Kasey read the Book of Mormon chapter we gave them, Dave didn’t have time to read,  but just knows it can change his life and loves The Lord. We extended a baptismal invite and they accepted. They”re gonna be baptized Dec 20!  They’re doing really good. We told them about church on Sunday and they came! We had 6 investigators at church. Gotta love these people. This family is golden. It’s what they've been waiting for. They have the faith they just needed to know how to act with that faith.

Thursday, I had another exchange because of MLC for my companion and elder i went on exchanges with companion. We were in his area. That day was a toughy. It was rainy rainy rainy. and we had to bike it all. We made brownies for some families and delivered them in the midst of the storm. I got bugged because i was getting so wet at first. But, then I realized that’s just how it’s going to be and I got so wet it looked like i was swimming is my dress clothes. At that point, we were just having fun with it and kept looking at each other and laughing. The Lord showed me that i can do hard things. I kept thinking how much stronger I would be and how much more love it showed when we arrived at those houses.

Ashley will be baptized in 5 days!! Way exciting. We still haven't got the details for the time, program or who's baptizing. We'll figure it out tomorrow. She’s doing so good. She’s living the word of wisdom, quick cigarettes and coffee cold turkey. Usually, it’s coffee every morning and a few cigs a day. But, she’s doing it, through the Atonement. I text her every morning to check on her. I want to baptize her, just barely decided. My companion is good at blessings, so I want to be in all white with her and do the outward ordinance. She came to church yesterday even though she had a migraine. We gave her a blessing that the pain would go and that she would continue to prepare for the baptism on Saturday.

I was at the hospital last night and this morning. We went to see our neighboring ward mission leader.  We see all the time and drive him around, go to dinner with, he even teaches with us and he runs our FHE activities. But, he had a mini stroke yesterday at church and went to the ER. We didn’t hear about it until nighttime, so we went to see him after our dinner at a member’s. He’s okay. He has lots of pain and his left side and left eye are a little messed up, but it might come back. He looked a lot better today than yesterday. The hospital is doing their best. But that’s my crazy week.

Things are fun. We got dinner at a member’s for Thanksgiving this week. It should be splendid,  time to gain weight while everyone else worries about working it off. I got the package, yes. Thank you for the card reader. I’ll send lots of pics next week, baptism pics included. Way to go Jordan, That’s way fun! I’d love to go to something like that. I’ll be at the Velascos for Thanksgiving. They live close to the church and I know the dad pretty well. So, I’ll have a good week. I miss you too. Holidays are better with family, but whatever, love knows no bounds


Love ya
Elder Janz

Friday, November 21, 2014

League City, Week 8: 11/10/14 - 11/16/14

Monday, November 17, 2014

Man this has been the best week of my mission, honestly. The Spirit is so strong and I’m able to make the most of it. Companion and i are gettin along, so that’s a hoot. And, plenty of food. . Yeah, I’m eating enough. I went shopping this morning and got all my good stuff. We’re fine at home plus members are still feeding us.

My first baptism, with Ashley, will now be on Nov. 29th.  She’s doing really good.  She just needs to keep working on the word of wisdom, but her faith is totally there. Makes me so happy. We taught her in the chapel a couple days ago. We got 7 new investigators this week! Imagine that... it’s because we exercise faith, obedience and we fast every Sunday to find more of God’s children. Prayer and fasting works, i promise. We found a family on the bay, two sisters came to church, and we just helped an old black lady one day and now we teach her. So, its fun to have people to teach. Our apartment has the most in the zone.

We went to the temple this week. That’s two times in two weeks! We went as a district this time and got a ride from an old Scottish sister who's super funny. One elder, sitting by me, got carsick and puked on the way. That made me relate to him and feel lucky i wasn’t sick. But, we played monopoly that night before so that’s probably why he was feeling nasty. The temple was fun. I haven’t fallen asleep in the endowment unlike other elders. We ate out after. It was good.

So, transfer calls were this morning... jklsdghkoedodogvbnaoipv!!!!!!    I’m safe though. No one in my apartment is going anywhere, that’s a relief. Companion and i are staying together and in our area, so we’re happy. I get a new DL (district Leader ) though, so that’s sad. I’ll miss the old one. We were pretty good friends.

