Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Elder Jonathan Engle 01/14/2014

It's Pretty Chile in New Mexico

Dear not-New Mexico People (most likely),

I've said farewell to good ol' El Paso and am serving in the Las Colinas ward in Las Cruces now with Elder Neilson and Elder Ryan. That's right. We're a tripanionship! It's not easy, but it's definitely going to be great!

This ward is very missionary-minded. It's miraculous what efforts are going on here. I'm very inspired to see the miracles going on in people's lives.

God bless you all, and feel free to ask questions, etc. I'm still waiting on a visa here in Las Cruces. Elder Ryan's a red head from Alabama and possibly grew up with my companion from the MTC. He's an awesome missionary and I respect him tons. He's our District Leader and is very spiritually-minded. I know I'll learn so much from him.

Elder Neilson is from Lincoln, California and loves anime, which means we're already tight. He's really chill, which is his self-proclaimed talent (it's true though, it's awesome). He's an epic dancer and has an amazing life story. He's had to overcome so much physical hardship to get to where he is now.

My new address is: 5475 Porter Drive #93, Las Cruces, NM, 88012. Letters are always appreciated!

This week has been a huge testimony builder of prayer. I've been praying a lot to receive help to develop these Christlike attributes that I need to be the best missionary possible. The other day, I was extremely frustrated and my heart wasn't in the right place. I got on my knees during dinner time at our apartment and prayed for a little over 40 minutes. I struggled to stay awake the entire time, but I poured my heart out unto God. I really spoke with Him. I know He softened my heart, is helping me to be more teachable, and is strengthening me in all things.

Special experience:

So with this new library that we email in, we get one hour to email before we're kicked off and have to sign up and wait in line again. After emailing for an hour, I was waiting to be reassigned to another computer. While waiting, a man came up to the desk lady and he started asking for help in Spanish. She didn't know any Spanish, so the man tried talking to another man waiting. He understood everything he said and denied to help him, knowing how to help. I started speaking in my broken Spanish, which is a mix of my experience in El Paso, my Portuguese, and four years of High School Spanish. I helped him for well over half an hour speaking in Spanish, helping him to sign up for an email and to look for work. It was a miraculous experience and he agreed to have Spanish missionaries come by sometime and speak with him about Jesus Christ.

I have a powerful testimony of the gift of tongues. It's real. It's all predicated on our faith in God to be fearless in our proselyting efforts. I'm humbled for the experience I literally just had.

Thank you for your emails. They mean the world to me. The experiences I have on my Mission are changing me more than I can describe. Every day is a tender mercy from our loving Father in Heaven.

God bless you all as we continue to serve God and Jesus Christ in these fabled Latter-Days!

Elder Engle


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Elder Jonathan Engle 01/06/2014

The Saga Continues...


Dear People of Earth,
I finally made a contact group for weekly emails. I simply added people I've messaged in the past. Let me know if you'd prefer to not receive these emails and that's totally fine.
I'm leaving the good ol' El Paso 8th ward and being transferred somewhere North. No, it's not South down to Brazil, and that's just fine! "I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord."
This week I'd like to emphasize the power and importance of Fasting. This previous Fast Sunday, with how our 12:30pm church worked out, I fasted more like 28 hours. It was absolutely wonderful. in the past when I've had really good Fasts, I'm usually understandably exhausted, but this entire Fast I didn't have any thought for food or drink. Instead, I had an incredible church meeting. From our Ward, Sister Van Wagoner and I are heading off North, so we bore our testimonies before everyone else. I felt guided to communicate everything I wanted to in a concise amount of time. I couldn't help but feel love for everyone I saw. It was a special meeting to say the least.
Afterwards, a member of our ward has been very sick. He's been reading The Book of Mormon like a duck takes to water. He finished The Book of Mormon probably two weeks ago, and he's already read up almost through Mosiah again! Elder Gawrych and I gave him a blessing. As I sealed, I felt prompted to promise him that he'd be able to quit smoking and that they would taste disgusting to him. His desire he expressed to quit that night was fulfilled in that blessing with that promise from God.
In the October 2007 General Conference, Elder Wirthlin stated the following: "Love is the greatest of all the commandments—all others hang upon it. It is our focus as followers of the living Christ. It is the one trait that, if developed, will most improve our lives."
I bear testimony that love truly is the answer to so many of our questions. It is the root of our righteous desires and the hunger of our souls. We desire to be loved and to love. Through the Restored Gospel, both of these righteous desires are fulfilled. May love fill your hearts as we look forward to a new year of devotion, love, and service to our Father in Heaven.
Elder Engle
P.S. In the picture is Tristan Stewart. He's the best member missionary ever! He and his dad joined us for splits a few times. As you can see, Tristan wins the best dressed award. He's only four, yet every time we're driving with him, he always sang "I Hope They Call Me On a Mission." About a month ago, a member gave him an Iron Man action figure, because that's his favorite. He always walks around making shooting sounds, rocket boot sounds, etc. While we were driving home, him playing with his new action figure, he popped the head off of Iron Man. He started crying saying, "I killed him! I killed Iron Man!" Sister Stewart put the head back on and he was instantly fine. Priceless.
Elder Jonathan Engle, 12/31/13

Happy New Year From El Paso!

