Monday, July 7, 2014

It has been a long time but here is an update from New Zealand.

I guess I should explain the pictures. A pheasant jumped out in front of our car the other day.  It did not survive the impact and my companion and I decided to not let the gift go to waste.  We took it home and well.... the pictures tell the rest of the story.

I am now serving in the northern part of my mission and love working among the Maori people here.  It was hard to leave my last area as we had a lot of success and were in the process of teaching many wonderful people about the restored gospel and had several baptisms.  However I know the work will go on and I am excited for the new blessings here in Kaikohe.

We have a new mission president (President Balli) and I had the opportunity to interview with him this past week. I look forward to getting to know him better.  Already I can feel of the great love he has for the missionaries in our mission and for the people we serve here in New Zealand.  

I have learned through recent experiences on my mission that the Lord really does know each one of us and is standing ready to bless us with the things we need  if we are doing what we should and are willing to be humble enough to go to Him and ask for His help.  Sometimes He is just waiting on us to be humble enough to ask.

Kaikohe is a great place and the scenery in northern New Zealand is absolutely amazing.  My district covers all the way to the northern most part of our mission so we get to see a lot of beautiful country.  

I love this work and I love the people of New Zealand.  I hope all is well with family and friends back home. I will try to give Mom and Dad more to share in the future.  

Love Elder Jarnagin

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another Update From Elder Jarnagin

Hearing Elder Anderson speak was amazing.  I had several things that I have been thinking about lately and as he spoke I received answers to some of those questions.  One of them was why have we been working so hard and having success teaching but have not been seeing people enter into the waters of baptism.  Elder Anderson spoke about focusing on the bigger picture and it hit me that all things come in the Lord's time when it comes to this work.  Sometimes all we can do is work hard and share testimony of the restored gospel and leave it to the Lord.  Since applying this change to our approach we have really seen a difference.  We found a couple who are not currently married and began teaching them.  As the spirit has began to work in their lives they have accepted the invitation to get married and be baptized members of the church.  THE LORD'S WORK... THE LORD'S TIME.
I love being a missionary and I love serving in New Zealand.
I am really looking forward to general conference and the opportunity to hear from the prophet and apostles.
I pray that everyone back home is doing well and doing your missionary work.  Members are the key to this work being successful.

Love Elder Jarnagin

Monday, February 17, 2014

Update from New Zealand

Since the last update in December I had the opportunity to talk with my family at Christmas.  It was so good to hear everyone's voices and talk to all the kids.  Glad to hear all is well at home.
Sorry for not updating more often.  Things in New Zealand are amazing.  I have seen so many miracles in the lives of the people here.  Elder Thorpe and I are still together and the work is going great.  We have completed his 12 week training and expected that we might see a transfer but President Lekias decided to leave us together since the work is going so well.  I was called as the District Leader for our district and was quite surprised by that but look forward to the added responsibility and I am glad that the Lord trust me with this call.  
We have seen a lot of success among the people in our area and have found that the best success has come with working with the members in our ward.  We have started going out with the members of the ward council on exchanges and it is amazing how the spirit of missionary work has exploded.  Members really are the key to finding people for us to teach.  We have also had success through our own efforts to find people but having a built in friend to start off helps people make and keep commitments easier.  We are teaching a lot of people and most are progressing well towards baptism.  As we have extended invitations to them to make changes we have seen several real miracles.  There is no question who is in control of this work.  I feel so honored to be a part of helping the Lord move His work forward in New Zealand.
I have worn out 2 pairs of shoes already and thanks to Mom and Dad I just got 2 new pair.  Hopefully I can get more than 4 or 5 months out of these 2.
Elder Andersen of the Quorum of the 12 is coming to New Zealand this week and I am so excited to be able to hear from him in person.  
I have really grown to love the Samoan people.  I wish I could have President Lekias switch me to the Samoan program so I could learn the language and spend all of my mission working with them.  They are amazing and so humble.  They have such a love of family and love for the Lord.
I hope everyone is doing well and that you are doing your missionary work.  So many blessings and miracles are waiting for those who do.