It’s gettin really cold here. Haven’t seen the sun in a week. It’s been cold and rainy for days. But, my hands? C’mon. they’re not that bad. I’m fine. My coat is good and the car and going into houses warms ‘em up. . And.  plenty of food. . Yeah, I’m eating enough. Went shopping this morning and got all my good stuff. We’re fine at home plus members are still feeding us, so I’m eating well. And i made pancakes that you sent mix for. I’m working out more. Kind of got off track because we were busy, but last couple days I’ve been on it. Elder Ve'e and i are gonna make a workout plan and be more serious about it instead of just a "wake up workout".  No worries.

Love ya tons,

Elder Janz



Houston Temple
Elder Deans with his compadres at the Houston Temple


To their dismay, Janzen's got 500 dollars
A very serious game of Monopoly

Thursday, November 13, 2014

League City, Week 7: 11/03/14 - 11/09/14

Monday, November 10, 2014

Had a great week last week! The people are awesome down here. We invited Ashley to a baptism last night, but she was covering for someone at work and she’s working a ton. She made it to sacrament and we told her before that that was more important than seeing a baptism, so she chose that one. She has been to church twice now. She is making so much progress. I help her when she comes and I think she loves coming. I invited her to live the word of wisdom in a lesson a while back. She struggles with it, but she'll get help from the Garza’s. They are the family she always hangs with that are members. We always teach her at the Garza’s and they are becoming more active because of it. So, two birdies with one stone is ideal right now. So, we talked to Ashley about how through Christ you can overcome addiction and receive tons more blessings instead. We also had a powerful atonement lesson with her where we looked at the atonement in a whole different way. We talked about how Christ came to suffer and die for us so that we can live a happier life and even partake in eternal glory. But we explained that since he died for us, who killed him? Who killed Jesus Christ? Our message was to show that we essentially killed him since he died for us willingly. We can ease his suffering by being obedient, and when we do mess up, speedily repent because he has already felt so much pain for us and he doesn't need to hold that feeling because of our wicked ways. Interesting huh? We also taught that to members and related it to the sacrament and the Law of Moses and animal sacrifices. It’s a way powerful lesson.

We had the temple this week. I drove down Monday night and we stayed at an apartment closer to Houston. Then, at 4:30 the next morning, drove to the temple and it was way cool seeing downtown, skyscrapers and bright lights. Now I can say I’ve driven downtown and back and know the major freeways. There was one point when I was the only one awake in the car, which is not good at all. My companion and the elders we were giving a ride were out while I’m driving among some psycho drivers and in pouring rain. It was scary, but I just stayed calm and kept my eyes forward, I had to. Later I just laughed because no one even knew. Plus they kept doing the 'head bob'. The temple was a success and we received many blessings throughout the week. That’s way sweet you saw the temple. Looks really good in person. I saw it in the dark and then came out and it was shining in the sun. We had a training after our session, with the temple president. That was way cool. I learned so much and gained more love for the temple. I just rented clothes there. I was worried it'd be a hassle since I didn’t have anything, but it was quick and easy. After, i bought socks and slippers for the temple so i don’t have to wear gross used things on my feet!

I have not had a chance to play guitar. I’ve been singing quite a bit, but that’s it. Surprisingly, I’m not the only Ute fan down here. Members and my companion are big Ute fans. It was lame hearing about Oregon. That’s a hard game though, hopefully they learned and gained experience. Oh, and guess what? We get $140 a month and i only spent half of that last month. What you don’t spend rolls over. I saved the most out of everyone I’ve talked to. I still have $135 after shopping today! It’s so comforting.

So we lent our car to the neighboring elders on Friday night and biked around all night. That was cold but fun. We biked to the Garza’s and to our dinner appointment. That was about 2 miles or so one way. Our area is not biker friendly at all. Not many sidewalks or bike lanes and lots of stuff in our way.  So it makes it more intense, but I like it.

Sorry I haven’t been able to send pictures. I haven’t had a card reader, I just borrow them from elders and none of them have had it for a couple weeks and again today.  So, it stinks. I have good pictures too. So, I’m doing good and glad you are too. Thanks for everything.

Love ya,
Elder Janz 
 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

League City, Week 6: 10/27/14 - 11/02/14

Monday, November 3, 2014

I had an awesome week. It didn’t go too fast for me for some reason, more regular speed. But that doesn’t mean it was boring. I had a happy Halloween, yes indeed. I had zone conference that morning then biked around all day. Then we had a way cool ward trunk or treat at the chapel. I took pictures and it was so fun. Met more peeps too. After that, we even had the chance to go see a priest we know play in the school marching band at a big high school football game. I got pics of that too. It was fuh reezing on Halloween and all i wore was a t shirt, jeans and slippers! Oh, and a new Texas beanie i bought.

