Monday, October 31, 2011

31 October 2011

Mark and Elder Ortiz under a tree in Camana

Mark running down the street in Camana so he has time to write his letter  home.

Nighttime in Camana

Querido Familia [Dear Family],
31 October 2011
How good it is to write y’all again. This week has been very good. My companion and I have been doing some good work and last night, I knocked a door. The lady opened up and said that every night she asks herself two questions: Why are there so many churches and how can she know what is true? At the same time my companion contacted a lady who walked by and they started talking about I’m not exactly sure what since my attention was on the other, but more or less how we gave her a pamphlet a while ago and she read all of it (pretty rare) and she kept studying it and really wants to know more!
In that moment I really felt like the Lord is preparing people her to receive the gospel.
I think what we need to work on helping all these people we find on progressing towards baptism. The Encontrar, Ensenar, Bautizar, Confirmar, Encontrar [find, teach, baptize, confirm, find]....etc. circle is a little stuck on the Find position. 
I don’t know if I wrote about this guy last week, but there is a member in our branch who works in a mine about 4 hours away. He was telling me about how it’s a little difficult for someone to follow the teachings of Christ while working in the mine since all are men there and they just drink and talk about foul things usually. What he does is take a bus at 3 in the morning every 
Sunday to get to Caman√° (the closest city) by 8 and be able to get to church. What a great example. He is the Sunday School President and is the best.
One of the great moments this week was also when we were tracting, and we found ourselves across the street from a former investigator. His wife was heading to the grandma’s house right when we got there. Here in Peru, many live in the same area as their grandpas, parents, children, grandchildren etc and often in the same house. He asked us to go in and talk with him. He talked about how he was sad about the problems he has been having with his partner and we conversed about who God is, what He wants for their family, the Law of Chastity, and the Sabbath Day.
I sent y’all a picture of Elder Ortiz and I under a tree that’s pretty far away from our house but in front across the fields.
Another of us with me running this morning to get the camera after the first picture on our front street (taken by the son of our Pensioner who is named Juan Jose Vilca) and make it to meet with the Zone to write home on the internet on time.
The mission secretary of materials called me this morning and told me that I’ve got a box! I’ve got to do a power letter (carta de poder en ingles??) so they can go get it for me in the mail place in Arequipa and send me it.
We found out why some people don’t listen at all to us.  A person we were teaching told us at the end of a lesson, but you all aren’t weird... I already believed in the first half you told me and  I can pray to know about the second (the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Chirst) ... Why do the missionaries of (x) church say that I shouldn’t talk to y’all? [Note from Rene’: I finally realized why Mark has started using y’all so regularly.  In Spanish, there is a word for the plural of “you”.  “You” can mean either plural or singular in English.  So, as he thinks in English and translates from Spanish, he wants the plural form of “you” and gives us “y’all”.]
I was feeling like the religious excitement that was present in the time of Joseph Smith is to a certain extent true here too. Maybe not sooo much but there are lots and lots of churches, and most of the people we talk to are just wondering why there are so many and what’s up.
The new missionaries who came to the zone seem pretty awesome! There is a different feel going on in the zone and what we have to do is refine it.
In my personal study this morning, I continued studying the ministry of Christ and got to the end of his ministry in the Americas again. What stood way, way out this time through those 20 excellent, excellent chapters of scriptures was the desire of the heart of the three Nephites. They not only wanted to do what was asked of them in their discipleship, but wanted to be in the service of the Lord until the end, until Christ comes again. I thought about my personal commitment to service. It made me think a lot. I would love to get to know them. Lots of time for personal refinement.
Mucho amor a todos ustedes [Much love to everyone],
Elder Johnson

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