Elder Espinoza

Elder Espinoza
Alma 26:12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 4, 2015 Elder Jaden Espinoza is Home!

Family and friends waiting at the airport for Elder Jaden Espinoza to come home after serving a 2 year Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Later day Saints!


 There he is!!!!

Elder Espinoza!!!

Everyone is excited to see him, especially his Mom!

Elder Espinoza looking good!

Guess who was first to hug him?

Part of his last letter to me-
 Love you so much mom I really cant wait to see you! You better be up front cause I wanna hug you first! Love you mom!!!! :) Thank you for all the love and support you have given me throughout my mission. I could not have done it without you I hope you know :)

  So fun to hear missionary stories from this guy in person now instead of letters! So exciting to see how much he has spiritually grown and what he has accomplished, how much he loved his mission and how he still talks about doing missionary work even after he is officially released from being a full time Missionary. We are enjoying having him home :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Elder Espinoza's last letter....

I cannot believe that 2 years has come and gone.  This is been the fastest yet most rewarding two years of my life.  The people I have met and experiences I have had will never be forgotten and have changed and shaped my life into the person I am today.  This work is so inspired.  I was just meant to come to the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission.  I couldn't imagine serving somewhere else.  The things I have learned and the understanding I have of the gospel now is almost unreal.  It was interesting before I came out when people would tell me I am going to be so weird when I come back and not the same and I would tell them that I will be the same and not to worry blah, blah, blah.  I didn’t understand the gospel then and the importance of continual progression in this gospel and that change is necessary in this life and especially in the life to come if we want to be perfected and glorified.  So I probably am going to be really weird when I get home, haha.  That’s kind of what happens when you serve the Lord like that for 2 years!  I would just like to share with you all a few things that I have learned since coming out on a mission. 
It’s interesting the amount of people that you meet.  Member and non-member, super-rich and super-poor. The ONE thing that I have seen that brings people TRUE happiness and joy in this life is this Gospel. It’s the one commonality I have noticed from all the wonderful people I have met on my mission.  Don't get me wrong I am not saying at all that people who are not members of this church are not happy and don't follow Christ or anything but with the fullness of the gospel brings a fullness of blessing that the Lord has in store for us and that is what truly makes people happy.  Doesn't matter how hard their life is they will be happy.  It’s not just having the gospel in their lives either but it’s actually living the gospel that brings true joy into our lives.  It’s something that I don’t ever plan on forgetting and something that I plan on living my entire life if I truly want to be happy.  I have also learned on my mission that if someone doesn't understand a principle then they will not live it.  Last week when we had Elder Holland come talk to us, Bishop Causse said that understanding = experiencing.  So it is not until we experience (live) the gospel that we will understand why because then we see the blessings that come from it and see that there is nothing that this world has to offer that can compare with or compete with the joy this gospel brings.  That is why satan tries to trick us into thinking that worldly things will give us that joy.  Maybe it does for a little while but it is not eternal.  It is not long lasting.  It is short lived and in the end we will not be experiencing joy but the exact opposite of that which is exactly what he wants to feel. 
My testimony of this gospel has grown and increased to somewhere that I never thought it would.  Now it’s time to apply these things into my life if I want to really experience that true joy talked about in the scriptures.  I want to thank everyone that has helped me get on a mission and stay on a mission.  I could not have done it without all the support and love that I have received.  Thank you all so very much :)

Love Elder Jaden Espinoza

 This place is called Soda Dam. Spews out lots of water!

Climbed up into this little cave!

 Bro Haussler is the ward mission leader. Cool guy!

The Knowles. Super cool family from South Africa! Love them too!

The Biggs :) Sister Biggs is from Hawai'i!

Bishop Sheffields family! Super awesome family lol

The Clawsons. LOVE this family!

My little Jayden :) 

Bro Pinon took us up to tent rocks last Pday. It was super cool!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The first one to stand!

                                                                                    February 24, 2014
  Well last week I had one of the most amazing experiences of my entire mission. It is not every day that you get to hear from an Apostle of the Lord, the presiding bishops 1st counselor and a member of the presidency of the 70. I remember just waiting and waiting for Elder Holland to walk in the door cause I wanted to be the first one to stand lol I was the first one to stand :) The spirit that came into the room when he walked in was unreal. Totally undeniable. You just know that that man is a special witness of the Lord Jesus Christ and communes with him. It was awesome. They walked in and sat down up front then Elder Holland decided he wanted to shake all our hands so they came down and we all got in line and shook his hand. And Bishop Causse and Elder Christensen as well. Oh and Elder Villareal who is our area authority. We only had two hours and Elder Holland got the last hour. He didn’t even stand at the pulpit, he came down and walked among all of us. Lets just say I probably have never laughed as much as I did either. Holy cow he is HILARIOUS! He had us crying from laughter then crying from feeling the Spirit. Probably the funniest thing he said when he was talking about mission rules and how they're not just random. He looked at Bishop Causse and Elder Christensen and said something like, "Look at those guys, do you think they drink a quart of pickle juice every morning and think about how they can torture the missionaries!? NO! THIS ISNT BURGER KING! YOU CAN'T HAVE IT YOUR WAY! WE PUT THE PICKLES ON! WE SAY HOW MUCH MUSTARD!  He yelled it literally and holy cow we were all dying laughing! But it is so true. I was thinking about it even for everyone else. God's ways are not our ways. We cannot decide which commandments we want to follow and which ones we don’t. It’s not our decision! He is the one that knows it all. The main thing Elder Holland talked about and I was grateful for it since I am coming home sorta soon was conversion after the mission. He said quoting the Lord, (cause he can do that!) "If I am going to send the shepherds to find the sheep, then for heaven’s sake we cannot lose the shepherds." It was a great point. Too many missionaries are going less active when they get home. Something that he made us all promise not to do when we get home.  He said he cannot promise us any number of baptisms but he can ask for and promise us one convert. and that convert is ourselves. It was just a super spiritual meeting and I cannot with words describe it. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Apostles are on this earth now and that they lead us and guide and will and can never lead us astray! Well, this is my last week. Kind of crazy. But I have one more time to email. Love you all!