Its gettin way cold here in the morning and at night but the days are fine. I broke out my stylish sweater this week and got compliments. I hope to stay here for a long time. But transfers are in two weeks so i dunno. I think I’ll stay and my companion will peace out. We’ve been invited to a handful of Thanksgivings and Christmases.  We've been eating with members a lot more now. One of my new grandparents that adopted me out here is the Holt family. They’re so sweet. They feed us almost every week! And, then they get the word out that the rest of the ward should feed us more and people sign up. Its been amazing. I’ll get some thank you cards ready. We haven’t done that, we can though.  And, don’t worry about the stress and working too hard. As long as i can laugh and help others, i stay cool.

Ashley accepted to be baptized and is preparing well! She even came to church with us and sat by me yesterday!  It was fast and testimony meeting so i had to explain a lot,  but it was great.We got to help build a tree house with Ashley and her family. We see them almost every day. Her family is just her aunt, who she hangs with all the time, and her family. They’re inactive but gathering themselves since we’re working with Ashley. They also want a worthy priesthood holding dad in the house. Today we bought lots of food and more expensive things since its the beginning of the month and our funds are filled up again. I bought new t shirts and camo gym shorts!

Last night we had a sweet experience. We were going to drop one of our investigators with a baptismal date because he wasn’t acting and keeping the commitments. Plus, we have never even gone inside his apartment for some reason. We would always just sit on his porch. But last night, the Lord helped him change since the last time and he let us in. He opens the door and my companion and i make a face at each other and get excited. So, we had a good lesson about family and the Book of Mormon. He’s getting married soon and has a baby on the way so were trying to manage all this.We told him he needs to work with faith or else he won’t be able to do all these stressful things. He needs the Lords blessings to carry him. So, we’re not gonna drop him. We’ll figure out the marriage thing and get him baptized right after.

We had our last family history helping session this week. I don’t know if I've told about this, but every Tuesday afternoon, missionaries in the district go to the library and help the elderly work on family history. I’ve helped the same lady every time and we have a hoot. I’m so glad that we learned together because I wasn’t the best helper.  But after the first week, I just learned as i went and then we figured out a plan and the following weeks picked up where we left off. it was cool. 

We leave to the temple tonight and stay close to it for the night and our session is tomorrow morning, pretty pumped. I know some workers that will be there. Oh, and i learned a way interesting thing about sealings.  So, a 15 year old girl who had her family sealed then later parents divorced, asked us who she is sealed to and who could she be sealed to now. We told her we didn’t know and would get back to her. We left and talked to the Bishop, he thought the mother but wasn’t sure. He called the temple, but no one answered cuz it was too late. Then he called the Stake President and without pausing he gave us the answer. And, I’m gonna remember this forever so i can seem knowledgeable when asked in the future. But, he told us that she is sealed to both since when a sealing takes place only the parents are asked if they accept the sealing and not the child since its only a baby. So, hopefully that makes sense. Her parents aren’t sealed to each other, but she is sealed to each of them separately since she was only a baby. I was way excited to go on that hunt for the answer and then to get the right answer that night, great experience.

