Monday, August 28, 2017


So this week, Elder Pennington's Preparation Day was moved from Monday to Friday because it was the week they were assigned to attend the temple in Redlands, California.

But, Jon realized that he missed uploading some pictures from the last few weeks so these are going to be loaded into this week's blog post.  ENJOY!!!

The 3 from Tennessee
The 3 from TN being the stars on the TN flag

Bro. Brinton was my taxi driver to Perris

So proud of my Greenie Elder Avei who is training a new missionary now

Me and Elder Olsen #2

My last Sonic run with Elder Brinkerhoff before he heads home

Elder Pennington with the "Little Lake" sister missionaries

Elder Pennington is so proud of his 3 former Greenie's
who are all Zone Leaders in the mission now.

Elder Pennington with the "Ramona Hermanas"

Elder Phister and Elder Pennington

Elder Rose and Elder Pennington at the
Redlands California Temple

Elder Whiting and Elder Pennington at the Redlands California Temple

All the Elders in the new Zone

Exchanges with one of the AP's - Elder Anderson

Exchanges with the other AP - Elder Parson

Group picture on Interview day with the mission president - Pres. Hammon

Eating a weird fruit

Monday, August 21, 2017


Elder Rose, in the library on P-Day

So this was Elder Pennington's first week in his new area in Perris, California with his new companion Elder Rose who is from Syracuse, Utah.  He is really enjoying working with him in his new ward.

Lisa received a video from him with the missionaries in his previous zone singing the "Happy Birthday" song which she absolutely loved and the best birthday gift she could have asked for from her missionary son.

This "itsy bitsy" spider climbed into Elder Pennington's bed!
Elder Pennington sent some odd pictures this week.  One night he came home tired, pulled back the sheets, and found this hairy little spider hanging out.  This, on the other hand, did not make his momma happy!

Putting "N's" in the M&M's
And last, but not least, he sent this picture.  He has discovered that the M&M company is now actually putting "N's" on some of their chocolate candies now.  He thinks he may have uncovered some type of conspiracy!!  Lol

The best news of all that we received this week though is his flight itinerary.  His flight has been booked, and he will be back in Memphis once again on Tuesday, November 7, 2017!

Monday, August 14, 2017


Just received the transfer phone call...
So, I have been transferred!!  My new area is the Perris Ward here in Perris, California – not Paris, France :/   I came back to the Menifee stake so my old area is just 10 minutes away!  My companion is Elder Rose and we are excited to work!  We are called Perizzites (Exodus 3:8).  I no longer have any other extra responsibilities except missionary work so that is going to be a pretty nice change!!

Our sweet ole investigator - Sister Logan
So two weeks ago a missionary named Elder Jones and I were teaching our investigator Sister Logan that is 91 and lives in a senior living center.  She tells us her caretaker that works there, Annette, is having surgery in a week because she has an ulcer (or tumor I don’t remember which) on her uterus (bleh) but she said you boys are of God and need to give her a blessing.  We did not complain one bit, but even if we did who is going to say no to a sweet ole 91-year-old woman that is right? NO ONE!  So we shared with her that we believe we have the same priesthood authority that Christ gave to his apostles when he walked the earth and organized them together (Luke 9:1-2).  We then shared with her James 5:13-15 and then explained to her how blessings were performed. We gave her a blessing and the spirit was very strong.  Then we come back this past week to visit Sister Logan and she tells us that Annette went in for her check-up before her surgery and the doctor says he has no idea how it happened but that the ulcer (or tumor) was gone and he has no idea how.  We told her that we know how.  It is because God is good and he has her priesthood here on the earth so that just as Christ we may be able to bless and serve those around us.

