Tuesday, January 17, 2017

{1.17.17} The Next Episode

Yeah, so.. I did it. I honestly didn't feel like I was really going home until last night, despite all the trunky jokes I made and egging on I gave to the trunky-finger-pointers. But it's real, I guess. I'm honestly pretty excited! Some good stuff happened this week though.

We had to go down to Miami for 2 days for Zone Training, on the way down the bus blew out a tire, I got offered weed 3x, and a guy on the bus overdosed on the side of the road. He ended up being okay, don't worry.

Also, TRISTEN GOT BAPTIZED.  It was super hard saying good bye to that kid. I'm really gonna miss him, and he's grown so much in the Gospel. 

I honestly don't know how to put into words how grateful I feel. For my mission, for this transfer, for my Savior, for his Gospel--everything. These last 5 weeks may have been the best of my entire mission. Idk if that's because they were any more special, because I say that every week and every transfer, or just because I'm constantly amazed at the Lord's hand in my life and how he for some reason consistently chooses to use me as an instrument. Doesn't matter how much  I mess up, or how imperfect I am. The Lord has blessed me so immensely on mission, that I'm leaving feeling like I'm indebted to him even more so than I left--and that's after trying to give him my all for 2 years. King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon was right.. we will always be unprofitable servants. But I know God's love for us is infinite. If we do our best to serve him, and to humble ourselves before him, he will provide is with more than we can imagine. That humility and humbleness is pretty key though, hahaha and more times than not I've had to be compelled to be humble. Nevertheless, I have been blessed. I'll just quote Ammon in the 26th chapter of Alma:
Peace out Florida!
Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

Monday, January 9, 2017

{1.9.17} Pics or it Didn't Happen

Alex's Baptism
Too Tired to Type so Here's mi Voz (I have attempted to transcribe his voice recording)

Good Morning Friends & Family

Me and Elder Peteresen out here, we’re siting on the members house that we are staying at… we are sitting on their back porch on the deck looking at some turquoise blue water.  Key West is pretty Rad! 

Zone Leaders down chillin with us in the Keys.
If all turns out well, we'll have pics of Fish for next week!
So today we are going to be heading down to Miami, so we’re not going to have much of a P-Day, so I m not really going to have time to type up an email, so I thought I’d just do a voice recording, so you can all know whats going on in the life of a missionary in Key West. But we had a really, really great week this week.

Alex got baptized yesterday, Alex from Venezuela. He’s the 22 year old.  It was an awesome, awesome baptismal service. There was a lot of people from the branch there.  It was after church. We did the whole thing in Spanish which the ward mission leader loved cause he is Cuban. So it’s the first one he actually got to do. Alex was stoked, He was really excited about it. He is excited to officially be a member of the church.  He really feels the love and support from the branch. He is really excited, his girlfriend is working on getting her visa right now from Venezuela and they have plans for her to come down in March as long as everything goes well with the visa and she’s got plans. She wants to get to know the church, and they want to get married. And we taught him about temples last night with one of our members who served his mission in Argentina, and Alex is super stoked  to prepare to marry his girlfriend in the temple. So he is great! he is awesome!  I’ve been really blessed this transfer to get to teach people my own age, people like Alex, who really don’t necessarily feel like people that I'm teaching the Gospel to but just friends, really good friends, best friends, lifelong friends.

As well, Tristen came to church yesterday, and it was fast and testimony meeting so all the members were getting up and sharing their testimonies, and Tristen got up and bore his testimony which you know is…  I mean he is basically a member of the church, he’s just not baptized yet.  But still, to have an unknown member get up and bare their testimony is really cool.  He shared his experience of how he’s always known the church and how, you know, when he came here to Key West, you know, in the military… he was expecting to enjoy the party life but just felt empty, and so he came to church one day.  Started coming to church and he felt that peace that had been missing. He found peace that he wasn’t finding anywhere else and then, luckily, they put us missionaries back in  and we were able to teach him and so he’s getting baptized this Thursday.  And again, its like, it’s not like some of the other people I’ve taught where I’m teaching people who are older than me and I’m just kinda teaching them the Gospel,  just really like helping friends.  Tristen is going to be a life long friend for sure.  I mean all the people that I’ve taught will be, but I mean, Tristen, he is 19, he’s from Preston, ID.  He is gonna go to school in Utah, so I’ll get to see him a lot when he finishes up his time in the military.  But really just feeling super, super blessed with everything that has happened this week.  This has by far been one of the best weeks of my mission. I know i say that a lot but this week was great we taught a ton of people; we were able to help a lot of people to come to church and…  I don’t know… I just feel blessed.
A Key West Horse.. The Deer are small, but the Dogs are large.

