Monday, February 23, 2015

Picture of Jared!

Elder Weller & Elder Aguilar
Subject: Picture of Your Missionary Son
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 21:23:28 -0700

We had the privileged of having your son in our home tonight for dinner and then they came back for some ice cream and cookies.  They are both new to our area, so it was nice to have them in our home to get to know them and feel of their spirit.  They shared a powerful testimony of the restoration with us and seemed very happy.  Thank you for sharing them with us for such a short time. 

Bro. & Sis. Fox

It's my half-birthday!

Subject: It's my half-birthday!
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:58:10 -0800

Hey family! 
My half-birthday probably isn't a big deal, but it was worth mentioning! This week was great!  I love my new area, my new branch, and my new companion!  I wasn't able to write in my journal much this week, so bear with me.
Monday, we were here at the stake center until about 2:00, because since my comp is District Leader, we had to stay until everyone in the district was done emailing.  We passed the time by planning how to kill a rabbit on the chalkboard.  Then we went to a zone activity, where we played speedball (soccer/basketball) and soccer chair, a game where everyone sets up a chair and you try to hit other people's chairs with the ball to get them out.  I also got some fudge from Gma and Gpa Weller.  Thank you!
We spent most of the week meeting the members, visiting less-actives (there are a lot in our branch), and trying to find new investigators.  On Wednesday, we received a text from someone in the branch presidency, asking us to speak about missionary work in sacrament meeting.  More about that later.  On Friday night, we went to Copperton (a tiny old mining town on the western edge of the valley) to interview 3 young girls for baptism, whom had been taught by some other elders in our district.  On Saturday, we went to their baptism, which was awesome!  There is a family in our area book that the previous elders had been teaching.  We haven't been able to teach them yet, but we met them and they seem really excited to talk to us!  Watching the baptismon Saturday renewed mine and Elder Aguilar's desires to baptize this transfer.  I have faith that we will baptize this family, as well as some other people we are teaching.
Ryan's experience with the dog at the beach reminded me: I have had some pretty funny experiences with dogs.  One family in the branch has a dog who is super hyper, and is always jumping all over us. It's so funny!  Also, we watched the Clausen's dog, an old border collie, while they went to St George for the weekend.  Kelly, the dog, kept drinking out of the toilets, so we had to close the bathroom doors and put out a bowl of water for her.  But last night, Sister Clausen showed us some pics she took in Zion NP, and it was green!  Apparently, at this time, plants grow in the crevices of the rocks.  A spring trip to Zion is now on my bucket list!
On Thursday (or Friday?), we went to Panda Express for dinner with an English speaking family (we eat one week with members of the branch and then one week with an English ward).  I LOVE orange chicken!  We also ate lunch one day at Pizza Pie Cafe.  
Elder Aguilar made a little figure out of a copper wire, and we named him Elder Cooper.  We made a couple videos where Elder Aguilar was playing with it and making some pretty funny sound effects.  It reminded me of Toy Story!  Elder Aguilar and I get along really well.  It turns out that he loves Avatar and Marvel as well!
Saturday, it snowed a little bit, but it didn't stick.  Directly over us, the sky was clear, but you could see millions of little snowflakes blowing over us from a cloud to the north.  I have never seen that before!
Sunday morning, we finished writing our talks (we had a little bit done already, but as missionaries, we never have much spare time).  Luckily, church doesn't start until 11.  My talk went really well!  Right now, I try to speak fast, but my mouth can't form the words fast enough, and I mess up a lot.  But afterward, people were telling me that I speak really well for only being in the field for 2 months.  I am starting to have times where I think in Spanish.  It's weird!  Also, when I'm saying my personal prayer before bed, I think "Please bless this person tambien... I mean also!"  
Last night, I was talking about Yellowstone with the family we ate dinner with, and they said that you have a good chance of seeing bears if you are in the Mammoth area in the morning.  Just in case you guys decide to go again!  Also, they should be emailing you a picture!
Well, I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Elder Jared Weller

Monday, February 16, 2015

Transfers! ... And Pictures!!