Love you all have an amazing week :)


Leti's baptism day

Elder Pennington and Leti giving the two thumbs up

And another pic of Let's baptism day
Jasmine and Leti - Jasmine is getting baptized in 2 weeks

The Samoans that challenge Elder Pennington at basketball.
If Elder Pennington wins, they have to listen to him share the
Savior's teachings. If they win, Elder Pennington has to drink
a beer - Elder Pennington has never lost!
Saying good-bye

Saying good-bye

Saying good-bye

Saying good-bye

Saying good-bye
Last photo together with the Hemet Zone

"Get Crazy Everyone" pic

Monday, August 7, 2017


Mission Leadership Council - Aug 2017

The past few weeks have been super hectic.  We have had bust prep days as well, which has left no time for emailing.  I personally don't mind, but I know Lisa Pennington does.  So this is me repenting and trying to do a really good one haha :)

Elder Olsen and I have been seeing a ton of success with our lessons and contacts on the street. We have a ton of people with dates for baptism, a good amount that come to church, and some baptisms that should for sure being coming here soon.  The only problem is we are only finding 3 or 4 people a week, so that has been kind of frustrating for us but oh well life goes on!

Mission Leadership Council
Ricky Burton and Anabelle Matus got baptized back in June, and they are doing awesome! It is so cool to see and watch them crave the gospel! They are both awesome people and are great influences to me. They help me stay motivated so I can continue to find strong pioneers like them.  We spoke in church a couple of Sundays ago, and it was crazy...  I had to end my talk early because I was talking too much! Usually I have a tough time having enough material, but it has been cool to see how much more comfortable I have gotten behind the pulpit.

We only have this week left in the transfer, so this Saturday night we are getting our transfer calls to see where we are going to be going, but in this instance the next area I go will be my last, and I will only be there for 12 more is crazy to think that I only have 3 more months is slowly creeping up and it is scary.  This is the best thing ever and I really don't want to go, but I am also super excited to see what life has for me next. As I have been thinking a lot about what I need to do back home, I have seen my thought process change thanks to my mission.  The goals that I had for myself after I graduated college have either been thrown away or upgraded to better ones.  I have seen myself gain more discipline and a greater desire to emulate my Savior Jesus Christ with everything that I do.

Lunch at MLC
(Pizza, salad, and home made brownies)
I have been cleaning out and getting rid of a ton of things that I feel like I was given just yesterday by missionaries who have been home for over a is weird to think that the next holidays will be ones spent with family and friends.  But as for now, my thoughts are still on the work and still on treating every single day like it is my last....well I figure I only have 12 more of these big emails so I will try to make them better and more spiritual.  Love you all, and thank you for your thoughts and prayers, it definitely makes a difference!



Monday, July 31, 2017


Once again, Elder Pennington was unable to send us a family email for his blog.

However, we did receive a nice surprise.  We received an email from the mission office requesting information they need to make his travel arrangements to fly home.


4 August 2017

Jonathan and Lisa Pennington
1485 Siskin Drive
Cordova, TN 38016

Dear Brother and Sister Pennington,

Elder Nathan Charles Pennington will be released on
07 Nov 2017 from his labors in the California Riverside Mission. You may find it difficult to believe that his release date is nearly here; yet I am sure you look forward to his return home.

Travel arrangements must be made well in advance.  In order to ensure that we have complete and accurate information for his return, please respond to this email with the requested information below as soon as possible.

1) Your residence address-including city, state and zip code (as of your missionary's release date)

2) Nearest airport (you would like your missionary to fly home to)

3) Your phone number(s)

4) E-mail address you would like flight information sent to.

5) Bishop's name, address and name of your Ward/Branch.

6) Stake President's name, address and name of the Stake.

Thank you for your assistance.


Sister Thorne

California Riverside Mission

Monday, July 24, 2017


Unfortunately, Elder Pennington did not have time to send a family letter for his blog again this week.  He briefly mentioned how hard he is working and how exhausted he is each night.

Since we were in Utah on vacation this week, we visited some colleges and discussed briefly with him some initial ideas about where he would consider attending college after his mission.

He said they have found a weight bench to use to be able to do some physical exercise when time allows which he says he really enjoys doing.

Finally, he continues to express how grateful he is for this opportunity he has to focus on serving the Lord and his fellow man.