The Zone Leaders are up here with us right now.  So they are sitting here on the back porch with us accounting. And we’re headed down on the bus with them here in a couple hours, so I  got to get going, but love all you guys and until next week … talk to ya later

Elder Juanes

Paradise City
Key West, FL 33040

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

{1.3.17} Last Night Was Awfully Crazy, I Wish We Taped It

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Who's 'Yeti' to party?
This last week was memorable! Elder Petersen and I saw a ton of success. We taught a lot of crazy people, but I definitely felt we were on the Lord's errand and doing his work even though many of those people chose not to continue to listen or to act on what we shared with them.

Christmas Eve with Tristen!
Tristen is doing super good! We had 3 pretty powerful lessons with him this week, and really helped him identify his vision and purpose in life that he's always known he has. He put it down on paper, and wrote down the daily habits he needs to develop to get there spiritually. It boosted his confidence drastically--he feels confident he can overcome the temptations and has game plans to escape them. he set his own baptismal date for the 12th!

Good Ol' Cuban Cookin
Alex is doing great as well. He missed church because he probably stayed out too late on Christmas eve, but he told us that he's decided to Stay in the US. He really sees God's hand directing his life. He broke up with his Girlfriend in Venezuela and wants to make his life here in the States, and focus on putting God central in it by preparing to be baptized. 

It's been really fun teaching Alex and Tristen. They're 22 and 19, and I feel like I can unload some of the lessons I've learned on my mission and help them apply it. It's been cool to see them get excited and make changes, even in a place as crazy as Key West.

Sorry for the short one. Hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Juanes

Elder Jace Johns
Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission
7951 SW 6th Street, Suite 110
Plantation, FL 33324

Monday, December 19, 2016

{12.19.16} Paradise

Monday, December 12, 2016

{12.12.16} If I Die Young, Send Me Down to Key West..

Monday, December 5, 2016

{12.5.16} Doral For Life

I have no time to write, but I'll share 2 quick experiences from this week.

About 6 months ago, Elder Christensen and I knocked into a lady named Alana. She was baptized as a teenager on a small Caribbean island (i can't remember which one)  but when she had turned 18, she moved to new york but fell away from the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her life got pretty difficult after 10 years up there, so she moved down here to Florida to be closer to her daughter (who lives with her ex) and her mother, which is when we found her.
Doral For Life
We started going by to see her and she started having really strong desires to come back to church and live the Gospel, and to have her daughter become involved as well. Unfortunately, things took a really bad turn--her boyfriend she was living with was abusive, and things got so bad she told us she was going to leave and not come back. She had no phone, and we went by several times to see if she was ever there but we never heard from her again.... until a couple nights ago. I was driving by where she lived and I saw her door was open and a I saw a woman who lived there that looked just like her. I didn't think it was possible, but it kept sticking in my mind, so after we dropped off Elder Toews and a member from the branch to visit recent converts, we went back instead of knocking doors. Sure enough, Alana was back! She'd completely flipped her life around. She's been reading in the scriptures daily, has a job, a car, and is out of the bad relationship. Her daughter is also with her now, and they're coming to church next week!

Awhile ago, we were also teaching the Reyes family. They're an awesome family, but when we were teaching them, life was coming at them 1,000 mph from 11 different angles. They had just moved from New York as well--had 3 kids, 1 on the way, and the father was working double shifts every day detailing cars. They got too busy and too distracted and stopped meeting with us. After Alana, we went and stopped by their house, and the situation has completely changed--they have a car, the father has a 9-5 job selling insurance, their house has furniture now, and they seem a lot happier, and less stressed. We shared the #lighttheworld christmas video with them, and the spirit was instantly there. They asked us to pray and bless their house, and invited us to come back and start teaching them again. 

It's amazing what time can do in peoples lives! It's also amazing how God can work in our lives over time. But what really stands out to me is all the little seeds that we sow, what they can really develop into. Sometimes as a missionary, I can get frustrated. I'm giving my all to serve people and give them what I KNOW will help them have more peace and happiness, and they just don't want to be served or they just don't understand. Serving in this area for 7 & 1/2 months has been a huge blessing, because normally I wouldn't have been able to see those seeds I planted develop into what they are now. Never underestimate small acts of service and the ripple effect they can have on someone's life, or their eternity.

Elder Juanes

Elder Jace Johns
Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission
7951 SW 6th Street, Suite 110
Plantation, FL 33324