Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Merry Christmas from Jake! Washington DC North Mission 2015

Jacob Kohler

Dec 7 (1 day ago)

Jacob Kohler

Dec 7 (1 day ago)
to me

-Elder Jacob Reed Kohler

-Elder Jacob Reed Kohler

December 7, 2015

Want to start out by saying a happy late birthday to my dad from this last week! That man has taught me a lot throughout my life and I owe a lot to him! Thanks dad for all you do for me! I love you and I hope it was good! 

Well we started out the week with our temple trip so that was super cool! Definitely a good way to start off the week! I have come to love the temple so much from being here and I will definitely day to everyone GO TO THE TEMPLE!! Whether it in inside or just going to be outside on the temple grounds it is so great to be there and experience it!! The spirit is always so strong there! 

Then we have started this thing here called the Elder Ballard challenge, it's where we have to talk 10 people at least every day! So we have been knocking more doors and walking around talking to more people! It's been getting cold which sucks, but thanks to my new jacket (love you mom) I've been good! The other day we ran into a guy who spoke English and right away invited us in to warm up. We talked for a while and he had some pretty crazy stories! He was from Palestine  and so told us a lot of stories from the "motherland." But the cool thing was he told us about going to the garden of Gethsemane and the different places of Christ which was really cool to hear about! 

We also have started this thing which is super cool called "The Festival of Lights" which is awesome! It is pretty much a little version of the salt lake temple lights! And then they have a different concert every night! So we have already taken people to two of them and they've been great! We went with a family in a ward who are one of my favorites for sure! And then another with a less active who we've been working with for a while and he is super cool too! We saw an orchestra and a swing band and they were both super good! We're trying to get as many people out to them as we can and hopefully we will get some investigators out of it! 

Then we had our interviews with our president and they went well! He told me how Christmas will go and I'm pretty excited for it! Then he told my companion he is leaving the area which is crazy! I don't really know if I'm staying or leaving yet but I will have a new companion a week from this Wednesday! So I'm excited to see how it goes! I hope I stay cause we have stuff we are working on with less actives and our new investigator that my comp and I don't want to have some people who don't know our area to have to come in and figure it out! But it is all in the Lords hands so we will see how it goes! 

Then we finished it off with our Christmas zone activity today which wasn't too shabby! We had breakfast made for us which was great, a gingerbread house making contest which I ate more than I built, then we had a "snowball fight" with socks which wasn't bad either! (They were new socks luckily) then we just all hung out and played some sports which is always a good time! I got to play some soccer which always makes me happy! 

All together things have been going well and we are working hard! It has been tough getting to meet with our investigators lately which is hard. We are doing our best, but if everyone could pray for us to be able to meet with them that would be super helpful! 

I love this time of year and the opportunity to serve and share the Christmas spirit! To remember all Christ has done for us in his life! He gave his life so we could have the opportunity to be happy forever! In this time of year it is super important to remember all of that! So keep that in mind and also if you haven't already check out the new Christmas videos on the church's we site! https://www.mormon.org/christmas 
I love you all and I hope you have a great week! 

-Elder Jacob Reed Kohler

November 30, 2015

A good week of giving thanks for sure! Things have been going well here! We started the week with a zone finding activity which turned out to be really cool! We set up tables down town with a big paper on each and asked people to write down things they are grateful for, as well as handed out cards for "The Festival of Lights," which is pretty much like the lights at temple square and they have concerts and things going on every night in December at the temple! I got to talk to a lot of people and a pretty solid amount in Spanish. I even got to give away a Book of Mormon to a Lady who seemed pretty interested! Great experience!

Then my comp and I were kind of looking around for some new investigators as we have had some problems lately with ours not keeping commitments. We ended up checking on a former investigator and he is really interested! We got talking with him and he pretty much just told us his life story! His dad and sister passed away from cancer and now his girlfriend has it so he is having a really tough time with that. We were able to share about the plan of salvation a little and he said he felt a special peace when he talked to us. I was able to bare my testimony about the spirit and we told him our message is the truth and can help him in his life. He wants to meet with us again and we are super excited to work with him! 

We then had thanksgiving and it was a pretty good day! We started the day only having one appointment during lunch and we had no clue what to do the rest of the day since we weren't allowed to proselyte. We were just getting ready for the day when we got a call from two different families asking us to come over for some food and to share a message! And the day ended up being great! I got some turkey and good desserts along with lots of rice haha. I was very thankful for it all! 

We finished off the week with having a ward play on family history and it was really... Interesting? They put a lot of hype into it and it was just kind of a funny play even though it wasn't meant to be haha. Reminded me a little of the Spanish soap operas my great grandma used to watch haha. Good times! 