Hopefully more news and pictures next week.

Monday, July 17, 2017


Elder Pennington's assignment as as Zone Leader has been a great lesson in leadership and building unity.  It has also kept him very busy because of the added responsibilities to care not only for himself and his area but also 10 other missionaries and their 5 areas.

We didn't receive a letter this week but below are a few pictures to enjoy.

Hemet Zone - zone unity in teal green ties and dresses
Candid shots of the zone
Seeing double
Eating Pupusas with the Ward Mission Leader
of our Young Single Adult Ward
On teaching exchanges with the Spanish missionaries in our zone

Monday, July 10, 2017


A visit from Robert & Miranda

This week has just been amazing for me and my spirituality.  I have learned a ton and have been able to receive so much inspiration and revelation.  It is crazy how if you make church, praying, and reading your scriptures a priority how much you can learn. 

This week the theme for my email is about how ALL things lead and point towards Jesus Christ – especially the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Below is an excerpt from a document I recently studied that really strengthened my testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ:

Let’s look at Moses as a symbol or type of Christ and compare the two “deliverers.”  Moses was Israel’s physical deliverer.  Jesus is our spiritual deliverer.

Moses’ first plague to get Israel out of Egypt was turning water into blood.  Jesus’ first miracle in His ministry was turning water into wine.  Moses’ last plague was the death of the firstborn.  Jesus’ last
miracle was the resurrection of the Firstborn.

How did Moses free Israel from Egyptian bondage?  He had the Israelites take a lamb—male, unblemished, firstborn, with no broken bones—and sacrifice this lamb by shedding its blood.  The Israelites then put the blood of the lamb on the lintel and the two side posts of each of their doors.  When they did that, the destroyer passed over them.  The blood of the lamb saved them from physical death.  In our lives, we have to accept the Lamb of God—Jesus Christ—and symbolically put the blood of His Atonement on the doorframes of our lives.  The blood of the Lamb of God will save us from spiritual death.

Those lambs used for sacrifice had to be firstborn.  I don’t know if you have considered Jesus’s birth in the light of His being the Lamb of God.  To whom did the angels go to announce the birth of the Lamb of
God?  Specific shepherds were assigned to tend the flocks of sheep to be used in temple sacrifice.  Only certified firstborn lambs could be used.  The shepherds were the eyewitnesses of which lambs were
firstborn.  So when the Lamb of God was born, where did the angels go?  To the shepherds. Why?  Because that was their job—to witness the birth of firstborn lambs.

Moses tells us in Leviticus 1:11 that the lambs to be used for sacrifice were to be slain on the north side of the altar.  Where do you suppose Jesus, the Lamb of God, was sacrificed?  The Crucifixion took place just north of the temple altar in Jerusalem at a place called Golgotha.  The Lamb of God was sacrificed north of the temple altar.  ALL things testify of Christ.

After Israel left Egyptian bondage, they went to the borders of the Red Sea.  In the movie The Ten Commandments, Yul Brynner played the part of Pharaoh and said, “The God of Moses is a poor general to leave him no retreat.”

Not really. Moses went there on purpose.  Why?  Because they had to go through the Red Sea.  Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:1–2 that Israel passing through the Red Sea was a symbol of a baptism by water and a baptism by fire.  Israel was saved by water. That is why there had to be a wall of water on each side.  Israel was “baptized by immersion” in the Red Sea. The fire held the Egyptians back.  Hence Israel was also saved by fire.  It is the same with each of us.  We need to be saved through a baptism of water and a baptism of fire.

When Israel got to the borders of the Red Sea, the pillar of fire came around behind them.  There was first a separation of light and darkness.  It was light to the Israelites going through the Red Sea, but it was darkness to the Egyptians.  What did God do on the first day of creation?  He separated the light from the darkness.  What did God then do on the second day of creation?  He separated the waters from the waters. What did Moses do? He separated the waters from the waters, and Israel went through on dry ground.

They went into the wilderness.  The wilderness is a symbol of purification.  They were there forty years. When we get into the Millennium, we will have a thousand years of purification.

