Tuesday, December 17, 2013

 Elder Jonathan Engle, December 17, 2013
 Greetings and Salutations from the wonderful land of El Paso, TX.
Funny stuff:
Last night we were teaching a less-active part-member family about prophets. I used an object lesson where someone has to follow my hand with their eyes closed. The pen in my hand symbolizes a prophet being the connection between us and God. The first time, we do it without the pen, and while I was telling him to follow my hand, his dad said, "Use the Sharingan." Apparently Naruto doesn't need faith.
The same Father was talking about Full House, and said to his son, "Your generation rips off everything from our generation, but Jersey Shore. That's yours."
12/12/13 we met with an investigator whose been visited for quite a long time. She's very charming, but sometimes a bit eccentric saying, "The Lord does not like candy. God doesn't like candy. It's very sinful." Happy Buzz Kill Holidays everyone.
Spiritual goodness:
Last night we were meeting with a Part-Member Family. The wife is a recent convert and the husband is investigating. It's tricky, because between him and my companion, every lesson is a pretty deep philosophical discussion, with us guiding him towards the gospel. He's been a fan of eastern thought and martial arts his whole life, and that's where he's found peace. After months of these discussions, with minimal progress, last night he took us both by surprise. He finally became interested in trying out our invitations. Surprisingly enough, he wanted to start with the Word of Wisdom (which I obviously need some work on)! He agreed to get rid of his beer by tonight. It was definitely a miracle. I hope and pray that he will continue to accept our invitations, him having faith that he'll receive an answer.
Just as I was getting healthy and kicking, I'm sick again. Elder Gawrych told me, with a mix of serious and joking, that I'm probably being chastised for something. I thought that was insightful, in its own way.
Yesterday at Zone Conference, Elder Foster of the 2nd Quorum of the Seventy (I believe that's what he is), worked with us for quite awhile. The biggest thing that stood out to me is how the line between member and full-time missionaries is blurring. He talked about how everyone needs two things to share the gospel: Spiritually and Skills. With those two things, we are all prepared to share the Gospel. It was inspiring to hear his witness and testimony of the Gospel. The work is truly hastening. I see it every day, in big and small miracles.
What resounds in my mind is President Monson's call to action this past General Conference. It truly is the time for members and missionaries to come together. This Gospel is for everyone. Don't be a passive onlooker to these Latter-Days. We are all Called to Serve.
Now is the time to prepare to meet God. It's humbling to be a member of His church and an instrument in His hands. We all have that opportunity and blessing. Cast aside the burdens of sin, the bonds of iniquity, and embrace the Savior's Atonement. Be the person God wants you to be so you are prepared when He calls upon you to share His gospel. There is no greater joy.
I love you all and pray for your welfare. Your love and support is a great blessing to me. May we all remember the Savior and serve Him during this Christmas season. "He lives, my Savior lord and King."
Elder Engle

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Jonathan Engle Nov 12, 2013

"How Great Will Be Your Joy"

This week's email will be short and sweet since I'm low on time.
Doctrine and Covenants 18:16
One funny story and one spiritual for this week:
So the marvelous adventures of a poor missionary's cooking never cease. This week I felt inspired to consume Chili Flavored Ramen. I wonder if that's just an El Paso thing...
Anyway, my companion, Elder Gawrych, laid out my fate before me, in his great wisdom:
"Did you bless it to nourish and strengthen your body? Or are you going to let it give you flaming hot diarrhea? Because those are your two options."
I believe this quote is an inspiring reminder of where our true Americanized-Ramen allegiances should lie: Chicken, Beef, and Pork. It's just that simple folks.
Spiritual Blast of the Week:
Doctrine and Covenants 18:16 is my theme for the week. I had the privilege of baptizing Brother and Sister Jones this week. It was an amazing service and my love for this family is overwhelming. No matter what sorrows or hardships lie ahead, for the next two years I can take great joy in knowing that this family has been brought into the fold of God. It is God's hand in all of this work. We are His humble hands.
Our Ward Mission Leader asked me at the Thanksgiving Dinner if I was excited. I don't have too many opportunities to really express how much joy I feel in this work sadly, so I was thankful for that simple question.
We find joy in the Gospel. Wickedness never was happiness. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ and receive the Restored Gospel. There's no happier way to live, whether you're on a Mission or not. Members are key to our work and it can't be done without them.
Thank you to everyone for your efforts in perfecting the saints and doing Missionary work. We shall harvest blessings for an eternity.
Lots of love
-Elder Engle

 Jonathan Engle Nov 4, 2013

Oh the Places You'll Go...