Love Elder Nathan Jarnagin

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Finally an update. Been Working Hard!!

We have been really busy the past couple of months. My first companion Elder Lutes was transferred in October to a small island in our mission and is doing great there.  I was moved to a new area at that time and given a new companion, (Elder Jorgenson) he came in to the mission at the same time I did so we were both still pretty new missionaries (2 months).  We had the opportunity to work together through the rest of October and November. We had some great experiences teaching and working together.  I have really felt the Lord's hand in my life as I have served in this area.  I love the people in New Zealand and especially in the area I am working in.  We have been blessed with many opportunities to teach and baptize.
I attended a fireside in November and had a really awesome surprise there.  One of the sisters who was asked to speak and share her testimony was a sister that we were teaching in my first area when I got transferred.  I did not know she had been baptized and she was so excited to see me there and expressed her thanks to Elder Lutes and I for teaching her.  It is so amazing to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ changes peoples lives.  I am so priveleged to be a part of this great work.
At transfers in November I was called to train a new missionary (Elder Thorpe) and it has been an awesome experiecnce.  We are working hard and the Lord has blessed us with more success.  I know this is the Lord's work and I am blessed to be serving Him in this mission.
I hope everyone at home is doing well.  I apologize for not writing more.  I will try to share more in the future. 

Elder Jarnagin

Monday, September 30, 2013

                               WOW!!!!! This has been an amazing week!

This week was just crammed full of miracle after miracle. It started out great and just got better and better. First of all we had a 24 hour Trade off with one of the other companionship in the district so my companion for the day was Elder Walker and we had a great day the highlight of that day was when we went over to a former investigators home named Teresa. We hadn't even planned to go over to her house but she expressed to us that she was ready for a change in her life and we were able to set a date for baptism on the 26th of this month. She really has had a change of heart and is ready for this in her life.

The next day my companion and I were going up a hill on our bikes when we got a wonderful phone call from the zone leaders. We told them where we were and they came over and picked us up and said that we were getting our car back. Well when we got to where the car was we realized that it wasn't the same car we had before in fact no one had ever used this car before it was brand new and straight off the lot. When we picked it up it had only 11 KM/S (6.8 miles) on it. I was the very first missionary to get to drive it though because my companion forgot his license and wallet back at the flat so I drove it all the way from the mission home out to our flat and it was the most amazing feeling getting to drive again, and the week just gets better and better!

Later on in the week we had a dinner appointment with a part member family. The sister is a member but her husband is a non practicing Muslim and I will not talk about that in this letter. However, I will send it to my dad and he can write it in his own words and let you all know on the blog but I don't feel like I should share it in this letter. 

I think it’s crazy to think about how many people we talk with throughout the week we talk to over 200 people a week and we are on a stinking Island I cant imagine how many people that the missionaries talk to back home or in areas like New York! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be serving my Savior by striving to bring all unto him. I have really grown to see just some of the love that God does have for all of his children and I really do feel like these people that we teach are my brothers and sisters and that this is where I am meant to be at this point in my life.


Elder Jarnagin

From letter to Mom and Dad:

We went over to this part member families house the sister is a member and her husband is the muslim man I spoke about in my weekly letter. She is a KIWI or a native to New Zealand and she is also an active member along with her girls and he is not practicing or even following his religion. If he was we would have to have president go with us to the lessons to assess the situation but we have permission to be teaching him. For the longest time the missionaries would just go over every month for dinner with their family and that was fine with them but just before I came into the mission Charlie the husband told my companion Elder Lutes that he wanted to take the lessons and find out about our church. So, we called and got permission from president. Saturday was the first day we were able to go and have an actual lesson with him and have some dinner with him and his wife! All morning long we had been trying to decide what we were going to teach him and we had decided to teach him about God and how he is our loving Heavenly Father. While we were finishing dinner we asked him a few questions and we were able to talk about a lot of the similarities between the church and the Muslim faith! Then we felt that we should share with him about the plan of salvation because we had already been talking about the life after this and as we taught the lesson he really seemed to understand the plan and how we all lived with God and how it was to all play out. It was evident that we were not the ones doing the teaching but that the spirit was because when we went into teaching about the atonement and how Jesus Christ fits into the plan he began to tear up a little bit and get a little emotional and it was obvious that he really did feel that what we were sharing was true. He told us after that he wants his brother to come and hear what we teach as well but his bother is a full on practicing Muslim. We will probably have to take President with us if his brother is included at this point but it was just amazing to see the hand of the Lord in the life of the people we teach and specifically in Charlie’s life.