Love ya and miss ya’ll these days,
Elder Janz   



Friday, October 31, 2014

League City, Week 5: 10/20/14 - 10/26/14

Monday, October 27, 2014

Way cool. You got some mail, that’s sweet! From President Ashton and from Sister Keichler?  Yeah i like em both. Heard about the Utah game a little after they played, how fun. And, Cam is quite the stud these days. I’ve heard good things from his mother as well. Gifts eh? I haven’t gotten any mail or packages yet, but I’d appreciate it. My week has been good though. I extended my first baptismal date. It was so scary cuz we had her appointment in a few mins and my companion told me to pray about the date we should set. He already did and knew. So, i had to have the faith, patience and revelation to get that same date. The investigator is named Ashley and she’s in her twenties, single mom with a little boy. We got invited to see her from her family, who are members. So i got revelation right before we left to tell her about getting baptized on December 6. So i told my companion and we confirmed it was truly from God. Really amazing experience. Check out Doctrine and Covenants 6: 36-37.  It talks about not being scared and trusting the Lord. Thats what i do when things are rough or stressful. But, thats my highlight. I taught her by myself with one of her family members. My companion went into the other room to teach a little cool. But it went well! Grew a ton that day. I finally met my ward mission leader a few days ago. He’s waaayyyy sweet. His name is Matt Brown. He’s in his thirties, cute family, all young girls and lives in a nice neighborhood by our church. I actually got to say the opening prayer and pass the sacrament at church yesterday. So, that’s more exposure to the ward, I guess. They’re great though. I like the ward. We got fed a couple times this week. First time I’ve had a dinner appointment with my companion. The others have been on exchanges. We got to do crazy amounts of service this week. We moved two houses and we worked on this non members lawn for like two or three hours. He had a jungle and a pool in the backyard. So we trimmed and cut that stuff. Wish i would’ve taken a picture. But, I’ll send some pics in a sec. Im doing just fine. Getting along with the companion, but kinda rough cuz we’re way different.  But, who cares, half way through transfers anyway. All the missionaries are going to the temple in a couple weeks. Then my ward is going right before transfers in mid November. Oh, I’ve been invited to a couple Thanksgivings and lots of Christmases We'll have to see what happens! Dang. the weather here is fluctuating. It's humid today, but its cloudy and decent temp. Other days its dry, breezy, or hot. Its changing but definitely cooling down. Time is going by really fast now. Feels like i can email every few days. Oh, i started working out at a professional weight lifters house! He has a garage built just for lifting and he invtited us and our neighboring elders to come whenever. The other elders know him and we got our hook up that way. I'm gaining weight, I think. There's more muscle but i hope lbs too. I try to eat as much as i can, but sometimes we're too busy. It's lame, but I'm doing good.

Love and miss you mucho,
Elder Janz

Elder Deans' hardest decision of the day!


Elder Deans' bike (red) which he hasn't used much.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Houston, Week 4: 10/13/14 - 10/19/14

Monday, October 20,2014

Oh I'm in League City not Liberty.  I am definitely settled and in the groove at this point. Yes, I dont need anything. So for breakfast I eat a ton of honey nut cheerios, pop tarts and oatmeal. But I’ve cooked eggs a few times and that was grand. I’ve had a few dinner appointments. Members aren’t too friendly around here. They kind of keep to themselves. But we actually see a member almost every day who is the ward mission leader of the neighboring area and we give him rides, he teaches with us and he either takes us out or we eat panini's at his place. But beside that we've only had one other dinner. That was last week with the high priest president and we went to Estrada’s which is down the street from our place, good Mexican food. I’m in a ward with around 80 people or so who attend. I got to finally meet them and have a normal Sunday yesterday. Great sacrament meeting and then we taught the atonement in gospel essentials. Yeah i got the packages the first time in the office. but i finally took the boxes out of my room and tossed them. We've got a pretty good teaching pool. Not as large as we want but we've had to drop some investigators due to lack of commitment and family drama. We actually had a crazy experience on Friday where we were going to teach this 17 year old named Raymond, who we had a baptismal date for, and we wanted to meet his family.  So we went over for an appointment. We got let in. had a member with us. and it was this small apartment and the whole family was packed in there. we tried to get everyone gathered but once they figured out who we were and what we did one of the cousin girls tried to make the claim that they weren’t interested, which they were, and kicked us out. She was a dork and the only one that stopped that lesson. But, that happens family drama. There was another one like that last night just not as bad though. But beside that teaching is great and there are others!  My day is interesting. I wake up at 6:25, go for a walk with our roommates, shower, get ready and study for 3 hours, since I’m a greenie. Then I eat lunch, usually tuna something, mac ‘n cheese, or pbj’s. and cereal with that. Then we head out to visit people, appointments or not. Also,  in between, we OYM which is "open your mouth" and that’s a solid way to find people to teach. We just introduce ourselves, small talk and try to get their interest and info to see them again. We also hand out Pass Cards which are pictures of church stuff with a small message on the back.  We also put our number on there so they can call us later. Elder Ve'e and I are really good at teaching now. We have more unity and we’re more comfortable with each other. One thing, i see like 100 squirrels a day out here. They’re everywhere. And,  there’s  a lot of diversity here, lots of cigarettes and lots of restaurants. Whataburger is like a Texas ‘In-n-Out’,  its weird. Never had it though. That’s so sweet you’re watchin Walking Dead. One of the families we visit talk about it with me,  ha ha.  That is way sad that your Aunt Mary died L   Hope the family is alright.

