Monday, March 21, 2011

21 March 2011

Dear Family

Another week has gone into the realm of the past. I feel sure that I will be coming back in a few moments. I've noticed that when I'm working, time flies, and when no, no. I really enjoy finding and teaching people.

Wow! I was ironing my shirt the other day and I burned myself pretty bad. Wasn't too hard to predict, since I was still wearing the shirt, but I forgot that part and left the iron against my chest for about a second and got an iron sized 1st degree burn. Haha. Goes down in one of the not so smart things I've done im my life. It's almost gone now though. Just the mark of the corner remains (after 8 days).

Hopefully the three pictures upload. The first is from the baptism! A little bit of a surprise it was. We got a call from the zone leaders and they said they had a reference of gold, who wanted to be baptized the same week. Ok that's fine with me. Junior is the man. He has been going to church since about December but in a different ward. So he is really strong with his faith. Really his parents have always been members, just less active. He started going to church again with his girlfriend. It was a little bit weird not knowing him really well before his baptism but it's ok. Another great person has been able to make a covenant with God to keep the comandments, take upon him the name of Christ, and always remember him, and has received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The second is of Elder Stewart and I. Duh. We found a path that leads from the main part of our area to an area known as Santa Maria. This is the path and I think it is quite pretty. I particularly like the two palm trees, the greenness, and the odd dog that wandered into the photo after I set the timer. Reminder that there are lots of dogs.

The third is a picture of Hijos de Leguia. When I first saw this area I almost gasped. I would love to be able to take a picture for real... with a ladder or something. Ooo maybe a big kite with the rig I made before leaving. There is tons of wind always. If only. It's ok. Also interesting appearing in the picture is the acuaduct for the farm fields, and a quaint bridge (there is no troll-- oo that reminds me of backpacking in Oregon-- haha)[a word of explanation:  we went backpacking in Oregon when Mark was about 13 years old.  He and Paul hid under a bridge and when Jeff, Eric, and William and went across, they jumped out and said "Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge."  It scared the younger kids."]

We had interviews with President Fernandez this week too! We got to the stake center in the morning, and waited with the other misionaries in our district and zone, along with Elder Boulter (who incidentally has the same shoes as me) and the personal secretary. When it was our turn we got to go in first together, then separately. In the time together, President Fernandez helped us out with the questions of contacting that we have had. Like how exactly to do it. Sometimes we just try to get people to agree to an appointment to return, but he told us that this first contact we have to be able to know if this person has been prepared by the Lord to talk to us. This new kind of contacting is a little like we did a few weeks ago, but much better. Although the large majority reject the invitation (which is extremely direct), the few who accept it are the best, and really the only ones we should have appointments with. We were charged to start having 15 to 20 baptisms every month, and I hope we can start to do that, and I plan on talking with EVERYONE in my area during the next change [transfer]).

He asked me also where I'm at 1 to 10. I had to lower my personal rating from the last time since I realized that 0 is a rock that doesn't do anything, and not Satan... which was why I put myself at 4 last time. But I'm improving. President Fernandez told me that the 4-5 range can do miracles for the Lord. Referencing Nefi and Lehi, the missionaries around the time of Samuel the Lamanite... 8000 baptisms in one part of their mission. I read Helaman 16:4 this morning and I really want to be able to be like that. Spend all my time bautizando, predicando, profetizando, enseƱando, y obrando milagros entre este pueble [baptizing, preaching, prophesying, teaching, and working miracles among this peopl] . We shall see how close I can get starting with these next 7 weeks.

Next week looks like mmaayybee [we'll have some baptisms] but many of the really good looking [he probably means those who are progressing well with the discussions leading toward baptism] investigators didn't come Sunday, so that delayed lots of possibilities.

We had an appointment with a family: Pedro Santiago and Juana. In English that's Peter, James, and John-(feminine), and their sister, Magali. Needless to say we were very excited. The only problem they will have is that they have these properties out somewhere, and the association that somehow has some rights over the properties, requires that they assist meetings every Sunday in the morning... basically during church. If they don't go, they lose the property... So they basically need to sell it to go to church. Kind of a big problem. There are unfortunately lots of people like that.

As for how's my spanish, I think it has degraded a little. Expectable with us two gringos. We speak how we wanna and sometimes this gives me problems. I speak a little too fast for someone with such an accent, which makes it hard for many to understand me when I get all excited about sharing the gospel with them.

I hope we can keep on improving and bringing the truth to all.

Love Elder Johnson

Junior's baptism in Tacna with Elder Stewart and Mark and others

Mark and Elder Stewart and one of many dogs in Tacna


1 comment:

  1. Ha Ha! I think Elder Johnson has learned his lesson about removing the shirt before ironing it. Funny! Glad he is healing quickly.