Oh yea I almost forgot to share the experience we had with the sister missionaries on Friday! Sister Rochow who is one of the sister missionaries was having a lot of trouble with her asthma acting up and couldn't get it to stop and Elder Lutes and I were able to go over to their flat and I was able to give her a blessing. When we talked to her that night she said that was the first day in weeks that she didn't have an asthma attack. So yea, that was a really cool experience!

I have been able to give several blessings so far on my mission and it is just really neat. I can’t even explain the feeling when you giving a blessing and how close you are to the spirit, it’s like He is literally standing there telling you what to say to that person in the blessing!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Lord is preparing hearts we just have to do our part!!

The very first day in the mission and the very first door that I knocked on was a lady named Maree and when we met her the first time she really didn't seem interested but she said that we could come back sometime. We went back about two weeks later and she actually opened the door and talked with us that day and we were able to invite her to come to a fireside and she seemed a little apprehensive at first but later that week on Sunday we sent her a text inviting her to come and then we found out that she had a member friend who also invited her as well. So, she came to the fireside and we are currently teaching her and all seems to be going well but that is not even the craziest part. This week when we went with the sisters to a young lady that they are currently teaching to give her a blessing we found out that she is Maree's daughter and is already set to be baptized later in the month. I really know that the lord has been preparing the hearts of these two and I am excited to see how the rest of this plays out and am even more excited that I get to be apart of this wonderful experience.

Elder Jarnagin

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"The good Lord giveth and the good Lord taketh away"

Dear friends and family

All is going well here it’s been a really long week so I will just start from the beginning.

It started out as a great week we were able to get a lot done and all seemed to be going well. Then, that's when it happened (dun, dun, dun). My companion and I lost the car. The mission had a mid- transfer intake and one of the sister companionships needed to have a car. So I guess the good Lord giveth and the good Lord taketh away. For now we are stuck riding bikes and trying to get rides from other missionaries or members. The rest of the day was really crazy there wasn't much to it but trying to get used to riding a bike on hills is a pain. The next day there really wasn't much and the entire week was just really busy had some really neat experiences this week but I won’t write them in this letter I will tell my parents and have them put them on the blog. I hope all is well with everyone I apologize to those of you that I haven't gotten back to yet but I don't have much time at the computers. I promise that I will get back to you, have a wonderful week


Elder Jarnagin

From his letter to MOM and DAD

Well on Saturday we had a lady walk up to us and tell us that she wanted to be baptized. We found out she lives in the zone leaders ward and unfortunately had to turn her over to them I was a little frustrated at first cause our teaching pool is small but thrilled for her desire to be baptized and that she came to us.

So the first P day I was here we went and had some KFC and right outside of the KFC there was a crazy guy yelling at people and swinging at people looking like he wanted to hurt someone and the police were called over to talk to him but I really didn't think much of it at the time. Then the day after we lost the car I was on my bike going up a hill when I see a man at the top walking down and I had already made up my mind to stop and talk to him but then I realized it was him. He dropped his shoes and got into a position where he was gonna swing at me and I felt something tell me to stop right in front of him and as soon as I stopped he froze mid swing and then just stood there like he wanted to hit me but like he was being constrained by someone or something. After a few seconds I felt that it was ok to keep going but that was the first really cool experience that I had this week. I really felt like I was being watched over and protected in that instance!

“riding a bike has been tough, especially on my slacks. There is one pair that will never see the light of day again”