Love You,
Elder Janz 

Houston, Week 3: 10/06/14 - 10/12/14


Tuesday, October 7, 2014:  Elder Deans flies to Houston

Wednesday, October 15:  Email from Elder Janz

I finally miss you :( I;'ve been so sick and I wanted to go home my first night out here. I threw up all day on the first Tuesday, even on myself on the plane. But I'm good now. I got better this weekend. That was the worst way to start my mission. Dang, so glad this week has been better.  Makes me more outgoing and loving. Hopefully more loveable too.  Thank you so much for the prayers.  I pray a ton too.  My companion is Eler Ve'e. He's a 6'4" Polynesian. He's pretty cool. He's from Oakland, California and has been out for about 11 months. He's our zone leader. so, I live in League City, TX. It's a suburb of Houston, about 20 mins out, a lot like Draper just more humid and full of different trees. I drive a car. My companion doesn't drive cuz he got his license suspended, so I have to figure it out while he helps. It's been fun driving around and seeing everything. The drivers stink here, so impatient. I've met some nut jobs and I've met some really sweet people. Yesterday  some dude prayed for us in tongues.and it was ferocious gibberish for like 3 minutes. I just smiled. I've already got a baptismal date and handed out a Book of Mormon and some pass cards. Elder Ve'e and I are very obedient. We wouldn't have the success or spirit that we have without our willingness to obey and rely on faith. I've already been on two exchanes. so that's like a work day and a sleepover with another companion. Reason being is that my companion, who is a zone leader, needed to meet with the other leaders before our zone conference on Monday. That's why we didn't have p-day until now. Sunday, we had stake conference and Monday, zone conference. so, lots of meetings. Two members of the 70 were at those. ElderWright was at stake conference and Elder Shwitzer was at zpme cpmference. Got to meet him and tell him I saw him at the MTC where he spoke to us! He's legit. I also like President Ashton a ton too. He and his wife could be authorities, I swear. They have the strongest testimonies and speak incredibly. I'm in an apartment with another companionship. One of the other elders was my companion in the MTC! How weird, can't get rid of 'em, ha ha, whatever. But, I'm not sick anymore and now everyone else is getting sick. It's funny, I always joke, what the heck is wrong with ya'll? someone must have come in here and got ya'll sick! But, the people and missionaries are really cool here.  Ginaally feel at home and can be myself. I got to ride my bike yesterday on my second exchange, it's niiiiiiice. I'm excited about today. Lots of people have been talking about seeing me in conference, I'm a rockstar again! But, I'm gonna write and  play sports here at the ward building. Just send everything to the mission home, 602 Eldridge Rd.  sugar Land, TX  77478.

Love you,
Elder Janz



Sunday, October 19, 2014

We didn't hear from Janz today, but did get an email and picture from President and Sister Ashton on Sunday 10/12/14


Dear Parents,


We are pleased to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely in the Texas Houston South Mission, the best mission in the world!!  They are happy and absolutely wonderful. President Ashton and I are thrilled to welcome them. We had a terrific afternoon and evening together on Tuesday. We enjoyed getting to know each of them. Your missionaries received some training and then had the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people on the streets of Houston. After, we enjoyed dinner together and a beautiful testimony meeting. Wednesday, they received some more training, met their trainers as well as many other missionaries, and then left to their areas to meet and teach the wonderful people of Houston. They come with such courage and strength. You should be very proud of them.

I have attached a photo from our gathering in the mission home. As you can see, there are many smiles.  We have seven children (not all are pictured.)  Our youngest is 2 and our oldest is 15. They are so excited to be a part of your missionary's life!

Again, thank you for the opportunity you have given us to serve with these fine missionaries. We love them already and promise to take good care of them. May you find great joy and blessings as you continue to support them in bringing souls to Christ through His restored gospel. This is His work and these missionaries are on His errand. More joy awaits them than they have ever experienced!

