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Monday, February 29, 2016

It's Been 7 Months Now!

This is Elder Nine's mom. 

It's been 7 months now since Elder Nine's return and I realized I never uploaded the video of his homecoming. So here it is. 

As I look at this video again, I feel as if it happened just this afternoon. My heart is full of love for this son of mine. My heart is also full of thanksgiving for the man he has chosen to be and is still becoming. He is a man that loves truly and deeply, that is loyal to his family, God, and friends. He chooses to be humble and meek when it comes to following what he knows to be true and right, and to listening to counsel from the Lord and His prophets, as well as to his parents. He is a hard worker, he has a pure heart, a great sense of humor, a smart mind, and a love for serving his fellow man. He is not afraid to "face the music" and prefers to be straight-forward rather than beat around the bush when it comes to facing life. He is not one that will do whatever it takes to "save face", but rather faces his fears and confronts those moments with honesty.  

As I look at this video and think upon the character of man my son is, I pray with all my heart he will be blessed one day to find the right type of faithful, humble, strong woman for him. I pray he will always be in tune with the Spirit of the Lord so he will recognize her when he sees her. I pray together they will love and care for each other always and inspire each other all their lives so that they will make it back to Father in Heaven and be able to be together forever with their family and extended family. 

He has made us so very proud to have come this far and accomplished all he's accomplished so far, and I have no doubt the Lord is equally pleased.  I pray the Lord will always watch over him, wherever he goes in this life, and bless him with great faith, meekness, humility, wisdom, and the pure love of Christ, which is Charity. 


video

Monday, July 20, 2015

Last Handwritten Letter Home

 Elder 9's final handwritten letter & Testimony. Verbatim. 
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Hello Again!

It's me, supryze? suprise? surprise! However you spell that....

Sorry, I started off small there. (handwriting was small, he now makes it larger).  There, haha.

Well, as this is likely my last snail-mail letter, I will write, as Nephi, of the things of God. Yea, it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the mission drama or the things of the world, for behold, they suck. Wherefore, I desire the room that I may write of the things of God!

(Pause for laughter!)

I cannot explain fully, especially in writing, the blessings, experiences, and both spiritual and physical growing up I have been a part of and experienced personally in the last two years.... So, as human nature dictates, I will try to!

Firstly, if that's a word, GOD.  He is literally number one. As I have put Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ first in my life, these are the moments I am happiest, calmest (again, if that's a word), and when I have the most love in my heart.  All things are for the welfare of my soul. I am so happy that I have such a loving Father in Heaven who has such a great Plan for me. One which I may choose to follow.

Two-ly, FAMILY.  Families are VITALLY important. I see now, more than ever, the amazing influence my family has had on me. Without you, my family, I would not be who or where I am now.

I can see now, as well, the importance of marrying well, in an eternal aspect. We have the blessings of having Temples in our day, and it is of great import that we be sealed in these temples, and also do this great work, vicariously, for those who have passed, without that blessing.  It is the thing that holds us together.

As spouses work together as a team, in living, and in raising a family, they receive blessings from on High. They must love & respect one another, and care for one another. They must BOTH put God first in their lives... so on.  I see these examples in my family. I know how to do all this because I have seen it everyday in my family, and in my home. I am eternally grateful for this.

Thirdly! CPR! My spiritual resusetation (sp?), CHURCH. PRAY. READ.  Without these things, I could easily fall away from all truth.

Attending church meetings and observing the Sabbath is the way to re-new my covenants with God, reset my spiritual battery, and  grow in my understanding of the gospel.

Prayer is my personal and direct link of communication with Father in Heaven. It is a way to align my will with His. To lean upon His, and not my, understanding. Praying is an essential part of repentance, a faith-based action, and a mode of confiding in my Father. Without prayer, things would be dismal.

Reading the scriptures is a way Father can communicate back to me, a way for me to learn of His will. The scriptures teach to the understanding of all men, and make plain the things of God.  It is a primary way to increase my understanding, knowledge and testimony, of and in, my Savior, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement for all mankind.

These things are the beginning of what I have learned and become.  It's been a bumpy road, with many mistakes, crashes, and burns... But God has guided me through it all. With the help and blessings of companions and my mission president, and most of all, the Spirit, I have come out victorious, and thankfully in one piece!

I cannot explain, in enough words what an amazing journey and a joy my mission has been! I love the Lord, my family, my companions and everyone so much more now than I ever could have. My God has brought about such a mighty change in my heart that I am a stranger to who I was before... and yet I am a truer me than ever before!

