Elder Zach Jamison

By Jennifer Jamison, Woodbridge 1st Ward
Our son, Elder Zach Jamison, is serving in the Copenhagen Denmark Mission.  He has been out now for 8 months.  He is doing very well and working really hard.  He went from being trained to training his 2nd companion and is now with his 3rd companion in a new area.  The following is an experience he had just a month or so ago.  This first is my side of the story and the later is his.
I’m not sure how to start this off other than to say that my son and I had an experience that one only dreams of and can only pray that it would come true. As a missionary some 25 years ago, I would often lay in my bed at night wondering if I made a difference with what I did that day, wondering if I said everything right and if they understood my newly learned language.   It made me want to try harder the next day.  And so day after day I would work hard.  And every now and then I would see the fruit of the labors we did.  One of those wonderful days as a missionary was the baptism of a young man named Johnes.   I was transferred shortly after his baptism and he became a memory of my mission.  As the years passed, and as many who serve missions do, we wonder about those sweet memories we have.
Sister Miller (Jamison)

Johnes at his baptism with Sister Miller (Jamison) (on the right) and her companion

Fast forward to today. Amazingly, my son was called to serve in the same mission.  His first area was an area I had not served in so I kept the list of people to look up for later.  Amazingly, one day I get an email asking if I remember Johnes, that he remembered me and that he is so grateful to have the gospel in his life and that he loves the Gospel deeply still.   I replied, yes from my first area; he was my first find and teaching appointment.  He was patient with my language skills.
 The following is Zach’s side of the story.
One Sunday we were at church, in Herning, and we had a great set of meetings (Sacrament, Sunday school). We, Ældste Bailey and I were talking to some of the members and I brought up how Mom had served in Danmark. We continued to talk and Johnes asked what her name was and if she had served in Esbjerg. I responded with a yes and told him that her name was Søster Miller at the time. He said “NO WAY” “på dansk” (in Danish). I said, “Wait, you know her?” He said yeah that she and her companion were the first set of missionaries who met with him. He said, “Yeah I remember her because she was brand new and her danish wasn’t very good.”  I was like hahahaha; I was the same. I was brand new and had terrible Danish. We laughed and the week after he showed pictures of his baptism and him and his wife and my mom and her companion. Super cool to find that out. He wasn’t even in that branch; he was from Esbjerg and came to Herning because our Branch President was from Esbjerg. Super cool!!!! I gave him Moms email and they are now communicating.”
Elder Jamison

Elder Zach Jamison and Johnes

I have since been in touch with Johnes and it’s amazing to know that he still loves the gospel after all these years.  This experience has helped my son and me to know that the Lord is in all things, that no matter how big or small you think your contribution is to the work, the Lord will help touch those who seek the truth.

Love Thy Neighbor

What can you do today to light up your neighbor’s world?

Think about who is near you today. Who is physically next to you?

Is it the person sitting next to you on the bus, at lunchtime, or in class? Or maybe it’s your co-worker, the person standing in line in behind you at the store, or your brother or sister across the kitchen table from you.

What might that person need? What small thing could you do to help them?

Light his or her world! And then share.

Light the World

If you haven’t had a chance to see the newest video from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, take a couple of minutes to watch it.  And then share it!  There are so many ways to share it:  email, Facebook, Twitter, texting, word of mouth.  If each member of our stake shared this video, we could be reaching hundreds of thousands of people.  Imagine that many people finding ways to serve each other.  We could spread Christ’s love and light throughout the world.  That is missionary work at it’s finest!

Please share what service you are planning for this Christmas season. Email woodbridgestakeblog@gmail.com.  We would love to post your stories.

Giving Thanks for our Missionaries

We are grateful for our Woodbridge Missionaries serving all over the world and wish them all a Happy Thanksgiving and the Lord’s blessing as they share the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.

Final Foreign Missionaries


USA Missionaries


Elder Gordon Russell

Elder Gordon Russell, Nevada Reno Mission

Elder Gordon Russel and his trainer

Elder Gordon Russell (far right), his trainer, and his trainer’s trainer

The following are a few abbreviated highlights from some of Elder Russell’s emails home to his family.

July 3, 2017
I’m in a very small town smack dab in the middle of the state called Battle Mountain. It’s about 3000 ish people, and has maybe three or four actual brick and mortar buildings. We are 62 miles from the thriving metropolis Winnemucca to the west (abt 8000), and 70 miles from the colossal city of Elko (probably 10k). We’ve had a couple miracles in the work so far.