With Love,

President and Sister Ashton, Spencer Braeden, Jacob, Elisabeth Kate, Ethan, Danie and Wesley


PS. P-days are on Monday which is the day they will write/receive email.  If they are assigned to Galveston Island, however, their email day will be Tuesday. I know they will love hearing from you each week and need to know you are loving and supporting them. Please send/email at least a short note each week. Also, if you have any sensitive information to share with your missionary that may cause him/her emotional distress, please call, text or email my husband or myself so we can determine the best way for him/her to receive the information and so that we are aware that he/she may need some extra attention. Thanks for everything.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Elder Deans performs with the Priesthood Choir from the Provo Missionary Training Center

October 4, 2014, October General Conference Priesthood Session




We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet
Missionary Medley

Ye Elders of Israel


Ye Elders of Israel





Wednesday, October 8, 2014

MTC, Week 2: The first full week 09/29/14 - 10/05/14

October 1, 2014

Hey momma!                                                                                                                     

Glad youre doing so well. I think about you guys and pray for you. I hope you can feel of the blessings our Father sends our way. Im doing so well. safe, healthy, feeling the spirit, learning beyond measure, and getting along with tons of nice people in my branch. The district is mostly Sacramento missionaries but three of us are going to Houston. My companion and another in my apartment are the Houston called. Ive tried so hard to be selfless. My companion has been hurt twice now, we went to the ER down the street the other day because he fell down the stairs. hes okay. just major bruising. the second injury came a couple days ago when he was doing a hand stand push up with another elders help. He fell on his privates and his chest and got the air knocked out of him and serious pain. He has received blessings for both injuries. I gave the one after the push up injury, powerful experience. The priesthood is real. And yes, i got your dear elder. I hope you get my letter today. i wrote one. I leave the MTC  at 2:30 in the morning on Tuesday. The flight is at 6:00 and i can call around 5:00. Im doing swell, learning so much and teaching so much! I have a "maybe" on a baptism with an actor,  pretty sweet.

Love,
Elder Janz


Hey Father ;)

Things are going well. Did you get my letter? I sent it about two days ago. I need plastic sandals, over the top of foot kind. We all have bad gas. its nuts. were not even eating the fibery stuff. So, at night its a symphony of farts and snoring. There are 6 elders in the apartment, three going to Houston and three goin to Sacramento. But things are great. Time is speeding up again. We're gettin to know the whole branch very well, really cool dudes and sisters here too. I miss the TV and chilling at home with you guys, not too much though. My district is mostly Sacramento missionaries with three Houston missionaries. There's a sister in the neighboring district that has the same call as me. As you hopefully heard, I'm the senior companion in my district. so whenever my companion, who is the leader, is away at meeting or not doing so well leading, i take charge and shape up all the elders. We're a strong district. Our district shows what friendship is all about. I believe my Heavenly Father gives us people in our lives for a reason. But i also got called to be the travel leader for when we depart. We leave at 2:30 in the morning on Tuesday. So basically Monday is our last day cuz we wont sleep we'll just pack,clean and go. Ill call at the airport around 5:00 am. Early,i know, but the plane leaves at 6:00. Happy p day to me! Going to the temple later, should be sweet.

Love,
Elder Janz


Notice Received in the Mail on Wed 10/01/14

I'll be singing this weekend. We've been admitted and practice started on Friday.




MTC, Week 1: The First few days 09/24/14 - 09/28/14


September 26, 2014

I am alive and safe. They wanted me to say that haha :) but i am doing great. The latest we can get up is 6:30 but we got up early yesterday and ran. This morning we showered at 6. My companion is Elder Walker. He is bomb. He is easy to talk to, friendly, sharp. He got called last night to be district leader and i was called to be the senior companion in our district. Our district is 4 companionships.I love em. Theyre all so fun, spiritual and on task. We bonded like crazy the first day. Time is a strange thing here. It only goes by fast the first few minutes you’re dropped off then it goes by waaayyyy slow. But its a good thing, lots to do and ponder about. Food is scrumptious. I had steak the first night and last night i had wings and fries. I’m writing in my journal every night. I got everything you have sent.I have found some stuff in the apartment that the elders before us left. We found a red teddy bear in one socket. We also found some paddles and ball in the drawers. P-day will be next Wednesday so my district only gets one before we leave, whatever! I’ve met my branch president and had that meeting where we all got our callings. We're learning so much and sometimes i just smile because I’m in awe and taken back by the experience. I’ve gotta go. Ill talk soon! Love you guys. 



Here is Janz with one of his roomies at the MTC. Unfortunately, he neglected to give us his name.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dropping Elder Deans off at the MTC 09/24/14

One last pose in front of the MTC
In front of the Provo Temple

                                                      

Monday, October 6, 2014

Farewell

Janzen's farewell was on Sunday, September 14, 2014. Many friends and family attended and stopped by the house after.  



Receiving the Call

Janzen received his call on June 18, 2014 to serve in the Texas Houston South Mission, reporting to the MTC on Wednesday, September 24, 2014