Thursday, March 3, 2011

28 February 2011

Dear Family,

We are baking here in the Tacnenian sun. So hot right now. Maybe that's cuz we are in internet. But it's great here- when it isn't noonish. This week we worked arduously. The next we shall too. There is a norma de excellencia [level of excellence]... a mission goal more or less in English, that is really really high for all the key indicators. The contacts goal is 540 and we did it!!!! We talked with 548 people this week. And I think 3 of them will be baptized.

It's been a great week.

Ximena y Maritsa se bautizaron [got baptized]! We found them my first week here, [they were a] reference from a member slash neighbor and they are the best best. I don't really know why they are so full of faith, but it is very impressive. They want to do the right and have come to realize by the Holy Ghost that the gospel of Jesus Christ in the way. In our third visit they told us they know.

Their baptism was a little crazy, their baptismal interviews lasted 4 hours between the two! But finally, yes, they were completely ready. Lots of people showed up, some 30 minutes [late] or more but it's ok since their neighbor who baptized them didn't arrive until almost an hour after the "start time". It was quite a good service.

We are visiting another investigator who is named Ivan. He is the bomb also. When we were talking about the importance of praying and asking God if the Book of Mormon is true and if he should be baptized, he told us he had already done that [prayed]. And while praying, received "a feeling... an impression.. something.. " in his heart that made him feel like he should continue learning, continue on to be baptized and [become] a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Two of our contacts from this week were waiting for us for our appointment with them (an amazingly infrequent occurrence) with crackers and an earnest yearning to learn (see SOL song). They are way cool, have a goal to be baptized, but it'll be a little hard cuz they don't have a ton of time. Eliana and her daughter Paula. I look forward to finding them again... but that too might be a little difficult. We´ve got another investigator who wants to put her life in order. She's had.. a lot happen and basically wants to change. Again since she works a lot, [it] shall be difficult. I think something that really impedes people is time, other obligations... not sure what I can do with that but maybe nothing.

This next week we are gunna start changing up our strategy of turning contacts into investigators into people with goals to be baptized. I am searching for what it is that we can do to be much better instruments for the Lord, but actually changing can be a little difficult. If those back home have suggestions, things they only learned at the end of their missions that they wished they always knew, or whatever... I might not get the chance to have a companion with lots of time for a while... so I would love the advice.

I'm not sure what's up with the mail here, maybe it leaves the offices in Arequipa really slowly... but I haven't gotten Eric's Dear Elders since leaving Arequipa... or anything. But it's ok. Patience.

In this next week we mmiiiiggghhhtt see a baptism, but probably not. The next yes.

I was reading in Alma 36 ish, and really enjoying it. These chapters have new interest for us here since now we are in a position to do the same work. After all the minor details of the day, all the running around, all the trekking, all the knocking doors, all the people we meet, all the appointments we have, all the everything, it comes back to whether or not when we talk with each person, they can notice the difference, and feel influence of the Holy Ghost prompting them to accept a day we can come back, and to be there. And when we come back that they feel the importance and understand how completely different it is. We were talking with a young person, and he told us that it really seemed right to him. Logical. But what he was feeling wasn't just the logical validity of the message we proclaim, but the veracity.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ is of and directed by Jesus Christ, and that if we really repent, and live the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will live with the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and our works will become the things we should do, when we should do them, in the places that they should be done.

Love Elder Johnson

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