Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February 22, 2015

Wonderful week that ended in me being able to attend an investigator’s baptism from my last ward! He is amazing.  One day a couple months ago, he randomly showed up at church and said he had met missionaries the week before in some other part of California and was interested.  He grew up 7th Day Adventist but was searching for something more.  We were obviously incredibly excited at the time, but unfortunately he kind of fell off the face of the earth and we lost contact. 

He showed up to church again my last week in the area (La Sierra Heights) and said he wanted to be baptized.  We set a date for the 21st of February, and, long story short, he was baptized on Sunday!  He had been Skyping with online missionaries who had taught a few of the lessons. Miracles.  He requested his water be freezing cold so he wouldn't feel comfortable as he left his old life behind and was "born again."  I can testify, the water was frigid.  I was standing on the side as he was in the water and usually you feel the heat emanating out of the font.  This time, the COLD was emanating out of the font.  Elder Westenskow was pretty cold.  

We had a Chinese New Year party for the Chinese members in the ward.  There were various fun games that we played, but my favorite involved a couple that are recent converts that got baptized when I was here last year.  The husband had to put a paper bag over his face and feel various women's hand's and guess which one was his wife's hand.  Elder Warren had one of the hands in.  He had a couple close calls - saying one of them was the right one (when it wasn't) and saying a woman's hand was clearly a man!  It was all good fun though.  It's nice to come back and see these people still strong in the gospel.

One of the lessons we taught, we were sharing about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the investigator that referred her friend to listen to our message stopped us when we started to talk about Joseph Smith.  She said she just wanted to talk about Jesus Christ, not which church is His.  I politely told her that our message is incomplete without the Restoration and knowing which church Jesus Christ actually created.  She wasn't too happy about that but we ended on a good note.  

Our mission president came out with us to see some investigators.  It was a wonderful experience.  Our lessons were very "Chinglish." I don't know if one of our investigators were putting on a show or what, but he literally said everything and answered every question perfectly.

Another testimony of talking with everyone: We went with some recent converts to the DMV to help translate and, after observing the large waiting room, we navigated over to a couple with their baby.  Obviously picked them because they were Chinese, but they were incredibly surprised when I asked them where in China they were from.  She almost dropped her baby!  She said she would be interested in church though, so we'll be going back!

We had our mission wide crossfit activity today.  President Mullen gets up there and burns everyone even though he's 65 years old.  My highlight was seeing Allan from Corona there!  He came with the Corona missionaries.  He's excited to be serving a mission soon too!

At our investigator's baptism

Our investigator with his family at his baptism

Companion study with Elder Warren.  You can't hide from the mirror!

I found a pair of crocs for $4 so I had to nab them

Costco beef strips are addicting too!

February 15, 2016

First full week in my new (old) area.  It feels weird because I am not as busy and can focus more on actually proselyting.  Still get antsy sometimes about doing certain things that I don't have to do anymore!  It's interesting coming back to an area though, my first time doing this.  The smells all remind me of things from 8 months ago!  Especially the wonderful Eastvale cow manure smell (there are a couple dairy's in the area).

I put my "Chinese glasses" back on again.  I talk with everyone, but now I'm specifically looking for Chinese people!  It's fun, playing spot the Chinese person.

Only my first week back, and I already made a trip to a government office.  At least it wasn't the DMV this time, it was the social security office. But remember, I'm a certified "interpreter" (not translator) in the city of Ontario :).

I thought I was back in China the other day.  It was around 8:15, and we were walking in the park and stumbled across a group of middle aged Chinese women listening to some very Chinese music, dancing in the park.  It brought me back to seeing a huge crowd of older couples dancing outside in Shanghai!

My Chinese is rusty, need to get it back up to par! Luckily I didn't have to translate for Stake Conference on Sunday because there was translation from Salt Lake.  It was a struggle in English class though.  One of the students wanted to study how to take loans out from the bank.  Unfortunately my vocabulary on that is not terribly extensive!  Doesn't help that I've not spoken Chinese is eight months.  I made it through though!  My handy dandy translator did its job.

Interesting experience:.  Sunday night we were waiting in a parking lot of a CVS for some investigators who were coming to pick up a Children's Book of Mormon (they didn't want to meet at their house).  A younger gentleman starts to talk to us about the church and, after we give the Book of Mormon to the investigators, we decide to have an impromptu church tour with this guy.  Already a little suspicious, we head over to the church building.  Long story short, after we give the church tour, he asks about Mormon girls and how he can find one.  I show him a picture of the Salt Lake City Temple that is on my planner and he pulls out his phone and shows us the background while saying "you mean like this?"  Newport Beach Temple.  So yeah, we got played.  He served his mission in Fresno.  Fun way to spend a Sunday night!

With Brother Powers, my old Ward Mission Leader - I'll miss him, he's the man.

