Tuesday, August 23, 2011

14 August 2011 Mission President, "We did everything"

Dear Family.
Currently freaking out a little about being more than a year in the mission. Elder Ortiz and I are doing well as companions. He is a lively Colombian who right now happened to run into another Colombian in this internet cafe. So funny, they are speaking but [only] Columbian. Its a little different and a little hard to understand since this person speaks heavy slang.. I think that's a Colombian thing. Last night I was laughing so hard reading a letter from Elder Ortiz's sister because she was speaking so much like a Columbian, and I could recognize it from my time with Elder Mateus.
Mom, you mentioned visiting teaching. Do you use Preach My Gospel? It's the best. Maybe chapter 10 could be the best for y'all. Preach my gospel is so good. We are working right now to get a copy for all the leaders at least in our branch.
Just the other day, we were looking for an appointment in the area Juan Pablo and we couldn't find it. We went up the sand dune up into the highest part where the houses almost stop and still couldn't find them. They don't have addresses but told us to ask around. We met a man and went in their home to visit them. Their home amazed me. It is 2 by 3 meters, and has a little car camping type stove and a little bench and a bed and that's about it. The walls [are made] of a type of tall grass like plant and the roof of the same with bamboo support beams. Two strings hung between the walls to hang their clothes on.  They made me sad when he asked: "Who doesn't want the life of happiness?"  We taught them briefly.  They both don't know how to read.  He was abandoned as a baby and she had something of the same
In the counsel of zone leaders we were stunned again as always by the president. He shared the history of two months of his mission. One in which he had planned [They had] thirty people to baptize but [they] only baptized 32 of them. Praying and asking, "But why? We did EVERYTHING."  He realized that there was more he could have done and what to do better.  Another month he had ready 32 but only baptized 18. The room went silent and he almost began to cry.  After a moment he said, "Pride killed us that month.  I hope that when I present myself in front of God in the last day it won't be as hard as what I have passed for not having been able to bless those 14 people's lives.  Wow!
We met with the zone and talked 2 hours Thursday about all we learned to be able to put ourselves in order as a zone. We cleaned our 
room; we are beginning to work better.
Well, a particular religious sect knocked our door Sunday. After being very obviously shocked and unsure what to say, they asked us what
we would like to discuss. We gave them the floor, hoping for something that would inspire, but they tried to prove the Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter Day Saints to be false. [We weren't] very happy. Their arguments were the result of reading the Bible from one point of view and no other, 
were conflicting and confusing, but what frustrated me, was that when I explained why I am a member of said church, they told me 
that prayer can not be a trusted means to find the truth. To everyone who reads this and hasn't done so before, seek guidance in James 1:5 and 6. 

[If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed." James 1:5-6]

Don't forget to ask with faith and the Lord will give unto you liberally and it will be given to you to know this mystery of God.  Ask and you will receive.


Elder Johnson

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