Monday, January 26, 2015


Hello Mom!
Sorry I won't be able to write much this week but I just wanted to say I love you and all is well here. I forgot to bring my camera but next week you should get 4 to 5 pics :) 

I love you mom! I am glad things are going well down in the Burg. Haha i am glad the police in Rexburg are so eager to establish justice. Over here the cops run into stuff like that daily... They are always down where we live. We live over on 10th and Lassale, apparently that is one of the sketchiest places in the ghetto cause whenever we tell gangsters where we live they be like "Oh man! That is messed up! what you doing down there!?" :) Don't get worried though! The thugs love missionaries!

Love you Mom!
Elder Young

A ward newsletter page I contributed about Jake

We are very happy to report that Elder Young is doing stupendous! He has enjoyed several different parts of Indiana, first serving in Shelbysville in a strong member missionary oriented ward where he was able to begin learning to be a missionary and participate in several baptisms. He was then transferred to the outskirts of Indianapolis. He was only there a short time until he was transferred to Greenwood and had some great experiences of personal growth and sharing the gospel.

He was next transferred to Culver which is Northern Indiana and very similar to West Yellowstone in size and tourists. He covered a lot of small towns in this area and met some very interesting people. He had a great experience in the Culver Branch and loved the people there. While he was there, M’Lynn and Ira’s sister and her children were able to travel from Chicago and meet up with him and have lunch one day. That was awesome! J

Next he was sent to Bloomington, to the University of Indiana. He loved it there. It was a struggle to teach and work with such educated and agnostic people but it found it very rewarding and a great stretch to his testimony. He was very sad to have recently been transferred from Bloomington. The work there really moved forward. He loved the ward and made some lifelong friends.

He was just transferred to Crossroads, Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s inner-city and pretty ghetto and HE LOVES IT. His new companion is 6’6” and really built so he said he feels really safe. He has only been there a week or so and truly is having the time of his life. Here is an excerpt from his last letter:

There are some of the sweetest, most humble and loving people I have ever met, here. The best example is my boy, Brother Ricky Lane. He used to be a street-side preacher and would bring people into his church by the bus loads. He used to be a crack addict and is now sealed to his wife in the temple and is the first counselor in the Elder Quorum, AND he has only been a member for just over 2 years! He is the funniest guy I think I have ever met. He is a huge black man who is about 60 years old. He is scared of bears and black people. Haha! He always has the missionaries come over and stuffs their faces with tons of food. He is pretty much the best :)

For those who know Jake, you can tell his personality is still very much the same but we could tell from talking to him and his letters, he has grown so much spiritually and has a true love for the work, the Lord, the Gospel and his brothers and sisters. He confided in us that he now realizes that coming home (in 8 months) could prove very difficult. We assured him that most of us survived the return. J

Thank you to those who have supported him as he has served. We are thankful for you and so is he!
(His blog is: and his email is


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Wanna Roll With The Gangstas #whiteandnerdy

What up! (I am working on my intercity dialect ;)

PRESIDENT CLEVELAND SENT ME TO THE GHETTO OF INDIANAPOLIS!!! I am in Crossroads AKA the roads. This is one of the sketchiest areas of the mission and honestly the funnest :) All I talk to is black people and it makes my life! So much has happened these past few days, it is ridiculous!

Super sad to leave Bloomington, but was able to come back down to B-Town to go to the temple with Radonna and Kayla, and the Krals. What an amazing experience. Brother and Sister Kral are both blind and Brother Kral wanted to baptize his wife for his family names so I got the privilege of standing in the font with them and helping Brother Kral baptize his wife! The ride for Radonna and Kayla took them to the temple then immediately had to head back for work so we fit 7 adults into a 6 passenger compact Nissan car.... They put me on a booster seat between the two bucket seats :) It was a wonderful experience and something I will hold dear to my heart forever (especially the car seat part).

My new companion is the one and only Elder Garrett AKA the beast. He was a swimmer in High School, is super ripped out of his mind, and is 6'6"! I feel pretty safe in the ghetto with him :) We both got double transferred into our new area, which is probably one of the most busy areas in the mission. So we are super stressed trying to keep the area going, but it is going better then we thought, thanks to Heavenly Father :)

So our new ward is pretty much the epitome of what a ward out in the mission field should be like. It is an intercity ward so there are people from all walks of life there. They are very missionary orientent and are great at inviting all their friends to things; for instance we had 14 investigators at church yesterday (that includes the other 2 sets of missionaries in our ward). 