Thank you, for loving me no matter what, helping me become the man I am today, and seeing the major role the Savior plays in my life. I love you dearly... see you soon!

Sincerely,

Elder Jonathan Wagner Nine
13 July 2015 


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Missionary work is difficult. It has always been so. This is why, and this is why I am thankful for my son having served his mission with all his heart, might, mind, and soul. He has come to know and love His Savior on a personal level. No greater joy could come to a parent than to know that their child walks in the path of Christ.

Thank you, Jonathan. I love you. Welcome home.



Mission Letter Week 105 - 20 July 2015

LAST P-DAY (preparation day) & LAST EMAIL HOME:


Oh I am so scared right now...I am almost about to cry...

Emily, thank you for the amazing hand written letter!! I love hand written letters and I wish I could have written more while on my mission...oh well, no big deal. :) Thank you for that and I can't wait to see you!! I will finish strong Emi! Thank you and love you!

Mama,
Got the letter! Thank you for it too. :) I love you lots.

No more boxes, good to hear they made it safe.

Church was sad...really good too. But sad. :( No singing though...it's okay...I will leave like a ghost in the night.......except for the party we will have tonight....I am just not a quiet person. :P

I have said almost all my goodbyes, my last ones are tonight at FHE, at H's place...I will take pictures and show you in person. :)

Braky, good idea on the magnet (for Emily)

Thank you for teaching me. Both of you. And Sir Braksalot, happy (belated) birthday!! We will have to have a party or something. :D Catch you in my next area, a "plane area". XD

BTW, can you set up an interview with Pres. W ASAP? Preferably as close to my getting off the plane as possible...I don't want to stretch it out if I don't have to...Thanks! Love you all lots, catch you soon!

~ Elder 9


Dad’s reply: Your appt. is set (for 4 hrs after you arrive) already.

Elder 9: dang nabit. Okay thanks! gotta bounce, kthxloveyoubye

Some of the last photos sent to us by wonderful, thoughtful members in Bakersfield:


Here is my son with my old college roommate, who just happens to live n the area he's serving in! Love them both!



 




  


Last Temple trip prior to leaving the mission. All of these missionaries are the "Departing Missionaries" this transfer.



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mission Letter Week 104 - 13 July 2015

Oh wow...I am kind of freaking out right now. This is so…unreal (that I’m coming to the end of my mission). Good to hear about Jeff  and David. Glad they returned so well, and honorably. Can't say much more or I'll get a man lump.
 

You already know the people to invite (to the open house) I think. if it's possible for the Randall’s to be there that'd be cool...but they are in San Antonio so I understand if they can’t make it.....

I am not picky about hymns.

CHANDLER IS ENGAGED?!?!?!?! Talk about freaky. I can't get my mind wrapped around this idea of life actually moving forward hahaha...it will be weird.

Good to see Daniel's reception...he looks good, and happy!

Nothing to do about the bike, it will get shipped to the house.

R is doing okay but had to cancel this week. J and B are doing well and we are meeting with them again soon, but they missed church this week. :/ We are teaching A now, a young woman, about 17...she's a really happy and genuine young lady which is strange… ‘cause most girls here are really bummed all the time for some reason...probably ‘cause they don't have the gospel...that must be it.

Yay for Sister S.!!! I love them :D The P's in our ward here are good friends with them because she is also from Brazil, so I heard they were on that trip. :D That is so cool for them!

‘Kay, I gotta get outta this room before I actually start to get trunky!!

~ Elder 9


P.S.
(After seeing a picture of Jeff with his “Welcome Home” yard decorations) I almost got sick.......It's here.....GOOD FOR JEFF! :'D Can't wait to see him again. A lot has changed...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mission Letter Week 103 - 06 July 2015

Well...it's July....I go home this month. Weird.

This week was pretty awesome, we found J and her daughter, B, who are new investigators; R, the nonmember boyfriend of a less-active in our ward, also a new investigator; and we are still teaching C and he has a baptismal date for the 25th! It's all very exciting! :)

 Emily,

Those are some good missionaries! :D I approve! And btw, Mama bragged about you going up to some people and talking to them and being awesome and brave, so GOOD JOB!! That's good practice for a mission and in general! :D Keep up your overall awesomeness. :D Love you!!

Mama,


I will send photos...but probably next Monday...because I am going to take some more today! We are going to a golf driving range! :D

WHAT!?!?!?!?! IS THE ALEX!!!!!??!?!?!?!?!?!???!!?! WHHHAAATTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No. NO NO NO NO!!! That's so awesome (that he's getting married)! :D 

Crazy about D (getting married this weekend) too!!! Freak, everyone is getting married....nuts.