E and M Salgado and their kids, A and Y. 
They are recent converts who we visited a lot. 
They are the sweetest family, and they loved to feed us. 
Whenever I told you about eating something spicy,
it was probably at their house!
Subject: Transfers!
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:18:49 -0700

Sooo, I am no longer in Bingham Creek.  Just as we were beginning to get people close to baptism, President Chambers transferred me to the Copper Hills Spanish branch (in the western part of West Jordan).  My new companion, Elder Aguilar, and I, whitewashed the area.  This is a missionary term that we use when both missionaries in an area are replaced at the same time.  When we got here on  Wednesday, neither of us knew anyone or the area.  Luckily, the previous Elders left us a detailed letter about who we can visit.  Our new hosts, the Clausen's, are awesome.  They talk with us every night and always tell us how proud they are of us.  Sadly, we won't be living there for very long, because their daughter is moving back (we can't live in a house with other young adults).
     The new branch is tiny, but the people are awesome!  The past five days we have mostly been visiting members, less actives, and the investigators we know about.  On Saturday we met an interesting guy who was trying to tell us how we have been brainwashed, and that he we cannot tell him that we know the truth because we have prayed and felt an answer, because we can't trust our feelings.  He was trying to convince us of his way of thinking, using reason.  It reminded me of the time before the Restoration, when all of the churches were having a war of words, but the Spirit was not present.  So that was an interesting experience.  
     Going back to my last few days in Bingham Creek, on Monday, we ate lunch at Pizza Pie Cafe.  Soo good!  It is an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet!  After emailing, we had a zone activity.  We did a photo scavenger hunt, where you go around and take pictures of yourself doing different challenges.  We ate garbage, wrote JESUS in a chain link fence with leaves, taught the gospel to some dogs, and Elder Hall rode a kid's bike.  I will send pics.
     Tuesday:  funny story!  So we were visiting E, a young adult member, and her boyfriend pulled up in his beefed-up car, and left it running.  When E's mom, Sister M, came out and saw the running car, she got in and took it for a joyride!  And the boyfriend didn't even notice!  That evening, we ate dinner with a family from Kamas, UT, and apparently they know Wellers there.  Relatives? Maybe?
     That is my week!  Elder Aguilar and I are getting along great!  Btw, I did get your Valentine's Day package on Monday.  Thank you!!  (And yes, I am sharing with my companion :)  I am glad to hear that you guys had fun at the beach.  The weather has been beautiful here as well.  I love driving down 9000 S and seeing the entire valley and the mountains.  I will take a picture sometime (when I'm not driving).  I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day.  I love you all, and testify to you that this church is true!  One thing that I have been thinking about lately is how Christ suffered for all of our sins, pains, and weaknesses, not collectively, but one-by-one.  He knows and loves each one of us individually, and understands us better than we understand ourselves.  That is why we need to put our trust in Him.  

Lots of Love,
Elder Jared Weller
P.s. Dad, teach the future missionaries about the importance of OYMing (opening your mouth), and have them role play. This is something everyone struggles with, but it is so important that everyone we see on the street has the opportunity to hear the Restored Gospel.  You don't always know when Heavenly Father has placed someone in your path!

Breaking into the mission car
...not really!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sorry this is so short...

 Subject: Sorry this is so short...
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 14:39:02 -0700

Hey family!

     So we have a zone activity soon, so I'm just going to tell you the highlights this week.  First of all, it has been really sunny and warm here (like 67 degrees!).  I'm sorry to hear that it has been so yucky in Washington!

     On Monday, we had a district activity, where we threw colored corn starch at each other.  I hope you got the pictures.  That evening, we had a miracle!  We went to see L, who is pretty close to baptism, but she wasn't there, so we ended up teaching her 19 year old daughter, J, instead.  J has two kids (one is 3 weeks old), but is not married.  But she was super receptive and she really wants to be baptized.  She is what you would call a golden investigator.  Definitely a tender mercy of the Lord.  

On Saturday, we were finally able to teach someone we found several weeks ago, and he was really interested in listening to us.  Last night at our dinner appointment, I learned that after God took away the plates and the Urim and Thumim (after Martin Harris lost the 116 pages), he only returned the plates to Joseph, so to translate them, Joseph used a stone he had found many years before, placed it in a hat, and as he looked into the hat, the Lord put the translations on the stone.  True story!!  Then, we taught our stake president and his family the Restoration with the English elders.  That was a lot of fun!  Elder Hall is dying (going home) this week, which is really sad, but I will get a picture with him before he goes.
     That is about it!  Have a great week and a great Valentine's day!  I love you all!  The church is true!

