Monday, April 4, 2011

4 April 2011

Dear Familia,

Another week has passed here in Tacna. And I have learned so, so much this week. Being with the added responsibility of District Leader has not been easy, but [it is] really satisfying when things go well.  I've got a lot of goals for the next 5 weeks for me and for our district. [A district is a small group of 8-10 missionaries who work in an area together.   They are led by the District Leader, one of the missionaries in the group.  For now, Mark is a District Leader]  Thank you very much for that insight mom.  I have been feeling that it would have been nice to have more examples before.

[The advice follows:    I remember my District Leaders quite well.  Here are some things I really appreciated from them: 1.  They really seemed to care about my motivation. 2.  They cared about my companionship relationship. 3.  They cared about what happened in my family's life  4.  A couple of times, they gave me blessings of comfort which I very much appreciated. 5.  They were spiritually inspiring and kept the district unified.  We did things together.   I really looked up to the District Leaders and appreciated them.]

Well, this week has been a great week. A little bit harder and I had to rack my brain a little bit more [on topics ranging from ] Conference to learning of a religion that teaches that we are anti-Christs (not at all sure why anyone would teach such blatant falseness= 2 Nephi 25:26 [which reads:

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

We have had ups and downs of course. I have been worried at the success in our area, and I am not sure if it is a result of the things we are doing or something else, or the evidence of something that was always there. I continue to ask myself why we aren't baptizing every single week. We just don't seem to be finding people who the Lord has prepared, like kind of before and like we really should.

But everthing is ok because HOW GREAT WAS CONFERENCE [Twice a year, there is a general conference that is broadcast to the world.  The prophet and apostles speak to us on a variety of topics  It is a wonderful opportunity in April and November of each year.  You can access the talks in video or printed format at after 4/9/11]. The best the best. It seemed way short too. After each session and after the afternoon of Sunday I really wanted to be able to go back to the Stake Center [the church building that usually has satellite access for these broadcasts] and listen to the prophets and apostles every day. But now we as a world have 6 months to learn, apply, and implement [the messages] into our lives.

I particularly liked the talks by Elder Oaks, and Elder Bednar, and Elder Christoferson, and President Monson.. o darn this list is getting to be all them. Well, we did struggle a little with the emphasis on marriage [Elder Scott's talk and President Monson as well].  haha. I just started changing the word and idea of wife to Elder Mateus, and the advice on how to have a great companionship, not marriage. It was working great for a little while, but then not so much [You'll just have to read it]. You might be able to recall where I gave up that comparison.

Elder Hunsaker (who goes home in 3 months, and is one of the two Zone Leaders) set a date for his marriage. November 18, which is a Friday. haha

In conference I was taught of hope, faith, and the importance of receiving revelation. Subsequently I realized a few things that I have to do right now.

Yesterday we were contacting, and a 19 year old person answered the door. I looked him in the eye and said, Buenas noches, soy elder johnson y mi companero es Elder Mateus, y somos mensajeros celestiales aqui para bendecir su familia. [ Good evening.  I am Elder Johnson and this is my companion, Elder Mateus and we are heavenly messengers here to bless your family]  He asked to consult with his family and they let us in to be able to hear the message! His family is great. They invited us after the lesson to dine with them. His sister is 21 and is very, very sharp, and well-versed in the scriptures. She was able to explain to her brother why the scripture so often interpreted to say that Pedro [Peter] was the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ and that he would create the church, says not that [It means that the church would be built on revelation]. She also gave me something to think about in relation to who receives the gift of the Holy Ghost in their lives.

I got a bunch of Dear Elders that were great! How interesting they all were. Les doy muchos gracias.[I thank you all very much!] Also a letter from Brother Brooks and from Kimmie. They were also the best. Ive been working on opening my mouth more.

One little boy asked me what a Giraffe is in Spanish. I laughed, but wait I still don't know.

Grandpa Johnson, have you looked for chaiasms in conference talks including within sessions as a whole? I was noticing the correlation just before Elder Holland talked and it made me wonder.

Eric, you could try practicing always the things you do know how to say with mom. She knows Spanish!

A new elder came to our zone. His name is Elder Bautista, or, one who baptizes. That will be funny for the missionaries in all of his areas over the next 2 years. He is great!

Well. That's about it. We talk next week!

Love Elder Johnson

Mark and Elder Mateos.  

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