So I don't head out for my mission for almost two more months from now, but...I thought it'd be good to outline the purpose of this blog and talk a bit about how it will work.
This blog is meant to do two things. First, it's to serve as a way to keep my awesome friends and family closer to me as I head out for two years. Even though most of those closest to me were already far away, attending many different colleges or living in many different countries around the world, I had facebook, email, Skype, texting, and telephone calls that helped keep relationships strong and bridge distances. But as most of you probably know by now, mission rules (meant not to restrict, but to aid me in staying 100% dedicated and focused on my mission) dictate that I may only call home twice a year-- on Mother's Day and Christmas. Email is generally only allowed between family members, although email rules vary from mission to mission. So maybe I'll be able to shoot you guys a few, maybe not. Mostly, though, my communication with you will be through snail mail. My address while I am in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) will be:
Elder Joshua David Jones
Chile Santiago West Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604
This will only be good for the first two months or so of my mission (thru about October 10th, 2011). Once I am in Chile, my address will be:
Elder Joshua DAVID Jones
Misión Chile Santiago Oeste
This address will get mail delivered to me about once a month or so, as it will just send mail to the mission home (kind of like missionary headquarters) for my particular mission, and whenever we have a big meeting I can pick stuff up there. For more consistent or avid writers, a more specific address will be available to you through the letters we exchange. That address will get mail delivered right to the apartment I happen to be living in at the time.
Anyway, this blog will be updated by my mom through emails I send her, and this will help anyone who's interested creep (in the best way possible) and see how I'm doing.
The second reason I'm making this blog is to provide anybody who's interested in the purpose behind my mission with an opportunity to learn more about the church, its doctrines, and understand better why I'm on a mission. I hope you won't be afraid to ask questions of me, my family, other members you know, or missionaries in your own area. My prayer is that some (if not all) of you will be prompted to discover for yourselves the truth of the Book of Mormon, praying and asking God to help you believe that the gospel has been restored, that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God and the Savior of the world, and that you can be happier than you can possibly imagine by accepting these truths into your lives.
But I'll talk a little more about why I'm going on my mission in my next post. It's time I went to bed. I have to start packing for my mission soon, too, since we're headed back to the States to vacation until I report August 10th.