There are some of the sweetest, most humble and loving people I have ever met here. The best example is my boy, Brother Ricky Lane. He used to be a street-side preacher and would bring people into his church by the bus loads. He used to be a crack addict and is now sealed to his wife in the temple and is the first counselor in the Elder Quorum, AND he has only been a member for just over 2 years! He is the funniest guy I think I have met (he rivals in hilariousness with Brock, no joke). He is a huge black man who is about 60 years old he is scared of bears and black people. haha! He always has the missionaries come over and stuffs their faces with tons of food. He is pretty much the best :)

Funny story about Brother Lane:our investigator, Lacoyla, texted us and said she was sick and couldn't make it to church but wanted us to come over and give her a blessing. So we went over with Brother Lane and we went in and Brother Lane went over and hugged her and asked her what was wrong. She told us that her family was being very rude to her about the church and other things and it caused her so much stress and sadness she got sick from it. Well Brother Lane wasn't gonna let that old serpent get her down and he started going ham on her! He was saying stuff like "Lacoyla, baby girl, don't you let Satan get to you. He is using other people to bring you down and don't you let him do it! You are doing something so good and Satan doesn't like that one bit, so he is trying to bring you down and lead you away from it, don't let him do that!" (for the record, when black people go ham on other black people, they love it. They eat it up! Man, I wish I was black...) So we gave her a blessing of healing and she said not to cancel her ride and she came! How cool is that!? Brother Lane is definitely an inspired man of God and is a valuable servant of the Lord.

Well my beloved family and friends, I love you all and hope you are all doing well. Please pray for our two investigators Lacoyla Wood and Demetri Gaskin who are getting baptized in a few weeks! 

Love you!
Elder Young

From Jake's letter to his mama: 
Funny Story:
I am sitting in Transfer meeting. I have a pretty good idea of where I am going (I am pretty sure I am heading up North to be a district leader in Elkhart with a missionary by the name of Elder Larsen). Prior to the transfer meeting President decided not to do leadership calls, he just told us if we were being transferred or not. So I am sitting there and he starts announcing where everyone is going and the first thing he says: Alright Elders and Sisters, serving in Crossroads 1 as Zone Leaders, Elder Garrett will be serving with Elder Young... and I didn't even hear what he said. I sat there and Elder Garrett stood up and everyone was staring at me and President said "Elder Young, you here?" and I stood up and said "wait, me?" and everyone started laughing and President Cleveland said "Yep, you." I WAS IN SHOCK! It caught me off guard so bad, hahaha! So I am now a zone leader in Crossroads. Elder Garrett and I are both brand new ZL's and both got transferred into the area so it has been a super stressful couple of days! hahaha but we are figuring it all out :) So that is what has been happening to me. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

A couple of "good bye" pictures

We were over in Bean Blossom and just had to take a picture cause it is such a great name for a town.

         At one of our favorite families houses, so sad to leave! The boy wearing the name tag wouldn't let me go :)

Bye Bye B-Town :(


So many amazing friendships made with members and investigators alike. Oh I am going to miss them so much! I do know though, that it is time for me to go to another part of Indiana and share the wonderful message of the Restoration.

This week has been wonderful and sad and joyful and faith-building. :) We were able to teach a lot in the early part of the week and so we had more time towards the latter part to focus on getting the area ready for the new elders and get our temple trip finalized. We will be going to the temple on January 16th with Brother and Sister Kral and Radonna and Kayla Chandler. They have all gotten names prepared to take to the temple and are sooo excited to go! Brother and Sister Kral also have names to do endowments for so we are excited to stay a little longer to go through a session with them. I know that temple unites God's family and brings them leaps and bounds closer to Him.

Yesterday we had an awesome miracle I would like to share with you. We received an assignment to go visit a less active family where the parents are less active and the mom has pretty much sworn off the church and religion. The dad is really old and has tons of health issues so he just stays down stairs in his medical bed all day.

Their two daughters who are in high school are very active in church, are very close with their young women leaders, and are both preparing for missions, so there is some conflict in the home as a result of that. We called and set up an appointment with them and before we came the girls texted us and said their mom wasn't really wanting to meet but she hadn't put the kibosh on it yet so we tread lightly going over there. Well, we went over and just talked to the girls at first about their holiday break and the mom came in and sat down and was pretty stand-offish. 

As we asked the girls about their academic endeavors and the aspirations they were pursuing in life the mom started to lighten up and pitch in the conversation more and more. Then we shared a short message about daily scripture study and prayer. The Spirit was definitely felt there and as we were teaching them the mom started cuddling up to her girls and they gave some great responses to our questions. We committed them all to read and pray daily and all three committed! 

After we left we went to dinner at the Rogers who are very close with the family. They were elated when we came over and told us that the girls had texted them and told them that after we left their mom told the girls she was going to start reading the bible again! The two girls came over after dinner as we were saying by to everyone and as we were leaving the oldest girl said through the door "Elder Young! Thank you for the lesson today." and then she started to cry! My heart swelled so big at that moment. 