I will probably ship my bike today or next Monday depending on time. It is already boxed up, I got a box from a bike shop so I am good to go...

A lot of our appointments fell through, but a few reset and they are our new investigators!!

Love you all! Talk to you next week!


~ Elder 9

P.S. - It’s okay, I am still planning on doing bike stuff. We had a breakfast here but the flag raising....sad...welcome to Cali. My companion teases me about how many hours I have left in the mission ......oi. haha! Pictures of your new business phone and laptop?? :D New Macbook, right? ;)

Mission Letter Week 102 - 29 June 2015

HELLO!

Emily, 


WOW. You are so so so right! I agree with you completely! It is so important that we keep our family together and tight. :) We support each other when no one else does!  Thank you for that, and for being awesome!

I love you so much and am so happy to hear these things from you. It's AWESOME! So keep it up!

Mama,

THE H's!!!!! It was awesome, I love them! :D It was good to see C too! :DDDDD Chipotle was great and so was the company! Good times. Definitely will keep in touch with them...

Yes, Sister M did my shirts up and they feel reeeaaalll nice! (So thankful!)

Yowza...you almost got me all teary eyed there! :') Thank you for that... I'll try not to tear down the walls when I get back - hahaha!

That's about all I got. Good week, lots of appointments set for this week, will let you know how it goes next Monday!

Braky,

Good report, love hearing about missionary work! :D Gotta bounce, sorry it is short. Gotta help the Sister Missionaries move to a new apartment. Love you all!

~ Elder 9

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mission Letter Week 101 - 22 June 2015

Okay guys this has to be short again, sorry!

Emily,

I got your letter! I loved reading about girls camp and all the stories you had to share. :) I agree, time has healed many things and I am excited to be able to enjoy our better relationship when I get home. :D We will haz many funz! Tell Sister Dixon hi for me and I love her! She is awesome...but not quite as awesome as you. :D
Gotta hurry on now! Love you bunches!

Mama,

HI HERBY LA! HI HERBY LA!!!!! :D That is awesome! Hahahaha!

Man, I wish I had some Good homemade BBQ out here....Cali folk only make tri tip and it is NOT as good!!

SARYN IS GOIN SOUTH!! WOOOO! Elder Boy and Oryang are from Alabama...Oryang is home now too! Oryang is from Tuskegee and Boy is from Decatur! That is so awesome. :D Tell her I said congrats! :) She is gonna be amazing!! Go KILL IT!!

Yes, the shirts fit okay...Sister Moon is going to try to tailor one and we will see how it turns out. :D With a fat neck like mine sport fit is still big. XD hahaha.

The hymns thing is going well and there is definitely a marked difference in our overall feelings and spirit. :) It is loverly! Nothing too crazy yet but I think it’s because the music thing is easy now so we are working on having perfect morning schedules now....talk about HARD! Hahaha.

And I know Sister Moon is the birdie in your ear about the shirts btw, haha! XD She is the best. :3

So the meeting is called District meeting and as District Leader I get to lead the meeting in most of the ways, with some delegation for things like talks and role plays...but for our "Council" I lead that and we talk about how we did the week before and what we want to focus on and do better on this next week, we set goals, make plans to achieve the goals and discuss other concerns or matters with our investigators or members...that's about it though. :) It is usually a pretty spiritual experience!

It's only about 102ºF here on average so it's not bad yet. :P

I actually do like the rolled sleeves look better, or long sleeves.......but I can't complain with new shirts, haha!

I think my waist is 42  and my inseam, I am fairly certain, is 32 but IDK for sure...and as for my waist, on top of working full time right away, I am going to be exercising a LOT...probably close to 2-3 hours a day if I can make the time in the mornings unlike I am able to do on a mission because everything is all scheduled out...so I will probably lose at least another couple waist sizes. I'll be doing a lot of cycling for sure. :P

IDK when I will ship my bike home...maybe next Monday if I can find a bike shop to get a box from first!

I got a couple waters at Rite Aid that day because Elder Whitehead and I were parched and didn’t have water with us. :P We BIG BOYS and we needz waterz! Haha!

Other than that we are doing dandy here! Love you!

Brakenstein,

Thank you, my friend, I appreciate the advice always and the love and guidance; yours and mama's advice and love and guidance is why I am here...so don't stop!

Great to hear about the job!! Man, God is really in the details. He doesn't mess around...Well, sometimes He does...but in appropriate ways. :P What does your new job entail?? Same stuff different company or something different?

Can't wait to hear! Love you guys! Godspeed, and have a good week.

~ Elder 9






Temple Trip!!