Elder Jared Weller

Monday, February 2, 2015

West Jordan Week 6

Subject: West Jordan Week 6
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2015 14:20:57 -0700

Good afternoon family!
This week went pretty well.  I was going to surprise you about the iPads,  (see*below) but I guess Pres Whipple beat me to it.  We also got new devices in our cars that track our driving, and are supposed to warn us when we are speeding or not wearing seatbelts. However, we don't think that ours works, because it never tells us anything.  What are gas prices up there like?  Because up here, they are in the $1.50's.  Also, I saw that the Seahawks lost Superbowl... not that I care;)  Dad, that is so cool that you are the missionary prep teacher!  I will definitely send suggestions as I think of them.
Anyway, on Tuesday, we had our last district meeting with Elder Hall, who is dying (going home) next week.  That evening, since we didn't have a dinner appointment, we went to Winger's with Elders Hall and Reyes, and I had the best bacon cheeseburger I have ever had.  Later that evening, we went to meet the G family, who the English elders had been teaching.  The kids will be baptized later this month, and hopefully, so will their mother.  We also visited a potential investigator, who lost her dad to cancer when she was young.  She gave the closing prayer, and she called us "wonderful gentlemen".  We haven't been able to teach her again yet, but hopefully we will this week.
On Wednesday, we got kicked out of an apartment complex!  Not really actually, a guy just nicely asked us not to go door to door.  Other than that, we had a few appointments, which went really well.
Thursday was Zone Conference.  Sister Chambers led a really good discussion about the light of Christ.  We listed off different scripture stories that talk about light, and then we watched a short video by Elder Bednar about the light of Christ.  Look it up!  It is a 3-part series.  At the end of zone conference, we listened to the testimonies of each of the missionaries who are going home, including Elder Hall.  That evening, we taught the G family again.  That's about it for that day.
Friday, we taught the G kids the 10 commandments using fingers.  Even 9 year old Tavo paid attention!  For adultery, I taught them that it means we cannot live with someone we are not married to.  (More on that later)!
Saturday was beautiful and warm.  We took Lola, who will be baptized hopefully at the end of the month, on a tour of the stake center.  Her mom was in town, so she came as well.  She seems really open to learning more about the church!  Later, we taught someone whom the Sisters in our district have been teaching.  We brought a member who had gone off the path for several years, but had an amazing experience with prayer that helped him to come back.  Hearing his experience was awesome!  That evening, we had really good tamales for dinner.  We visited the G's again (we call it PDC, or positive daily contact).  Remember what I said about teaching the kids about adultery?  We had been worried that their mom's boyfriend might be living with them, and that evening, Tavo totally called them out on it!  On the way back to the car, Elder Erazo and I were laughing so hard!
Sunday, we were not able to get anyone to come to church, which was a bit disappointing.  In Gospel Principles, we talked about the Millenium.  I am so excited for 1000 years of peace!  That afternoon, we ate with some recent converts, and they fed us pastor tacos, which is essentially pork and pineapple.  It was really good!  While tracting that evening, we met a less active girl, and taught her a little bit about prayer, right on her doorstep.  Hopefully, we will reactivate her family.  The rest of the evening, we just visited members and less actives.
That is about everything from my week.  All is well!  That reminds me, the other elder that Elder Erazo trained is Elder Sewell, so we both have "well" in our names.  At zone conference, Elder Erazo made the joke that "All is well with my sons!"  (Son is missionary jargon for someone you train).  I hope everyone has a great week!  Hasta luego!
Elder Jared Weller 

* The missionaries in Jared's mission are all getting ipads, which the parents have to pay for.  We don't mind.  It will be something that Jared gets to bring home with him when he is finished with his mission.  Jared is super excited.  He was hoping his mission would be one of the areas that got them!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dinner, A Picture, and a Special Phone Call

January 29, 2015

     We had the opportunity to feed these great young men dinner tonight. May the lord bless them and you as parents for raising such wonderful young men.

Bro. & Sis. Luthi

Note from Me:  I had the opportunity to talk on the phone with Sis. Luthi who had only good things to say about my missionary.  We also cried a little bit.  She has been a missionary mom 3 times.  I miss Jared so much.  I love getting pictures of him.  Doesn't he look GREAT!?!

