Sunday, December 11, 2011

November 28 and December 5, 2011

I bet Mark had fun driving this vendor's cart!

Dear family,
November 28. 2011
How is everything family? We are approaching the Christmas season and it gets hotter and hotter here.. which weirds me out, but I'm accustomed to not having snow for the least.
Yesterday it was cool. We found a man and his sister and we could teach them. We felt a little like Paul when in Acts 2 the people had a desire to do, we told them "repent and be baptized" They expressed doubts and following the spirit, we could find out that he feels addicted to drinking. So this morning we studied how to help people overcome addictions in Preach my Gospel and we shall teach him again today with his sister. I hope we can help him with that. Unfortunately he has worked in the mine since he had 15 years and has to go back in a week or so... but I want him to be able at least go back able to resist the temptation to drink.
Probably the experience most powerful this week was the baptism we attended. It wasn't from our area, but rather a different one in the zone, the Branch Camana. In all the intercambios (exchanges) that we have done in these days we were able to teach every single one of the 3 people who were baptized in that branch. I got to baptize the investigator Elias from the sisters. It was touching. When their district leader interviewed him a week after we taught him, he asked that I could do it. In the water, Elias told me that he didn't want to plug his nose to do it more like Christ, and he wanted me to put him ALL the way down in the cold water. When he came up he had such a huge smile and leaving said, "I feel really good. Really, really good." That was a pretty special moment. When he shared his testimony at the end, he said he was so happy to be baptized, and hoped he wouldn't be the last, since he knew this is the true and living church of Christ. One of the others who I taught in interchanges (exchanges) with Elder McNeil and Elder Ramirez gave them thanks and mentioned me too! That made me happy.

Baptism of Elias

So this week has to be way more. I was trying to work with a faith unbreakable like it says in Jacob 4, but I need to up it more. I desire the abilidad (ability) to do whatever the Lord wants me to do, like Nephi said, if He tells me to say unto the sea, make yourself land, that I can say it and that it happens. I know the Lord wants 25 baptisms in December. I have to change a ton to write that history for the Lord.
I was studying this morning and I realized the question that so many here ask: what is the name of God? and the question of that as a defining and proving doctrine of their religion isn't any bigger than a question about the nature of the Trinity and the way the scriptures talk of them. John 10, Mosiah 5 and 15 and Helaman 14:12 or 12:14 I think, helped me to clarify the idea that was forming of how to answer, and DyC 110 makes it completely clear. In the end I realized, the Book of Mormon once again answered the question and the real doubt comes down to accepting the truth of the Book of Mormon and having the faith to ask of God. I was thinking about this since the other day we were teaching some investigators and some others knocked the door and came in rich with a spirit of contention right when we were leaving. When we quickly made the appointment with the family, he said, “Can I come?” Haha so I had to clarify that question a little again. But really every question or doubt that they can have reduces to the wall of the faith. Can they carry out the experiment of Alma and Moroni to have for the least the desire to know and to read, meditate, and ask, an invitation to all that comes from God.
Reading again the conference talks, we read what President Eyring said. Three things to make every branch or ward a force of strong priesthood holders: 1. A president that knows how to sit in council with his quorum and value their opinions. 2. Faith that leads to be able to develop in the unit charity the one for the other, and 3. An understanding of the priesthood and how to work righteously to take part in the work of the immortality and eternal life of man. Not sure how good this is in Arlington, since I was like a newborn puppy who doesn't open his eyes then, but we are working here. Read it!
Love Elder Johnson

Dear family.
December 5, 2011
Wow. It seems like I’ve been in Camana forever. Last night in the district center I felt like I knew all the members of the district. So this week we’re gunna do some good work. Last Wednesday we had the Conference with the President for the zone leaders. Always so edifying. I was thinking about the gifts of the spirit.... and I’m not sure if I’ve already written about this, maybe more than once.. but I’ve been thinking a lot. It’s just that the mission president so obviously has obtained gifts of the spirit and complies with the charge that the meetings be carried out by the indications of the spirit. I want to be able to always do that with the investigatores (investigators) and that in our branch it happens that way. We were conferencing with the District President on those lines. How to do it. 
I felt so good in the First Presidency Christmas Devotional! It was awesome. I loved hearing and seeing the tabernacle choir sing JOY TO THE WORLD especially. How awesome was the thing! Wow!  I just went running to pick up the two new missionaries for the zone and got back really fast!  That’s fun. The new missionaries seem awesome. One is the most loving missionary in the whole mission. Indisputably. The other is kind of new so I don’t know anything about him but he seems awesome. Elder Stoddard. Back to the devotional. We went with Brother Cabrera!
This Brother Cabrera we just barely started to teach. Almost a month and a half ago we contacted him. We talked to his family since then and they are awesome. Coming back from a baptism with Elder Ramirez we felt like we should go to visit him. So we went straight there and only had time to teach him no more. but in teaching him he demonstrated such a desire to repent and come to Christ. Running on the way out at 9:20 (we ran 8 minutes to get back before 9:30) I said, We want to invite you to church tomorrow, those feelings that you could feel today, you will be able to feel in the church tomorrow. Will you come? Yes!. So we knocked his door early in the morning Sunday but he wasn’t there and we were thinking,”oh no!” But when we got to church he got there just after the sacrament. He stayed the three hours. He loved our class we gave in Sunday School about the personality of Christ, enjoyed priesthood meeting, and all! Then he committed himself to come to the Christmas devotional. He got there a little late but we had mistaken the time anyway and he actually got there 15 minutes before it started and felt really good watching it. So cool it was. Then he found a childhood friend who is a member and en fin (in the end), had a great experience. 
Before the awesome devotional we taught another man and his kid who also were filled with the desire to do what Christ wants and prepare to be baptized like Brother Cabrera. He is a suitmaker and when I invited him to church next week said, “How will I go?  I don’t have a suit.” Pause....ha haha. anyway I have really been trying to roll out love for all the people. Maybe I have forgotten a little.. or maybe I just haven’t ever really been really loving, but anyway I’m finding that in having love for the people, they begin to be able to feel the love of God in their lives. And through me, they come to Him. This was a big theme of the counsel with the Presidente on Wednesday and it’s so true. My companion now has to feel that same kind of love for the people.
We were brainstorming the other day about how to help everyone in the world go through the conversion process that my companion and I have seen in our missions in ourselves. We took out three important things: 
  1. Feel the need to change, 
  2. Have a responsibility and a good leader to follow up and help, 
  3. Read the scriptures every day to understand our covenants and the priesthood.
Which reminds me that one of the missionaries in the  zone asked me for a blessing of counsel and comfort. It was a very sweet experience to be able to communicate the profound and moving blessing and see my spanish magnified so that it could have the Lord’s desired effect.
Love Elder Johnson

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