This week's been a wild ride here in the Podunk town of El Pasooo. To start things off:
Quotes of the week:
Sister Genera: "Ohhhh, someone feels anger."
Carlos: "I always feel anger."
While Sister Genera is an ex-Mormon gone maha shria, weird mix of eastern religion, etc. etc.... She's secretly training future Sith Lords, and we had front row seats.
Education in El  goes well, with impressive consistency and continuity.
Brother Rivera told us his life plan this Saturday:
"I guess once I retire I'll just mope around, watch TV, and die."
If you remember one of my previous emails, I quoted Danny, who has similar grandiose life goals. What a wonderful future and good luck!
Another misc. side-note: A part member family we're teaching named their child Kairi. Yes, she is named after Kairi from Kingdom Hearts. If they have another daughter they're naming her Naomi. Best. Baby. Names. Ever. My only disappointment is that they will not name any future sons Sora.
Now to get down to business.
This has definitely been a wild week. I spent a long time sending emails to individuals so I apologize for the brief weekly post.
We had a sister we hadn't met before this week that we decided to stop by. Apparently she's been inactive for 14 years, was baptized in the LDS church as a social thing, has never read the Book of Mormon, and has gone hardcore Jehovah's Witness. It was one of the saddest things ever. She decided to have her records removed and gave her a letter saying so. It was depressing as we discussed doctrine with her. This brings up another of this week's quotes. Elder Gawrych quoted Elder Headon, who quoted a member of his ward, saying "A man convinced against his will, believes his opinion still."
Elder Gawrych and I were really affected by having to deliver this letter to the Bishop. I want to come to him with more baptismal dates and awesome stories, not telling him that someone on his roster must be removed. In fact, this experience is the only time that I've really seen Elder Gawrych show much emotion. As we drove away, he talked about the day when we will have to make an accounting to Jesus Christ about our stewardship and what we've done with it. Experiences like that will be part of it. It's interesting how these facts really affected him. His eyes watered up, so to distract him from it, I asked him more about the doctrine he'd learned from the teachings of Joseph Smith. It broke my heart to have to do this, and while I'm constantly frustrated by my companion's seeming lack of emotions, it scared me to see him this way.
Things have been hard as a companionship because of how different we are. I'm really working hard to be like my Savior. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and all I want to do is to do His will, the will of the Father, and become like Him. Everyone should read the talk, "The Fourth Missionary", by Lawrence E. Corbridge. If you're not on a mission, then change the vocabulary a little and apply it to your life. The way of the Fourth Missionary, where we give not only our "might and strength", but our "Mind and heart" as well. Through this unconditional surrender of all our desires, we are able to become one in purpose with Jesus Christ and God the Father. When we do this, we become unstoppable.
I'd be lying if I said this work is easy. It's joyous, but difficult. It's been a tough week, and I foresee some things getting tougher, but as long as I follow the path of my Savior and seek to do His will and have the Holy Ghost with me, I can overcome and do all things. I'm thankful for the difficulties before me.
There's great wisdom in Sister Van Wagner's quote from when we first came to Albuquerque. It goes along the lines of, "It's interesting how even with a companion, it's startlingly lonely out here sometimes." It's true in a physical and temporal sense, but in the grand scheme of things, there is no greater joy, and the Godhead looks over us and is with us. These challenges are going to make me stronger, no matter what decisions others make.
Please lemme know about your Missionary experiences. Remember!: Invite, Commit, Follow-Up. This is the basic pattern of sharing the Gospel. Live it.
Love you all!
-Elder Engle