Life is Great!

Subject: Life is great!
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:20:42 -0700

Buenas tardes familia!  (Good afternoon),
I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well!  Mom, the entire time I was reading your email, I was grinning, and even almost laughed a couple times.  I am excited to see what the house looks like in 21 months.  It will probably be COMPLETELY different!  
I started driving this week, because my companion's license expired.  It has been a lot of fun!  I was a little nervous because I was never very good at parking the van, but our little Toyota Corolla is a cinch to park!
On Wednesday, I went on an exchange with Elder Reyes, who is from Mexico.  He has only been out about a month longer than me, but his English is really good.  We had a really good time!  
On Thursday, after I got Elder Erazo back, we committed one of our investigators to baptism!  Her entire countenance has changed since then.  She is so much happier already.  It is amazing to see the difference that the gospel and the Spirit can make in people's lives.  
We also found someone this week who is really interested in reading the Book of Mormon and learning more about the church.  It's funny, because we actually went to the house to teach his cousin (there are 4 or 5 cousins living in that house), but we ended up teaching him instead.  We think we will baptize everyone in that house!!
On Saturday, we ate breakfast with our stake president, which was great.  Sunday was ward conference, and it went really well!  Some of the less actives we have been focusing on went, and they loved it!  Last night, we ate dinner outside.  The weather has been beautiful this week!  People are really starting to worry about water, since we have only had a little bit of snow.  That is definitely something you don't hear in Washington!
I had some really spicy, authentic Hispanic food this week!  I also tried flan for the first time, which is a cake that is the consistency of cheesecake.  It was really good!  We also ate with a Peruvian family in our ward, who live right by the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, so that was cool.  
On Monday, we went to the mall to buy an outfit for our district leader, who is going home at the end of the transfer.  We all felt really weird inside the mall, because it is so worldly.  But once we got into the JCPenney there, we felt better.  Afterward, we went to Coldstone Creamery and got ice cream.
This morning, we cleaned our car and took it through the car wash.  It was so dirty from all of the salt that they put on the roads when it snowed! 
I believe that is all of the highlights of my week.  The week went by so quickly!  I am finally beginning to see the fruits of my labor, and I am slowly becoming more comfortable with speaking Spanish.  I have a testimony of the Savior, and I know that this is His church that has been restored to the earth in these the latter days.  I have seen the gospel change people's lives, and I have seen it change my own.  I find comfort in knowing that I am a son of God and that I have a purpose for being here.  I hope you all have a great week!
Elder Jared Weller

A Month in Utah!

Subject: A month in Utah!
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:35:19 -0700