Love Elder Espinoza

Elder Berryhill and I. We have been good friends since the beginning of his mission!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The best week we have had!

                                                                                     February 17, 2015
  Last week was by far the best week we have had! The Lord totally blessed us through our diligence and hard work. The plans we made actually all happened plus some! It was a really busy week needless to say. The lessons we had were also very spiritual. As missionaries we are to teach the doctrine of Christ through every lesson that we teach. Which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. Its amazing how those principles and ordinances go with every single lesson and how investigators realize the importance of it.
   So that guy who came to church last week came again except this time he was way pumped! It was awesome! He kept saying how excited he was for church. We are hoping to be able to finally teach him this week. He is so ready! He even participated in Elders Quorum! It was amazing. So many great things are happening in our area now :) 
  On Saturday we are blessed to have Elder Jeffrey R, Holland come to our mission. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this! Probably the best way to end my mission. I have been reading all his talks in the ensign and anything else I can find by him. It’s amazing to study his words and see the kind of man he is. Truly a disciple and Apostle of the Lord. So I am very VERY excited!!! :)
  So sorry this is so short but we have to leave early today! But I will share something that hopefully I haven't shared before in an email and if I have oh well :)
  So our Sunday school lesson was on the organization of the priesthood. It’s amazing how organized it is! But it totally makes sense to me that it would be so organized. #1 God is a God of order and not the author of confusion and #2 look at his creations. Does the way this world work not have order? When it’s 32 degrees water  freezes. Is that not order? Of course you can do stuff to make it not freeze at that temperature but is that not order as well? The way things work in this world is all order so the priesthood must have order and everything that is led by Christ must have order. Just a cool thought that I had! Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!!!!!!!

Love Elder Espinoza!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How do we become like the Savior?

February 10, 2015
  Well last week we had a wonderful miracle happen! A member brought a friend to church that actually lives in our area! I guess his friend was very nervous about coming to church. So nervous that he didn't really get any good sleep the night before! We talked to him after church and he was amazed at how much he loved being there! He even said how he didn’t even look at his watch once to check the time. That’s better than me! lol He completely agreed with everything that was being taught and said it all made sense to him and that his wife was excited about it all and would be there next week with him! Not sure if they have kids though. But it seems like he wants to come to church a few times before he starts meeting with us and the member isn’t pushing him at all to meet with. Definitely don’t want him to feel pushed! But hopefully we can start meeting with him sooner! He also said that maybe he will be a convert but he’s not sure yet. We hadn’t even said anything to him about that at all. So looks promising! Miracles are always happening in the Lords work!
  So since I have been doing the PMG Christ like attribute survey/study/activity I have realized so many important things. One thing that has stuck out to me is how Satan works. He uses pretty much the same things that Heavenly Father asks us to do but of course he twists it a little bit to draw us farther away from God. And for some reason the first example of this that came to my mind (and it’s kinda funny/weird) was the rapper Eminem or Slim Shady. Not dogging him or anyone that likes him at all it is just an example of how Satan works to me. So of course this same principle works for just about anything else that we idolize but there are MANY people who idolize Eminem. Idk how many white boy wannabes I’ve seen wanting to be like him lol And in fact if I remember correctly my little brother Jordan and I used to have lots of his songs memorized and Jordan even bleached his whole head blonde to be like Slim Shady hahaha Now that may not be the reason why he did but if I remember correctly it was! Anyways so these people that want to be like him, what do they do? They walk, talk, dress, act and copy anything that Eminem does! They listen to all his music and have posters of him EVERYWHERE and in some cases make him their highest priority. These people know everything there is to know about this rapper as well. Now who would be influencing someone to do that? To put someone before our Maker? Of course Satan! I found it very interesting that that happens ALL the time in our world today. Now back to PMG Christ like attributes. Sure we can read all about our Savior and learn of the things that He did. Which is good don’t get me wrong. But how do we become like Him? We do those same things that all those wannabe Eminem followers do. Do and say and talk like the Savior. We don’t necessarily have to dress like He did haha but Until we LIVE like the Savior we cannot BE like the Savior. Of course it involves lots of study but almost more important than the study is the application of who the Savior is. I have seen myself grow so much in these past few weeks I have been doing this. I find myself thinking more and more of what the Savior would do and what I need to do to be more like Him. His attributes have been more manifest in me than I think they have been my entire mission. So I found it interesting that what our Father asks of us is the same thing Satan does for all these other people. Satan is just really good at tricking us.
  Anyway just a few of my thoughts that I have been having lately. Its been hard to put it down in words but I hope maybe this will help anyone who is maybe wanting to come closer to the savior. 