What did they eat while they were in the wilderness?  They ate manna.  What is manna? It is bread from heaven.  Who is Jesus? He is the Bread of Life. Where did He come from? Heaven.  And where was He born? He was born in Bethlehem.  And what does the name Bethlehem mean?  Bethlehem
means “House of Bread.”  By chance?  I don’t think so.

What did they drink?  They drank water.  Who is the Living Water?  It is Jesus (see John 4:14).  Where did they get the water? From a rock (see Exodus 17:6).  Who is the rock?  The Rock is Christ (see Helaman 5:12).  By chance? I don’t think so.

When Israel went into the promised land, they went through the Jordan River.  Why go through a river? You have to be “born again” (see John 3:1–5).  Who led them through the river?  It was Joshua.  Joshua is the Hebrew name for the Greek word Jesus.  It was “Jesus” who caused them to be born again and led them through the Jordan River back home to the land of their fathers.  They crossed the river at Bethabara—the same place where Jesus would later be baptized.  That section of the Jordan River is the lowest body of freshwater on earth.  Elder Russell M. Nelson taught that Jesus’s baptism at Bethabara symbolized His descending below all things (see “Self-Mastery,” Ensign, November 1985,32).  ALL things testify of Christ.

Consider names—simple names, like Joseph Smith.  Joseph in Hebrew is Yoseph.  Yoseph means “may God add sons.”  A “smith” is someone who forges or fashions or beats something out of raw material.  So if you are God and you want to establish a kingdom out of raw material and then add sons to it, how do you describe that?  “Joseph Smith.”

What does Hyrum mean? Hyrum means “my brother is exalted.”  By chance?  I don’t think so.

Consider the seasons.  When was Joseph born?  Joseph was born at the winter solstice, when light is coming into the world. What was the sign to the Nephites when Jesus was born? It was three days of light.  When was Joseph killed?  Joseph was killed at the summer solstice, when light is going out of the world.  What was the sign to the Nephites at Jesus’s death?  It was three days of darkness.  ALL things testify of Christ.

Moses 6:63 states, “All things . . . bear record of [Christ], both things . . . in the heavens above, . . . on the earth, . . . in the earth, and . . . under the earth.”

The sun itself is a type of Christ.  It comes from the east.  Christ will also come from the east. The sun gives light and life to all things.  Its heat can also consume all things.  (Those who live in Arizona understand that.)  It does both.  The Light of Christ gives “life to all things” (D&C 88:13).  Christ’s glory will also consume the wicked at His Second Coming (see D&C 5:19).  People whose lives are filled with darkness will be destroyed by the light.  People whose lives are full of light will be saved by that light—“as by fire,” to use Nephi’s words (1 Nephi 22:17).  Doctrine and Covenants 88:25 states that “the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom.”  Well, what does the earth do?  The earth revolves around the sun (s-u-n). What should we do if we are to abide by the law of a celestial kingdom?  Our lives should also revolve around the Son (s-o-n).

Everything points to Christ, and I would encourage you to look up and read the whole talk of “True Doctrine, Understood, Changes Attitudes and Behavior” by Todd B Parker in Jan 2015.



(I searched the document he referred to and below is a direct link to it on the internet in case you want to read the other parts of the speech that was given:

Lunch at an Italian restaurant
It's getting warm here!

Monday, July 3, 2017


On the way back from Idyllwild

This week was good.  It was cool to be able to practice teaching with Elder Olsen, and being able to learn different things from him.  He was in the Riverside Deaf branch before so it has been cool learning how to sign a little bit :)

President and Sister Mullen left Friday around 3:00 pm, so that has been kind of weird.  It is kosher though, I am excited to see the Hammon's tomorrow at our meeting.

Not really a whole lot to report on, just the same ole same ole, teaching repentance!


ASL Missionaries

Saying good-bye to the senior couple, the Just's.

Elder Pennington finally got his hands on a CALI license plate.

First MLC meeting