Good afternoon family!
     I hope all is going well for everyone.  That park in Seattle sounds like a lot of fun!  And tell Logan congratulations for me.
     Guess who I ate dinner with on Saturday?  I ate with the Pugmires' niece and her family, the Nelsons!  I thought that was pretty cool!  To be honest, it was another slightly disappointing week in terms of missionary work.  We just haven't been able to meet with our investigators, or get them to come to church!  And our closest investigator dropped us, which is never fun.  But there were definitely good times as well.  Last night, we taught a lady (in English), who has read the Book of Mormon, and believes that it is true, but she hasn't been baptized.  As we taught her, I truly felt the Savior's love for her.   We also taught this couple, where one is from Spain, and the other is from France,  That was an interesting lesson, because apparently, people in Europe don't talk about their religion at all, but here in Utah, people talk about it all the time (both of them are school teachers).  We didn't really get anywhere with them, though.  I think they just wanted to learn more about religion.  We also met a 16 year old kid who calls himself an Atheist, but he is really open to talking to the missionaries, so I hope we can help him to see that there really is a God who loves him.
     On Thursday, we went to the mission office for a training meeting,  President Chambers taught about the events leading up to the First Vision, out of Joseph Smith History.  The Spirit was SO strong!  Then we did role plays. 
     Last night, we had a stake priesthood meeting, which went really well.  One kid who spoke is awaiting his mission call, and he compared life to an event on the track, and how "For the Strength of Youth" is like the blocks that you plant your feet in at the beginning.  He made a joke that he thinks FTSOY should be called "For the Strength of Zion", because the principles apply to everyone, but he can't compete with the First Presidency.  I thought that was pretty funny!
     We met with one of the bishops in our area to talk to him about Hispanics in his ward area (which is like a neighborhood here in Utah!).  Afterward, we were looking at the missionary board for that ward, and they have an Elder Tyler Haws out (for those who don't know, one of BYU's basketball players is named Tyler Haws).  It wasn't the same one though. 
     On Saturday, we were tracting, and we met a member who told us about how the people in New Zealand are descendants of Hagoth (Alma 63).  Apparently, the Maoris had forts that were built the same way as the ones built by Captain Moroni.  Also, their funeral ceremonies are similar to those of the Lamanites.  He told us about one clan leader, who was deciding which religion was the right one for his people, because at the time, the Catholics had come and were trying to convert all of the Maoris there.  This leader said something to the effect of "Our religion is not here, but far away.  But they will come to us two by two, speaking OUR language, and eating OUR food, and they will raise their right hand to the square when they pray."  That is so cool!
     Also on Saturday, I had the opportunity to give a blessing to the daughter of one of our investigators.  She is 19 and pregnant with her second child, but when we told her what a blessing is, she said she really wanted one.  I never really expected someone who is not a member, or even an investigator, to care for a blessing.  But I truly believe that she showed her faith in the power of the Priesthood just then. 
     I believe that is about it for this week.  Sorry it is not very organized.  The weather the past few days has been great!  It snowed on Monday night, but yesterday and Saturday were really warm, and the air was clear, so the mountains were gorgeous.  I got my hair cut this morning!  Someone in our stake has a salon in her basement, and she cuts missionaries' hair for free,  This morning, the Scouts here came around and put up flags in every yard in the neighborhood where we live.  It looks amazing!  Today, for our district activity, we are throwing colored corn starch at each other, so I'm pretty excited for that.  I will probably start driving tomorrow or Wednesday, because Elder Erazo's license is expiring.  I haven't driven in 2 1/2 months!  Well, I want you all to know that I have a firm testimony in Christ, and in the gift of  repentance that he has given us through His atonement.  I am grateful for the opportunity I have to share the restoration of His Priesthood and His gospel with others. 
Elder Jared Weller

Blackmail with Jared Baby Pics ... Not Quite!

Subject: [insert creative title here]
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2015 13:04:06 -0700

Hi everyone!
     Sorry, I couldn't think of anything to put in the subject line...
     Life has been great here!  On Tuesday, I went on my first exchange with my District Leader, Elder Hall.  We had a really good time together. He is always very outgoing and animated, but he knows when it is and when it is not appropriate.  I made it one of my goals to be more happy and animated when I am talking to people.  Sadly, Elder Hall is dying (i.e. going home) in less than a month.  I will try to get a picture with him.
     When the Sisters told me that they had met the Christensens, they began very vaguely by telling me (through texting) that they had baby pictures of me that they could use to blackmail me with.  I was thinking "Where in the world did they get baby pictures of me?"  But apparently, the Christensens showed them Mom's blog.  But I was thinking until now that they had met Michelle Searel (Did I spell that right?).  I didn't know that Sean lived down here as well.
     I have been working this week on OYMing (open your mouth), and talking with everyone I see.  Each time I do it, it gets easier.  We have met some interesting people, including some born again Christians.  We also found some new people to teach, and they seemed interested to hear more, so I hope they continue to invite us back.  At the same time, this week was a bit frustrating.  Most of our appointments fell through, and our investigators who are close to baptism are not coming to church.  But I guess we can't take away their agency.  All we can do is continue to pray for them and show our love for them. 
     Last night, we taught the Restoration to the Thompson family (the ones I Skyped you from), and then we had a ping pong tournament and ate cookies fresh out of the oven.  Then we went to correlate with our ward mission leader, who lives right by the Jordan River Temple.  He is from Peru, and doesn't speak very much English, so I taught him how to say dates (25th, 20th, etc).  It was funny to watch him try to form the words that end in -fth or -xth.
     The weather has been a lot warmer here.  The snow is almost gone (notice how I say almost).  Shaney, we have gotten a lot of rain as well.  It was even snowing earlier today, but it didn't stick.
     This week, we put up "Ask the missionaries" flyers in all of the meetinghouses in the two stakes we cover, complete with a lovely picture of us.  So hopefully that will help us to get some more referalls.
     I think that is all for this week.  Sister Brumfield (our landlord) finished embroidering our names onto the blankets she made us for Christmas.  I will send a picture next week.  Mom, I enjoy reading your long emails, so don't worry about shortening them.  Dad, I loved your thought about the Atonement.  This week, we received a copy of a talk by Elder Holland called "The Inconvenient Messiah", where he talks about the temptations of Satan to the Savior, after he had been fasting for 40 days.  Christ withstood the temptations because it was not the right way.  He knew that he had to put in the effort to receive bread, rather than using his divine power to just make it.  We also need to put in our effort, but as we do, we will receive countless blessings.  This is my testimony to you, that Christ lives and that He is our perfect example.
Elder Jared Weller

