Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Utah Ogden Mission Week 2 Report

So I took 1/2 hour a few days ago and wrote a post, inserted some pictures and alas, a phone call came in late that evening and the blogging app didn't save my post. Whoa, that was disappointing. I'll keep this one a bit more brief and post fewer pictures. It's been a rocking and rolling 9 days since our last post. We had a great fireside commemorating pioneer days here in Ogden. To Utahns, Pioneer Day is a pretty big deal complete with festivities including rodeos, campouts, parades and fireworks. The non-Mormons love to celebrate "pie and beer" day instead of Pi on eer Day, and it's fun too. Many people are out and about in their neighborhoods on beautiful summer evenings enjoying the festivities and neighborhood celebrations. 

Elder Todd D. Christofferson of the quorum of the 12 apostles kicked off the community activities last Sunday and celebrated the spirit of pioneering and community. He had learned that Ogden seemed to understand better than many Utah communities how to bridge cultural and religious divides to accomplish wonderful things. My sense is Ogden has been a healthy, diverse community for a long time. Before we came here, we had heard from naysayers that Ogden was a beat-up,  run-down, crime-ridden community. Not so. The people are friendly, the scenery majestic, the spirit of service is strong. 
We were grateful to meet a servant of the Lord and feel the spirit of love he had for so many. 

We have been busily engaged in zone conferences. Zone conferences provide an opportunity for Sister Jaggi and I, the AP's, zone leaders and office staff to train.  We have 5 zones right now with 130 young missionaries that will go to 7 or 8 zones and 180
Missionaries in the coming months. It is a spirit-filled meeting which we all enjoy. The local church's provide lunch during the mid-day. It is always delicious. We posted pictures of complete zones as well as companionships on our Facebook page (Jeremy Jaggi) and on Instagram (presidentandsisterjaggi). 

We have been impressed with the number of senior couples serving in the office and as full time missionaries from the 59 stakes in our mission. Most, but not all are retired and they serve many hours a week without "purse or script." They are humble and obedient servants of the Lord. We are grateful for them.  

Many young people have asked us recently how they can best prepare for a mission. My new advice...get a job and work. Parents should teach work to their children at a young age, through example. (Doing yardwork, helping s neighbor, cleaning the church). When older teens should get a job. Jobs help young people understand discipline, having a boss, being responsible and committed. Missioanaries who never worked have a more difficult transition to the 6:30am - 10:30pm schedule. 

The missionary schedule is packed, there are few downtimes but the work is beautiful. We attended a baptism last week and the week before. When people feel Gods spirit and recognize it, they change heir lives dramatically. Miracles are happening regularly. Sometimes, we just need to look! 

P.S. The local newspaper the Standard examiner did a brief article on the Utah Ogden Mission. The link is below. (http://www.standard.net/Faith/2015/07/08/Utah-Ogden-LDS-mission-under-new-direction.html)


Friday, 10 July 2015

Mission Interviews

It's Friday and we are exhausted. What a wonderful week getting to know individual missionaries during our interviews of all 130! I love them and appreciate them. They come from 23 different countries, 28 different states, are as different and unique as all of Gods children. They have their ups and downs but are working hard to be obedient. They love the Lord and his gospel. 

We are looking forward to hosting Elder Christofferson of the quorum of the 12 apostles at a Pioneer Day fireside this Sunday at Weber State University. The upcoming July 24th Pioneer Day is quite a celebration in Utah, including another parade in which every missionary in the mission will march. Big rodeos, cultural celebrations and fireworks will also be a part of the upcoming festivities. We are learning what it's like to be in Utah again after so many years away. 

We experienced 3 days of intermittent torrential rainstorms which made me smile and pray for California to receive the same soon. We miss our dear friends and neighbors but think about you often. Attached are some of the Zone interview photos. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Week 1 in Ogden Utah - By Emma

Hi! It’s Emma and this week is mine to write on the blog. This last Sunday at the end of June we got to the mission home. I was particularly nervous because the very next day I had girls camp with just my ward.  I had never met a single girl in person, but I had talked to a few online. I started stressing myself out because so many people were telling me how “brave I was being” and that “they would never do that” and I hadn’t thought of it as a big deal before but now started worrying that it was! I shouldn’t have. I woke up at 5 am and had to be at the church at 6. I met everyone and they were super nice. Then we drove up to girls camp. This girls camp was unlike any I had ever experienced. Some of the things we experienced included repelling down the side of a cliff, rock climbing a cliff, canoeing for 45 minutes to get to some cliffs where we cliff jumped into the water, sleeping in tents, and so much more!  We were really into activities involving cliffs I guess. It was an amazing experience! I love every single girl in the ward and they totally welcomed me in. I got back Wednesday afternoon.

The next day we had our mission introduction. We walked in and were shocked at the amount of missionaries there! There were 130 young missionaries and over 100 senior missionaries. Each person in the family gave a little introduction about themselves with pictures on a slide show behind them. I talked about my love for singing, running, hiking, skiing, etc.  After the kids introduced themselves, Mackenzie, Eliza, and I sang  “I Stand All Amazed”. Afterwards, my mom and dad spoke. It was very powerful and I am so happy that the missionaries have them to look up to.  