Well I hope everyone had a good thanksgiving! The scripture I'd like to share with you guys is 2 Nephi 9:52! It is about praying to God all day in everything we need! Even the little things! And then at night we have to thank him for his hand in our lives and for all the blessings we have! I can promise you it'll bring you happiness and God will be able to rain down more blessings upon you! I love you all and I hope you have a great week! 

-Elder Jacob Reed Kohler

November 23, 2015

Another solid week! So this week started off with a lot of member appointments and a couple meals. 
First I'll share a funny one! So we had correlation and then a meal appointment after, as we were driving to correlation we got a call that it was canceled so we called our appointment and asked if we could come early. He said we could and we headed there. As we walk up to the door we can hear the tv loud on some kind of sports game. As walked In I noticed it was soccer, then realized it was the Barcelona-Real Madrid Classico! He is a huge Barcelona fan and said he wasn't going to turn it off, and we didn't want to be rude so we just enjoyed it. It was funny but also super nice to be able to watch some soccer! It's been forever! Haha. 
At one of them I had a really cool experience! So we have a lady who had been a convert for about a year who invited us over for dinner. She is new but reminds me a lot of my mom! Super nice lady, lots of energy, and has a super strong testimony! You would never guess she is new to the church! We went in to teach her and were actually talking about testimonies. And she said she knew she had a testimony, it was just hard for her to share it cause she felt it wasn't very strong. I shared my first impression of her and how strong her testimony really was and she came to tears and kept thinking my companion and I. I really felt the spirit and knew it guided us to help her see how strong her testimony really is! 

This week we did a lot of service too! We helped at an event that was for a group called the IFC? It's the interfaith corporation or something? Pretty much it is a group that tries to support similarities in all the Faith's instead of fighting. So they had an event where people from different faiths sang and danced and gave speeches and it was pretty cool! We were able to do service by helping out with directing people and helping set up. It was really cool to see the different faiths and their traditional practices. 
We also did service at a soup kitchen! (Reminded me of the movie the other guys and I laughed) but we helped get food ready for homeless people. They do a big thing where they give free food to homeless people for thanksgiving and so we helped prepare a lot of the foods. We opened a ton of cans and cut pies and what not. It was cool to help them cause we burned through everything so fast! 

Lastly one of my favorite parts of the week! We had stake conference which was amazing! We had President Nelson come and speak to us and it was so cool! He came with Elder Hallstrom from the presidency of the 70. They were both powerful and great speakers! The spirit was so strong all the time! They came because it was the 75th anniversary of our stake, and we were getting a new stake presidency. They gave some powerful talks and it was also cool to hear from the old and new stake presidency. As well as our mission president spoke which was cool! 
Some of the highlights were they elder Hallstrom talked a lot about missionary work. For missionaries, but he talked more for members! The members are some of the greatest missionaries we have! It can be hard at times for missionaries to get that close relationship that a member can have! So it's important for members to work hard to be examples and missionaries always. He also talked about reverence and how it doesn't just mean being quiet. But being reverent is something we can do every day. We can show reverence in all our daily actions by choosing to do what God would want us to do, rather than what our natural self wants us to do. We need to think more to our spiritual side than our natural. 
And then President Nelson started off the first session with a crazy cool thing! He told a story of one of the old members of the 12, Elder Brown. They were at a temple dedication and were there with the wife of one of the members of the 12 who had just passed away. He told how Elder brown walked up to the wife and said, "I was with your husband last night and he wanted me to tell you he is doing alright, and that he loves you very much." That was crazy to hear, and then President Nelson went on to say he understands what Elder Brown meant now because he could feel the presence of the past stake presidents there! They had the six living stake presidents there and he said he could feel that the other six were there on the other side of the veil happy about the decision for the new stake president! It was honestly the coolest feeling of the spirit at that point! He continued to talk about how we aren't alone. How there are spirits guiding us now our lives! Guardian angels even who can help us and comfort us. This was super cool to hear from a prophet as I have had some pretty cool feeling about this before! He also talked about the atonement quite a bit! He talked about how it is the center to all our teachings in our church. And how understanding the atonement is the best thing we can do! In plain terms, it makes bad people good, and good people great! It helps strengthen us and guide us when we need it most! Thanks to all Christ did for us we can always have help to be better! I know and have seen that so much here! I am also so thankful for that! 

I also wanted to share Mosiah 4:6-7 which talks about the atonement! If we put our trust in the lord, than through the atonement we can have salvation and be happy forever! We just have to have faith and act on that faith! I'm so for the atonement and all it does! Study it up if you can! I love you all and have a great week! And a happy thanksgiving! 

And lastly congrats to Kayla and TJ on the wedding! So crazy to see pictures and hear about! I hope you guys have a happy marriage and remember God in all things! 