The sun was really bright! Elder Mock, my replacement.

Passing over the phone!

Passing down the AP tie

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February 8, 2016

Sad news, I've been transferred from the La Sierra Heights ward.  It's bittersweet.  I'm going to enjoy the extra time out of the office that I have to proselyte now, but it seems like the work is going so well in the ward I don't want to leave!

It was hard to say goodbye to all the members and investigators in the area because I've been here for six months.  I was in my previous area for six months too, but I knew I'd be back.  :(

This is my new address, I'm returning to Eastvale!  Ready to light a fire in that area!

Elder Jacob Dyer
5615 Daybreak Dr. Apt. G
Mira Loma, CA 91752

We've been having amazing experiences teaching families.  It's so awesome to see a wonderful family accept portions of the Gospel at a time.

One of the highlights of the week was being in the circle for a baby blessing!  The dad asked us if we would join in.  It was SO FUN.  We were kind of bouncing her to keep her from crying.

Teaching the families is so fun because I get to hear the comments from the young ones! A five year old in the family told me in a very matter of fact tone "Jesus tip toed into my bedroom to make sure I was okay and to not wake me up."  When she found out I was leaving the area at church on Sunday, she gave me a big hug, She's adorable.

During a lesson with the nine year old that got baptized about a month ago, he said he wants to go on a mission to Taiwan when he gets older.  Hearing that was awesome, but the best part was him saying, "Elder Dyer, wouldn't it be cool if I was on my mission and you saw me on the street and I looked like you."  He's changed so much since we met him.  He's really growing into a wonderful young man! (at the ripe age of nine!)

the sisters in our ward decided to hop on the matching wagon

at the Garcia's house.  They're the best!

with the Ulloa's!  and the baby we helped bless!

last selfie in the office, with the transfer board

leaving! [the office]

Elder Westenskow had to get a selfie in

With the Garcia's and the sisters in the ward

with the solorio family

selfie with young friend

they got a new puppy!

Throwback - mission leadership council

mission leadership council with Elder Hamula

mission tour north half

mission tour south half

from the outgoing dinner from last time

all the outgoing!

putt putt, the companions

putt putt

with the doggy

with Brother Powers, the best ward mission leader ever

at our missionary coordination meeting for the ward

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016

It's transfers next week, and I might be transferred, so send all stuff to:

Elder Jacob Dyer
5900 Grand Ave
Riverside, CA 92504

We had our Mission Leadership Council this past week so we were pretty busy.  The highlight for us was a presentation we gave on extending commitments boldly with love.  Elder Westenskow and I decided to use fortune cookies to help put our point across.  We made fortunes, or "promised blessings" for 22 fortune cookies and replaced the fortunes with the promised blessings.  Our activity was to invite people up and have them open their fortune cookie, and extend a commitment that would go with the promised blessing.  It was a very memorable experience.

Sergio got baptized this week.  It was amazing to witness.  His younger sister and brother both got baptized almost a year to the day of his baptism on Sunday, so it was a long time coming.  When they were baptized, the hot water heater was broken, so the water was cold.  This time, we made sure to fill it with very warm water.  When he got in he started shuddering and everyone thought we put cold water in.  It was only later that we found out it was actually TOO hot.  Who would have thought!  The best moment was after when he expressed how amazing he felt coming out of the water.

On exchanges, we were street contacting people.  We got referred to this woman's next door neighbor.  I knocked, spoke for a moment, and she wasn't interested.  She wasn't getting rid of me THAT easy though.  I asked her about her kumquat tree in her yard, and she got a huge excited look on her face.  "Do you like kumquats?!" I replied "Yes, they're my FAVORITE."  She got even more excited and said how much she hated them, that her daughter had planted that tree.  She proceeded to get a plastic bag, and said "please, pick ALL of them."  Unfortunately, we were unable to get ALL of them.  It seemed like we were picking so many, but it wasn't putting a dent on the amount of fruit on the tree!  Finally I told the zone leader I was exchanging with, "count to 30 and we'll stop".  It was like an endless supply of fruit!

We have been teaching a lot of families recently.  It's amazing to see not just an individual, but a family change to become closer to God.  I'm so grateful to be part of the process!

The culture of our mission has changed immensely since the time I came in.  Everyone's so much more obedient, with a positive attitude and a willingness to work.  It's fun to be a part of.  Our mission is on fire.  


at the office with our injured missionary we were taking care of 

we didn't have time for lunch in between church and our baptism so we ate some birthday cake from one of the sister missionaries in the ward

eating wings at our ward mission leaders house for waffles!

Our fortune cookie fortune extractor assistant

Fortune cookies 


matching as usual!  (thanks mom, for the ties - they say "families are forever" in Chinese)

matching again... (thanks mom again!)

red tie, red car

throwback to Christmas