Another Dinner Appointment Picture

January, 8 2015

I am so grateful to the wonderful families in Jared's area who send me pictures of my son with encouraging words.  Sister Ward said he is a "very polite young man" and that "he looks great".  That family also has a son serving in Mexico.  Us missionary-moms need to stick together!  Isn't Elder Weller just so cute?  I love this kid!  Thank you Sister Ward for you kind words and picture.

It's a Small World After All

January 6, 2015

We fed our sister missionaries last night. We asked them if they knew Elder Weller. It turns out that he is in their district. He is serving in the stake just next to us. They just saw him yesterday at district meeting. They both thought he was a great missionary. They say he's a little queit but when he talks he's smart and funny.
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Note from Me:  We LOVE the Christensen family.  We have known them and their kids for nearly 20 years.  Their kids babysat Shaney and Jared years ago and are by far THE VERY BEST BABYSITTERS EVER!!!!!  It is so fun to have some of them living in the mission where Jared is serving.  I hope Jared gets to have dinner with them.  I'll be sure to blog it!

Happy New Year!

Subject: Happy New Year!
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2015 16:36:03 -0700

Hi family!!!
     This week has been great (I think I say that every week).  But really.  We had a zone training meeting on New Year's Eve, where we learned about obedience as well as the importance of inviting people to commit to doing something, and then following up on that commitment.  We started using the church building blocks that I got from Beehive Books to teach the first lesson (apostasy and restoration).  This is a great object lesson that shows how the church falls when there are no prophets or apostles.  We taught the first lesson about 5 times this week!  We found 7 new investigators this week, including a family of 4.  On New Year's Day we found someone who was ready, and accepted to be baptized!  That just goes to show how the Lord prepares people to hear the gospel.  We are also working on reactivating a family, and the wife came to church yesterday and loved it!  She calls me "hermanito", or "little brother".  So the work is going great!  As a mission, we had 1105 convert baptisms in the year of 2014, or about 92/month, which is above average.
     The snow is still here, (I guess Shaney would know that) but none of it is new.  It is finally melting though.  Today, it got up to about 50 degrees.  which is like a tropical paradise after several days below freezing. 
     Elder Erazo had to get a root canal this morning.  And guess what?!  The endodontist, Dr. Sonnenberg, knew Uncle John.  So I thought that was cool.
     On Friday (I think), we brought an RM with us for a few hours to some lessons and to tract with us.  He made us some CDs of the Lower Lights, which is a group that sings hymns and other Christ centered songs.  They are amazing!
     On Sunday, I bore my testimony in Sacrament, and then afterward several people came up to me and congratulated me on my Spanish.  I guess I'm better than I give myself credit for.
     That's about all the highlights of this week.  Sorry it is so short!  Mom, they really don't want you to send things to the member's homes.  And we still have SO MUCH FOOD from Christmas, and we even threw away half of it!  So don't worry about that.  We live with an older couple whose kids are all grown and moved out.  We ate breakfast with them on Christmas morning.  And we have a dinner appointment every night except Mondays.  Speaking of, you should be receiving a letter from a family who fed us the other night. :)  I am still struggling with the language, but it is coming along slowly but surely.  I know the church is true, and that through obedience to the commandments, we can find happiness and return to live with our Heavenly Father.
Take care (Cuidense)!
Elder Jared Weller

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from West Jordan!