Yesterday for the Fourth of July, our family woke up Early to go to a parade in Plain City/ Farr West Utah. We drove in an old antique car and got to throw candy out the windows to the kids. I wont deny that I hit the missionaries walking with our car numerous times and might have chucked some of the candy a little too hard sometimes. Oops. It was a lot of fun even though it was very hot. I love all of the missionaries so much & they are like siblings to me already. Later that night I went and watched fireworks with a TON of new people from Bonneville High School.  I’m so glad I got to meet all of them and they were all nice and happy to have me in their friend group. J Today was the first day we went to our new ward! It’s small compared to our old ward but everyone is kind.  I miss all of you in CA! Be sure to come visit. :)      

                              Emma Jaggi                                                                           

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Day 3 in the MTC

Today June 27th marked 171 years to the day of the martyrdom of the prophet Joseph Smith. The 12 apostles knew it and they let us know it. Each one testified of the divinity of Joseph's calling today. Elder Nelson, Elder Uchtdorf, Elder Cook, Elder Ballard and Elder Bednar specifically taught us about Joseph's prophetic calling. 

I thought of Joseph's journal. And the prophecy that is coming to pass in this, the dispensation of the fullness of times. The last dispensation. Joseph Smith's History: He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. 

There have been many apostasy's. Adam, Noah, the Nephites, and even the Christians after Jesus crucifixion and the apostles were killed. There will not be another great apostasy. The Book of Mormon stands as the witness that despite Joseph the man's frailties and imperfections (of which we all have) he was the Lords chosen prophet for the latter days in preparation for the Lords 2nd coming. We are preparing by flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon (over 100 million copies printed and distributed to date) and tens of thousands of missionaries and members bearing witness of the truth. 

A few days before he died, Elder Perry recorded his testimony for the mission presidents seminar. He rejoiced in his own mission to Illinois and Ohio. He had a "remarkable" experience forming a branch in Marion Ohio. He wants us to help the missionaries (and I thought of our children) recognize the remarkable experiences happening around us all the time. Miracles are prevalent. 

I thought of Nephi's interaction with the Holy Ghost..."Look!" The spirit told Nephi and we will See. We can help others to Look and See the remarkable experiences and miracles around us. 

It was a delight to see Sister Shanti De Ruyter. She will be serving in Mongolia. She and her companion carried a magnificent spirit of light and service. She taught us a few Mongolian words. Whoa, it was complex! We know she will be excellent. 

We also visited with Elder Sitati from Africa. He visited Newbury Park in February. It was great to meet his wife. He spoke so highly of her and he treated her with so much respect and kindness. 

We love you and are praying for each of you. Pray for your missionaries, pray for opportunities to open your mouths. It is a blessing to have and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Day 2 in the MTC

Elder Eyring spoke this morning.  His was a special witness of the Savior. "Oh ye that embark in the service of God, see that he serve Him with all your heart, might, mind and strength..." He learned from President Hinckley a quote that he etched into a wood frame and hung in their home when his children were teens. He brought it with him and showed us with some emotion..."My Mission is to Bless." That is a mission for every human soul...to bless the lives of others. He promised us that D&C 100:1 applies to us, our immediate and extended families (all of you) "Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you...your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power." The spirit was overpowering as he made this declaration and many tears were shed by grandparents who are leaving their frail and elderly parents and their grandchildren, some with disabilities. It applies to those taking teenagers thousands of miles away, some even to finish their senior years of high school, it applies to those taking grade-schoolers who are leaving the only homes and friends they know. Families will be blessed because what the Lord seemeth good, is good for all. 

Elder Oaks and Elder Anderson of the quorum of the twelve apostles were companions today. They taught the doctrine of repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some highlights for me. Repentance is a process. Repentance requires a degree of suffering. Those who haven't repented will not stay in the church or feel really good about themselves.  Us doing our own work to rid ourselves of sin through our behavior is good, but we cannot be or feel forgiven until the Redeemer (R) is involved. The R's to repentance (recognize, repent, make restitution, recommit) are of little import without the Redeemer of the world. 

We spent an hour with Maren tonight. She is already a powerful servant of the Lord. We took pictures with her and her mission President. We also practiced teaching a group of Mandarin speaking missionaries about the importance of the Book of Mormon and Praying to God to know for ourselves what is truth. The Young missionaries are easy to love. We also met with Elder Smart from Texas and Elder Santos from Brazil who will be coming to our mission and speaking Spanish in August. It was great to meet our own missionaries! 

We love you dear family and friends. The closer we draw to the Lord, the closer we feel the eternal Union of our families. Our eternal covenants are real. We have consecrated our lives to Him. We love Him. 

Day 1 at the MTC

The day opened with Elder Bednar conducting and a fabulous missionary choir that brought us all to tears. We looked at Maren Cline (our niece who will be serving in Nagoya Japan)  in the eyes and she smiled at us and we wept like babies. The spirit is real. It comes from God to confirm the truth of all things. Elder Nelson, Elder Evans, Elder Holland and Elder Christofferson followed. They are disciples of our Lord and Savior. We learned to follow the Saviors example by "submitting our will to the Father" and were assigned to read the gospel of John and 3rd Nephi 11-19 in the Book of Mormon and count how many times the savior intimates or references submitting himself to the father. He, a God, creator of heaven and earth submitted to His Father and taught us how to do the same. If we will submit, "all things are possible." The spirit confirmed that truth that we are led by living apostles and prophets. We love you dear family.

Jeremy and Amy