Greetings and salutations from the wonderful desert of El Paso. I hope y'all had a wonderful Christmas!
Our Christmas day we had seven meals. People wanted to feed us. We wouldn't want to offend anyone, of course, so how could we say no!? We were truly blessed, having many kind members, and non-members, feed us and give to us out of the kindness of their hearts.
Our little Christmas miracle was when one of our recent convert's fathers prayed for what was probably the second prayer of his entire life. It was short and sweet, but I was so shocked when he offered to pray and even shook on it. It's wonderful that he's learning to pray. "By small and simple things"... :)
Attached is a picture of Chico's Tacos. Locals claim that it's world famous. Is that true? I'd say it's famous for having critically acclaimed ghetto Mexican food. I actually liked it, if not simply because it has some sort of nostalgic hype to it.
On Christmas, Brother Bush sat his kid in front of a big ol' cake and said, "This is the cake you can't have because you didn't eat that bean." Let that be a lesson learned. Eat your vegetables!
Speaking with Brother Pena the other night, we were having a wonderful doctrinal discussion, when he said, "We're from the tribe of Menasseh. We do all the work. You Ephraims just sit back and relax." He's a comedian alright.
We have an investigator who is adamant that I'm going to be a preacher someday, regardless of how many times we explain that we have no paid clergy. Elder Gawrych always drives the car since I'm not authorized yet. The investigator asked if he always drives and I said, "Yeah, he's my chauffer." He replied, "oh good. Pastors are supposed to have chauffers." I guess I can't argue with that.
Jesus Christ is the reason for the season. The stone cut without hands rolls forward. What have you done to invite others to Christ this season? We're saving souls! Remember from whom we claim our power. Alma 26:12.
Pictured is the wonderful Bush family that we spent Breakfast and Dinner with on Christmas Day.



Elder Jonathan Engle, 12/24/13

Have a Sandy Christmas Y'all!

Greetings and salutations from the sandy kingdom of El Paso! I hope y'all are enjoying your snowy Christmas (it ain't Christmas without snow, eh?). El Paso Christmas's are very different. Most people do all of their celebrating on Christmas Eve, and we get a lot of Mexican food and baking to celebrate the season.
Including are pictures of us making 10 pounds of Tamales with the Gonzalez and Arny families. The Arnys were the ones actually in the photo with their two kids. The salsa photo is some crazy hot salsa from Brother Durran. He made it with Jalapenos, soy sauce, and some other crazy stuff. I ate it on pork rhines. It was very hot, but I impressed them. There's also a Christmas picture with the Jones family and their two daughters. They're moving to Oklahoma, so that was my last time with their two daughters, Kayla and Autumn. That family is a super hero family to say the least!
We were talking with a recent convert about his beautiful car with black flames along the sides. We said, "Oh, is that your body shop that did this?" He replied, "No, it's my Grandma's." I said, "Dang, your Grandma's hardcore." He said, "Yeah, I get that a lot..." A salute to all of our hardcore grandma's out there during this Christmas season.
So there's this awesome waiter in China Wok that always makes my food with love. I've mentioned him in previous emails. His name is Hector. I said, "This is the best waiter in town." He replied, "It's 'cause I'm on drugs all the time!" 'Twas hilarious, but slightly sad, because it's probably true. Hector's a good man. I salute your masterful waitering Hector.
This past week we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Keddington, who is from the northern part of Utah. While we were looking to contact a media referral we'd received, we got sort of lost, due to the GPS not updating, etc. We went into the entirely wrong apartment complex and came upon their laundry room. While we were getting directions from a man doing his laundry, a woman came up behind us and introduced herself as "Sister Pragner." We were shocked to say the least. It turns out she's a recent convert of three years, her daughter just got married in the temple, and we came at the perfect time in her life. It was an absolute miracle and afterwards we felt very strongly that we had just been an answer to someone's prayer, probably her daughter's.
We recently met with a very large family that we've been working with on and off for quite awhile. They're always a lot of fun, and we're planning on spending part of Christmas Eve with them. Their friends the Hales joined us. I had a very special heart to heart conversation with Brother Hale. I taught him and his wife about the Book of Mormon, while Elder Gawrych taught one of the Dell's daughters about the nature of God. He helped her out with a lot of confusion she has and problems she's going through. That was my favorite time teaching someone about The Book of Mormon because they were so hungry to know more. They were very sincere and genuine. It was an amazing experience and I saw the power of the Spirit working within them.
Just before visiting them, we spent time at the hospital, helping a part-member family cope with their new-born daughters health failure and eventual death. It was a special spirit there. We gave the parents and the dying daughter blessings. I felt the love of God and the powers of Heaven as we ministered unto them. It was another humbling experience, reiterating to me God's love for all of us.
May we all remember our Savior this Christmas season and renew our commitment to serve Him. God bless you all and Merry Christmas.
Elder Engle



The rest of the photos.
Merry Christmas!
Elder Engle