Subject: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from West Jordan!
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2014 15:21:23 -0700

Dear Family,
     Long time no see... not really!  I loved being able to talk to everyone and see your beautiful faces on Christmas.  The rest of my day went really well!  After I finished talking to you, the Thompson family had finished setting up their new ping pong table, so we played with them for a while.  Then, we visited a lot of members and ate a lot of food.  Oh how wonderful it is to be a missionary!  I am still learning how to stretch my stomach, because EVERYONE wants to feed the missionaries! 
     On Friday, after our weekly planning session, Elder Erazo and I went to Subway, and then to report the week to our district leaders.  While one of them was meeting privately with my companion, I played pool with the other, Elder Reyes, who is from Mexico, and has only been out about 6 or 7 weeks.  He is pretty cool.  That evening, we ate dinner with the Dominguez family, who are from Argentina.  We had some sort of pasta balls, because apparently, there are a lot of people in Argentina who are of Italian descent.  Later, while we were tracting, we met a guy who was almost baptized a few years ago, but decided against it because there is no "archaeological evidence" of the Book of Mormon.  He is really interested in studying theology and religion, so we talked with him for at least an hour about the Bible and the gospel, and we answered several of his questions.  That was pretty interesting.  He invited us to come back, so we will see if we can invite the Spirit and spark his interest.  At the moment he doesn't really seem as interested in the church as he is to just discuss religion. 
     Saturday, we committed an investigator to baptism!  She hasn't been to church yet, but she knows that it is true and she feels the Spirit every time we visit her.  Hopefully she will be able to come next week.
     Sunday was great, as usual.  I had the opportunity to give a blessing to a less active member who is desirous to come back.  I gave it completely in Spanish!  And I could feel the Sprit flowing through me so strongly! 
     This morning, we taught a lesson (even though it is p-day).  That went really well.  I also got a free meal at Subway, because a member paid for me.  He was so discreet about it though, because I didn't know until I got to the cash register and the employee told me!  So that was cool.  There is still a lot of snow on the ground.  It snowed a little bit this morning, and it has been off and on since Thursday. 
     Well, that is about it for this week!  I hope everyone has gotten over the stomach flu!  Mom, since you asked, I didn't take the day off when I had it (because it didn't start until about noon).  But all is well now.  And they did not teach etiquette at the MTC.  Maybe you should apply to teach it there ;)  Ryan, I don't think your name would be any different in espaƱol.  Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!  I invite you to each make a new year's resolution to work on one thing to be more Christlike.  I know that the church is true, and that through Christ, we can find happiness and one day return to live with our Heavenly Father.
Elder Weller 

Our Christmas SKYPE

Oh goodness, it was so wonderful to see Jared's adorable face and to talk with him.  We only got 40 minutes, which was kind of disappointing, but we all got a few minutes to talk to him.  Lots of questions were asked and answered.  Most of them were about Mexico and his traveling and about his first couple weeks there.  He just looks so great and he is so happy.  For someone who isn't very fond of Mother's Day, I CAN'T WAIT!!!  
I miss this boy so much.

Merry Christmas!

One Week in Utah!

Subject: 1 week in Utah!
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:15:03 -0700