-Elder Jacob Reed Kohler

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

First off just want to say to Luke that I hope you get well soon! Sorry to hear about the injury bud! Good job to Selma on your talk it sounded great! And congrats to Abby 
It was a good week here! Nothing too crazy to be honest. We had transfers which was cool. Always nice to see all the people from the mission. And it is cool to hear testimonies of the people going home and to get some advice for what to do! 

Other than that we had a good lesson with an investigator and are getting her closer to coming to church! It is a slow process, but she is becoming more open to the idea! Then we have been working with some less actives and they are doing a lot better! 

We also had a activity at the visitors center called Why I Believe, that I think I've mentioned before, but we pretty much have a guest speaker Come and talk and it is always super cool! This time was our stake president of the ward I'm in! And it was a really good talk! It was also cool cause we have heard whisperings that we are getting a new stake president! Which is interesting considering President Nelson is coming! So we are thinking our stake president might be ordained to the 70! So we are excited to find out more about that, and also to hear from president Nelson this next week! 
So big things coming up and for now just working hard and trying to get there! 

I also wanted to share D&C 62:3, it is all about sharing our testimony at every chance we can! And that these testimonies are recorded up in the heavens! Which blesses not only the people we share them with but also us ourselves! And since Abby got her blessing which is super cool! I just wanted to say how they are so important! And if you haven't gotten one I'd definitely recommend it! It is such a testimony strengthener! And it will guide any that look to it! And if you have one read it often! It is there to bless you but it can't if we don't use it! Much love everyone and have a good week! 
(Pictures of my last district, my room mates, and me making pasta) 

-Elder Jacob Reed Kohler

November 9th 2015

(This one has the date)
Hola mis amigos! Hope all is good! This was a good week looking back on it! Had some troubles getting appointments with investigators, but also blessings! We started off the week by checking on some people who used to be investigating the church and stopped for some reason. We decided it would be a good idea to go with a member in our ward. So we invited our ward mission leader and got right too it. Parked our car In front of the first house who didn't answer, and kept going through all the formers in the neighborhood. We ended up getting 2 return appointments!  As we were walking back to the car, I had a feeling we should knock the first door again. So I told the other two and we walked back up and knocked. This time the lady we were looking for answered and invited us in right there! We talked to her and she said she would love us to come back and visit! So it was super successful! Having members go out with missionaries gives extra blessings! So help out your missionaries! 
Next we got to go to the temple do to a session and it was amazing! It was my first time in this temple and the feeling was so cool! Just to be there with all the missionaries in the temple was a great feeling! 
This week we also had call outs, which is where we find out if we are leaving or staying in our area, then at transfers we find out exactly where.  So we had to be in early, but they didn't come out till late! So we decided to play some uno waiting for them, and it got pretty intense! Forgot how great that game is. So we waited and found out my comp and I will be together transfer in our area! Which we are super excited for because President Nelson is coming to our stake in two weeks! And I really have come to love this ward! They are all so great and so nice! And they feed us A TON! 
Then this week at church was the primary program which was cute and hilarious! You can't help but smile seeing those kids trying to sit still! I also feel like my Spanish is getting way better! We had a member bring her little brother who just got here from Honduras. She walked up to me and said he didn't speak English and asked if I could show him around, then take him to the young mens' class. First I thought, "crap I don't know enough Spanish for this!" But I just decided to try and see how I could do! And We talked a bunch! Just small talk getting to know him, but I understood everything he said and was able to respond! The gift of tongues is real! And I know I definitely had the spirit there helping me out! 
Then that night we had a missionary stake training and I ended up singing In it with my room mate, my zone elder, and two other guys I know. It was kind of short notice and we threw it together quick, but it was fun and turned out pretty good! My roommate and I might sing in the Christmas talent show at the VC! So we will see how that goes. 
So all in all a good week! Oh and hit four months this Sunday too! So that is crazy! Time has been flying by! And I'm enjoying every bit of it! 
Lastly I want to share a scripture I read that is so great! It's Alma 36:27. If we can put our trust in God, we will support us In our trials and deliver us out of some of our hardest times. It doesn't mean we won't have hard times, and it doesn't mean we don't have to try. We have to put our trust and faith in him, then show it in our actions. And it might be hard, but it will be bearable! I promise you that! I know cause I've seen it in my life here as a missionary, as well as before when I was back home. I've seen it way too many times to count! So put a little more trust in God this week and I promise you will see blessings! Much love everyone and have a good week!  
-Elder Jacob Reed Kohler

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Well this week wasn't as exciting but it was a good one still! We didn't have as much success with our investigators. So we focused a lot of the members and less actives which was really nice! And did some more contacting which wasn't bad either. One of the fun ones was the Alcivar family! We went and did a little family home evening and their less active son stayed to listen which he doesn't always do! And they invited over a friend who seemed pretty interested too! We talked about the power of the priesthood because their grandson got it this past Sunday! It was a cool lesson and after we sang happy birthday to Hermano Alcivar and had some cake which was awesome! 