Love, Elder Jaden Espinoza 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hello everyone,
        Last week was a busy one!  It’s amazing when the plans you make with people actually happen, lol.  It’s also amazing to see the Lords hand in this work.  It’s always nice to remember that this is not Elder Espinoza's work nor our mission president's but the Lord's!  
        We had three investigators come to church on Sunday!!! We are hoping to set a baptismal date with one of them this week. She is the one who was on a date previously.  I would LOVE to see her get baptized before I go home.  We are working on getting her solid fellowship.  She already does but that member got called to be the YWs president so now she is soooo busy!  
        So it’s been fun :) We are still having a hard time finding new people to teach but we are still working hard at it and know that the Lord will bless us in due time through our diligence.  We also found out some sad news yesterday :/  Our apartment lease will be up in a month which is when the transfer is over and our mission president is shutting down like 12 areas this transfer or something and last transfer none got closed in our zone so it’s looking like its gonna happen for our district.  Sad :/  But it will be the Lords will we know that.  It’s weird how when I first came out our mission was tiny and we were the biggest influx of missionaries ever and then it kept happening and now it’s almost back to how small it was when I first got here!  I wonder what it is that the Lord has in store for this mission.  Whatever it is, it will be awesome!
        So we finally got the family mission plans and should be implementing that into our dinner messages and see what happens!  It’s a pretty exciting time to be here :)  Things are going great!  Well today is a short one sorry!  Hope you all have a wonderful week! Love ya!

Love Elder Espinoza

 Elder Stevens and I

 Its blurry cause it was SO cold outside but we had Elder Pattison with us for a few hours so we went and took a pic on top of a huge hill lol

There's this little girl named Jayden who LOVES me haha so she drew me this pic.
(Notice she circled the y in her name. Cute!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Some of the most exciting news of my entire mission!


          Well last week was pretty slow!  My comp got sick so we were out for a few days but now we’re back to work and ready to work hard!  Still good things happened last week.  Our ward council is pretty on fire right now it’s awesome.  They set a goal for each active member to refer at least two people to us for the entire year and it averaged out to 10 a month.... we aren't even averaging 1 a month right now so we are excited!  We will also be introducing these family mission plans to each family as well.  I did it in another ward and it did amazing things for the families that actually used it. We have members assigned to come out with us 5 nights a week now so things are going great in this ward :)  We were both asked to give talks on Sunday about sharing the gospel.  Sounds like we did a pretty good job I guess.  Missionary work just might be my favorite gospel topic to talk about. Not like I've been doing it for the past two years and have given tons of training's on it or anything lol ;) 
          So just found out probably some of the most exciting news of my entire mission!  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is coming to our mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I remember when I first got here I had heard that Elder Christofferson had just came so I was bummed out because I didn't think I would be able to hear one come and speak to us.  I've had lots of general authorities which is cool.  Not only him but the Presiding Bishop is coming and so is Elder Christensen from the Presidency of the 70 so we got some big dogs coming through!  Also Elder Holland just so happens to be my favorite apostle so I am way excited!  I remember when he came to the Pasco Stake but I was a knucklehead back then so this time around will be way better!  He comes at the end of February so RIGHT before I go home. Tender mercy if ya ask me!
          Lately I have been so amazed at how the Lord works and as we submit our will to His will things will ALWAYS work out to our benefit even though we may not realize it at the moment it will.  I heard this story of this guy in our ward who works for big business and goes to all these meetings throughout the country and one time he was in Vegas I think and after the meetings he would go sit in his hotel and not go out because they would all drink and what not and he didn't like that stuff.  So one time he had a strong impression to go out with them so he called his wife and told her he was going and why.  So he goes and sees this guys who looks very homeless and has an impression to sit by him.  So he does and starts talking to this guy and turns out this guy was an RM and after he was home he fell into the wrong crowd and his family ended up kicking him out.  This kid didn't even know the guy that was talking to him was a member but he finally told him and also told the kid that he needed to call his parents right then and there and to make a long story short this kid recently emailed the member in our ward and told him he is now active and has a calling and is doing great. How amazing is that? What if this member did not follow the prompting of the Holy Ghost to not only do something he didn't want to do but to also go into a place where we as members probably should not be??  That kid could still be out on the streets right now. That’s just one story of the many that have blown my mind as to how the Lord works.  He has so many things in store for us and all we need to do is live our lives to be worthy of the companionship of the Spirit then follow what it prompts us to do :)

Love Elder Jaden Espinoza