Hello family!  Merry Christmas!
     So I mailed your Christmas presents today, but they are not supposed to get there until Friday.  Rats!  Just know that they are coming.  I got my winter stuff.  Thank you!  My coat has already come in handy several times.  We don't have any snow in the valley yet, (as I'm sure Shaney has told you) but there is some on the mountains.  We are supposed to have a white Christmas though, which is pretty cool. 
My first area is West Jordan East.  My trainer is Elder Erazo, who was born in Argentina, but has lived in Texas most of his life.  The members here are really nice (both Spanish and English).  We eat dinner with members every night, and we live with members as well.  I'm pretty sure that if these were the old days where everybody paid the exact amount for their mission, this would be one of the cheapest!  We went to Subway on Friday, and one member said he would have bought our food (if he had seen us before we paid), and then on our way out the door, one lady gave us $40.  Since we can't accept cash, we just donated it to the mission fund.  We have also received several gifts, including a few gift cards. 
     The work is going well.  We had an investigator who had a baptismal date set for the 28th, but then he let us know that he was gay, and asked our opinions about that.  He took it well, and the Spirit was really strong during that lesson.  But the next day he texted us and told us that he was not willing to change that aspect of his life.  So that was sad.  But we do have other investigators who are progressing really well.  We have also been tracting a lot this week, and handing out "He is the Gift" cards.  Our area is really small, but we still have a car, which is nice.  When I do need a bike, the mission home has some, so hopefully I won't need to buy one. 
     My last week at the MTC was really good.  Our concert at the visitor's center went really well, and a few of our teachers came.  Sunday night I had to say goodbye to Elder Hamilton, as well as Elder Brown, who were leaving.  Monday was kind of a strange day, because about half of our district was gone already, but we had classes as normal.  Elder Tolman left for Ecuador Monday evening, so I had to spend the night (or half the night) with some other elders.  At 2:30 in the morning, we left for the airport.  All of my travel on Tuesday went smoothly.  The Dallas Airport is huge, and I had to take a train to the terminal for Salt Lake, but I made it without getting lost!  Customs was also really simple.  They just have machines where you scan your passport, and it takes a picture of your face, and then it prints out a receipt and you give it to an officer.  I can't remember much more from my last week at the MTC, but I will review my journal and tell you on Thursday.  We are planning on Skyping at noon, so 11 for you guys.  What do I need to know in order to skype you?  Name? Username?  Just send me a quick email when you get this, and I should be able to check it before I Skype you.
     I hope everything is going well at home.  I hope Shaney got home okay.  Just know that I am doing well and that I have been well-received.  I know that I have been specifically called to serve here, because the Lord has prepared people that only I will be able to touch.  One more story:  We were tracting some apartments one day, and we knocked on one door on the top floor, but nobody answered.  We were about to leave, but then we saw someone walking into the apartments across the street, so we paused to see where she went, so we could ask her about people who might be interested.  As we were watching, the door we had just knocked on opened, revealing a big Samoan guy.  It turns out that he was a less active who wanted to go back to church, but didn't really have the motivation to.  He told us that he had been thinking about it right before we knocked on the door.  Hopefully we gave him the motivation to go back.  So, miracles happen.  President Chambers tells us that when an appointment falls through, instead of leaving, we should continue looking in the neighborhood for Heaven's Appointment, because Heavenly Father doesn't send us somewhere for no reason.  I love you all, and I can't wait to see your beautiful faces on Thursday!  
Elder Jared Weller

Welcome to the Mission, Elder Weller

December 17, 2014


Utah Salt Lake City South Mission
8060 South 615 East
Sandy, Utah 84070
Dear Parents of Elder Weller,

     We welcomed Elder Weller to the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.  His first day included lunch and orientation at the mission office, and meeting his first companion.   After prayerful consideration, he was assigned to his first companion and trainer; Elder Erazo.   He is doing very well and is in high spirits as he anticipates the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  Please be assured that we will be watching over him during his mission.  With this letter I am sending photographs taken soon after his arrival.

Please communicate with your missionary each week either by email or by sending letters and packages to the mission; addressed to your son at the address listed above (Please see * below). 
     Thank you for sending such an outstanding, worthy and willing missionary to serve the Lord full time in our mission.  I know you will be blessed for the sacrifices that make his service possible.  May the Lord's choicest blessings be yours.


President Chambers
Robert E. Chambers
Mission President

* Guidlines:  In case you wanted to write to Elder Weller
Regular mail is important, but too much can hurt the work. 
If you email your missionary weekly it is to be a letter and not an opportunity for
online chatting. A maximum of ninety minute internet usage is allowed for missionaries on
preparation day to email family, friends, priesthood leaders and new converts, to view the
two approved web sites and to read emails from friends and family.
Send all hard copy mail and/or packages to the mission office with your missionary’s
full name above the mission name. The full name is important as there are many duplicate
surnames. Gifts: A personal, practical, and inexpensive gift from home to the missionary for a
birthday or Christmas is encouraged to show your love and support. Missionaries usually
respond well to a simple care package from loved ones on those special occasions. Sending
perishable items for delivery on a particular day is not practical. Zone leaders pick up mail
in the office on Monday only, to deliver to the missionaries. Address all packages to the
mission office. Upon returning home, your missionary is limited to 2 bags not weighing
more than 50 pounds and 2 small carry on bags of not more than 40 pounds each. Fees are
charged for excess of that. It is best not to send large or bulky items they will want to
bring home.  

Elder Jared Owens Weller
Utah Salt Lake City South Mission
8060 South 615 East
Sandy, Utah 84070