July 10
Wednesday was a great day for teaching. The weather has been beautiful this whole time (40% humidity) and it hasn’t gotten above 105, so biking is a lot of fun. We taught Danny on kind of the spur of the moment with no prep, but it still went really well. We also taught Teri, our super golden investigator who had just finished the entire Book of Mormon and is incredibly hyped to get baptized. The rest of her family is coming around more and more, and her kids are finally starting to get involved in the discussions.
On Saturday, we worked hard, and did a fair amount of manual labor.  We then got a chance to teach a new investigator, Ricky, who is super excited to learn… We also swung by Teri’s on an impression, and ended up helping them with a plumbing problem. A lot of work, but it felt nice. My sleep schedule is slowly acclimating, and my studies are going incredibly well. Every day in Battle Mountain is so great, so it isn’t hard to stay enthusiastic.
July 17
Saturday was nice because DJ got baptized, which was my first baptism on my mission.
July 31
Well I’ve finally been here a month. We had a pretty successful week, and finally baptized Tery yesterday. We had 9 investigators at the baptism, and it went really well. I gave a short talk and Elder Abbott did the baptism.

Elder Russell baptism

Tery is still as solid as ever, and is now a temple recommend holder and the Young Women’s secretary. This was actually a cool demonstration of inspired callings. Two weeks ago the ward called a Sister Rios to be the new YW president, but she speaks just about zero English. Neither of her counselors spoke Spanish at all, so we were all pretty confused, but it turns out Tery was to be the secretary (she is completely bilingual). Bishop wouldn’t add a second language to ward council unless there was a need coming up, so it might be an interesting ride.
Truth be told, we are almost never rejected out here. Every difficulty comes from the fact that no one is ever home. The mines are all 12 hour shifts, and each shift runs 4 or 5 days and then gives the same number of days off. On people’s days off, they are almost always out in Reno or Vegas dumping their money down the drain or are out camping. Everyone is friendly enough that if they’re home, we can teach them, it’s just tough to find people at home.
This week is doing pretty well. All of our converts are so solid, their examples really help us stay focused on the work. Tery and DJ both went with the youth temple trip this Friday, and DJ even spoke in sacrament meeting.

My current favorite [scripture] would be Alma 31:5-6

I think this is just an awesome scripture for two reasons. The first is verse 5 as a whole, in that the gospel compels people to action in a more powerful manner than violence or coercion. The second is that among all the people Alma took with him in the “dream team” Zeezrom, one of the people who was bashing with Alma and Amulek in the first few chapters, is included. He was pretty much the only lawyer in Ammonihah that felt the Spirit and was converted, and was baptized a few chapters later. Zeezrom is the only person in the Book of Mormon who has a baptismal interview, and was one of the best missionaries to the Zoramites. In fact, he was remembered later in the scriptures ABOVE the sons of Alma and Mosiah in Helaman 5:41
“You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Chist, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom.”
Zeezrom to me is a great example of how the atonement can work for anyone. His conversion is fully shown in Alma 15.

We had an awesome day at church too! We had 4 investigators at sacrament meeting, and were working with ward members and investigators through all of second hour. We had a bunch of less actives show up for the first time in months, and one of the families brought an investigator with them!
I just passed 3 months in the field.

Elder Johnson is certainly a cowboy. He has a slight accent a lot of the time, and relates
REALLY well to everyone here with trucks, ranching, and hunting. We set one of our new
investigators, Rachel, with a date! She has been reading and highlighting the Book of Mormon, and saw every session of conference except Saturday Afternoon. We also
got two new investigators this week as well, thanks to Elder Johnson’s cultural influence to help break the ice.

Elder Russell Winnemucca Zone

Elder Gordon Russell (front right) and the Winnemucca Zone

Hi everyone,
I’m at the point where I am almost through my third transfer. I love the people here and the work we are able to do. Life is going awesome, and a good area and
companion only make it better.
Oct 23, 2017
Hi everyone!
What a week. I can’t believe how quickly this transfer went by….
Rachel has been progressing really well. She has been seeing many miracles in her life recently, and is set on the 28th. We have taught her almost every other day…. and she has had many really good questions we were able to answer. Having an investigator with real intent is so nice.

Elder Russell Hilltop sunset

Hilltop Sunset

Oct 30, 2017
Hoo boy
This week has been wild for sure. Satan was fighting tooth and nail this week all the way to Rachel’s baptism on Saturday. We almost called it off, and President was involved, but when the time rolled around, all was well and she was baptized. It was awesome and the Spirit was stronger there because of [what] we all went through for this to even happen.
We also found Ricky again. He came to church.… he’s getting baptized in like three weeks I guess. However…I won’t be in Battle Mountain come Tuesday. This companionship and area was too perfect to last. I am being double transferred (both me and my companion will be new to the area) into Satellite Hills, a very small biking area on the East side of Sparks (which is the East Side of Reno). This is going to be an adventure for sure. Sunday was an awesome sendoff Sacrament meeting, and I will leave here with fond memories….
Deus Vult, Elder Russell