I know that that assignment from the ward council was inspired of God. He knows His children and is actively engaged in each of their lives. We were led by God to help Him touch this mothers heart. It is God who does this work, if we are faithful we get to be His vessels and witness His wonders.

I love my Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. They live and love us.

So basically I have connected with this ward the most on my mission. I have so many dear friends here in the Bloomington University ward. It was so sad to say bye to all of them. Haha, some funny stuff that happened yesterday while saying goodbye: Before church as we were opening the front doors and welcoming everyone to church Sister Louis, the Bishop's wife who is the bomb! (she reminds me of Mama Brown), walks in and shakes my hand and says "Hey there good lookin! It's good to see you!" hahaha She is like in her 60's! Old women got the hots for me, what can I say :D 

Then later that night at dinner, we were at the Rogers and Sister Rogers (who is the coolest Italian lady I have ever met) as we were saying goodbye was like "Oh I wish I could give you a hug right now!" and I said "Hey, I won't hug you but I won't stop you if you hug me." and then she pretty much tackled me, hahahaha it was hilarious :)

Well I sure love this work, it is hard but the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. I know this work is God's work.
Elder Young

Monday, January 5, 2015

Warm Regards from B-Town

Warm Regards from B-Town,

Shnikees! This week has been power packed! What a week full of miracles! I have a testimony that the Lord is truly in charge of this work and although we may not always be "reaping the fruit" of the "vineyard," the Lord always has work to be done to help his vineyard flourish.

So during our weekly planning session 2 weeks ago, we were setting goals for the week of New Years and we were preparing for it to be a pretty slow week but out of nowhere Elder Smith and I decided to just shoot for some higher goals and give our best effort to reach them, regardless the circumstances. Well on Monday we had a short preparation day because of the full day off we would get on New Years day so at 1:00 pm we were out in our area working. Well we were excited to go out and work and even more excited to work some miracles and low and behold by the end of day one we had taught 11 lessons! We were flabbergasted by how blessed we were by the Lord. So the next day we went out with the equal determination to reach our standard of excellence of 20 lessons by the end of the day and as we exercised faith we taught 10 more lessons that day leaving us at 21 lessons! By the end of the week we were able to teach 31 lessons! 

We were extremely grateful for how much the Lord allowed us to teach and we had found some really cool (and some really crazy) people who we know are prepared to receive the gospel. We realized that here in Bloomington the reception of teaching full lessons and meeting with lots of people is very difficult so to still be effective and do all we can with what the Lord has given us, Elder Smith and I developed a series of micro lessons (including a restoration, plan of salvation, and family history lesson) to teach when we hand someone a card. We have found much success with this, especially with the family history lesson. We had several people who didn't want to talk to us but after we gave them a family history card and shared our micro lesson with them, they would be very interested and some told us they would go home and check it out! We have loved this because we have learned that even when the Lord directs people into our path who aren't interested, we shouldn't give up but do all we can to allow the Spirit to jab at their heart through a triple combination of restored truth, a testimony, and an invitation. Even if they don't accept, they are one step closer to accepting in the future.

All you office fans out there are going to appreciate this next story. So we picked up a new investigator named Mark Cooper. He is single, 31, and has a daytime job at Sears and has his own independent taxi service.... (wait, it gets better). As we were walking to the Library to grab my lost flash drive I left there and we saw him walk around the corner very intensely looking at the sky. We greeted him and asked him what he was up to, and he said "Oh hey guys! I am looking at the moon!" Sure enough, he was looking at the noon day moon and he explained to us how the suns rays hit the moon and therefore we can see it. So of course we tried to start teaching him as we walked with him and he offered us a ride in his "taxi" to the library. We, of course, accepted and as we got in he had to move some of his stuff in the back seat and Elder Smith got to sit next to a finely carved samurai sword. He then followed us to the library so I could retrieve my flash drive and we set up an appointment to meet with him at the institute building on campus later that week. 

After that he walked and talked with us for TWO MILES across town on our way to our tracting area (he wouldn't leave us alone!). So to stay effective, I would talk to him and tried (I emphasize "tried") to teach him about the Restoration while Elder Smith hung back about 10 feet and would stop people and teach them as they walked past us. 

On this two mile journey he told me what he thought the purpose of life was: 1. to continue the human species 2.(his exact words) "Eat drink and be merry" (you can check out the scripture reference: 2 Ne. 28:7-8) 3. family. And if you didn't catch it from his purposes of life, he really likes women... a lot. By this point I am like "this guy is cooler than the cats pajamas!" Now he is committed to baptism and is doing great. Now to tie this into the office, Mark Cooper I kid you not, is the exact replica of Andy Bernard. He walks, talks, acts, and is just like him. It is insane! My dream is coming true! I get to baptize someone from the office! :)

ANYWAYS! that is all for this week, hope this email was long enough for you all. Hope you all have a great week and keep it real!
Elder Young