Then this guy who is in my roommates ward is starting his own soccer company! And is selling these soccer balls! So of course I got one! Then he called my roommate and asked if we would take a picture and send it to him and he would post it on Instagram! So that was pretty cool! 

I also got to help with the kids mutual in our ward this last week! We got there and they didn't have any games planned, so thanks to my good times in Alta stud gov with all our brain storms for assemblies I was able to think up some relay races and games and the kids loved it! So thanks to Pack and my stud gov friends!
Then we had a super cool zone activity today and we were in charge of making soup so we did that last night with our roommates which was cool! Then today for the activity we had a bunch of competitions and one was a relay race where I had to eat one fourth a pie without using my hands and I finished first which was awesome but I didn't eat anything after haha. And I also got wrapped up like a mummy which was chill! Then we got to play soccer and I couldn't have been happier!! It was the first time we had a real soccer game since I left and I was in heaven! A great scripture is alma 36:3! Because God supports us in all our trials is we come unto him! Love you all and have a great week! 

Oct 19, 2015

It's been a super up and down week! This one was a little tough at times, but I'm still pushing through with a positive attitude! And that has driven me for sure! I had a couple of cool stories this week that helped me see the hand of God in my life!

One was we went knocking to an area that we had never been to before. We went and there were no Hispanics! So we had A LOT of doors slammed in our face haha. We went up to one door with all the lights off but one window. It was a little creepy, but we decided everyone should have a chance to accept the gospel. I knocked and as soon as I pulled my hand back my comp said, "we need to turn around and walk away right now." As soon as he said that I got the most uncomfortable feeling I've had here. It was this creepy feeling and you could feel the spirit wasn't in that home. I was a little scared as we walked away checking over my shoulder, but knew we'd be ok as we followed a prompting from the spirit to just walk away. Then on a brighter note we knocked into a Jewish couple who were so nice! We knocked and the husband let us know they were Jewish and not very interested, but he did have a question. He asked that he noticed in some churches got statues and such they have Jesus on the cross or in a harsh or sad situation close to his death. And that we he visited our Visitors center and saw the Christ statue and we was standing and very much alive and well. He asked why, and my comp jumped right on it with a perfect answer! He said, "we believe in a Jesus Christ who is living today and leading our church. He has a body and is well and always here to help us." The man thanked us for stopping by and gave us one of those two handed heart felt handshakes. So it was a good note to finish on! 
Then we had the opportunity to go to a dinner for the volunteers of the 5K we helped with a little bit ago! So we went on an exchange with the ZLs to get there and as we walk up we notice it's at a Pub! So we just have 30 missionaries walking into a Pub and it was hilarious! We had our own private room, but it was pretty much 30 missionaries and maybe 10 other volunteers from the 5K. With an open bar in a Pub! It was way funny cause it was an open bar and there were just lots and lots of waters all around! But it was a good missionary activity as there were about 3 missionaries to another person at a time! Just talking about life and being an example of what we believe in! I loved it! 

We then had a ward night for all of the Hispanic culture in our ward! There are people from all over here! It was cool to see all the foods and the dances and signing! Had some tamales, that reminds me of of the grandparents bakery in Arizona! 

To finish I want to share an cool story from this Sunday! Like I said this week was tough at times! Really up and down. So on Sunday in sacrament I just started to pray. I prayed really hard for some answers and also for comfort. I asked to feel the spirit and to feel Gods love. And at that moment I can't even explain the spiritual feeling I felt! It was overwhelming. I felt like my body was vibrating, it brought tears to my eyes, and I couldn't help but smile. I know at that very moment my prayer was answered and I felt the pure love of Christ through the Holy Ghost.  I also had a feeling like I could feel someone there with me, helping me through it. And Grandpa Kohler came to my mind! I know that him and others are on the other side of the veil pushing me on and helping me feel that love and support! I know that you guys can feel just as powerful of a feeling if you will pray and put all your heart into asking Heavenly Father for help! I know you can feel love and support in your hardest times! And that one of the best places we can feel that is in church during the sacrament! 

A good scripture to go with it is 2 Nephi 32:9! The whole chapter is only 9 verses and is all good but 9 specifically talks about doing everything with a prayer in Christ's name! And I promise if you guys do that you'll feel a difference in your lives! I love you all and I hope you have a good week! 

-Elder Jacob Reed Kohler