Monday, April 30, 2012

30 April 2012

Dear family,

It’s 11:11 am as I start this email!

So, Mom asked about the parasites I got. Here’s the list. But warning: the North American nurse was telling me by phone with poor reception to another North American in spanish saying words I’ve never heard before. Soo.. the spelling is surely more or less... and in spanish. A ver (we’ll see)
  1. ahhhh I can’t find the list! That’ll have to be next week unless it turns up right now. 
Well I’m sorry about that. Ill try to see if I left it in the room or if it fell in the way.. I really was so sure I had brought it.

Anyway we are with the stuggle of have to find a new room to live in.. that’s a problem because we have to do that today basically... haha I dunno if we shall be able to. The dueño wants to live where we are... so we gotta go. It’s been kind of a weird situation but anyway... I hope we can still live right by the church. It’s so nice being so close. We are less than a block from the church!

Yesterday we had the 5th Sunday and we asked (as the missionary work) to be able to give the combined class [Typically during the 3rd hour of church--all over the world--, the men and women meet separately.  Sometimes on a 5th Sunday, they meet together]. There were some 40 adults there! We prepared a cool program. First, we started out with singing “Hark all Ye Nations” [Here is a recording: ] and a prayer. Then the bishopric counselor gave us the time and we started talking a little about the Dream of Lehi]. I mentioned the quote of President Eyring(?) that says "if the gospel, in the way you have received it, doesn't give you a profound desire to share it with everyone, then you should go back to to books (basically I can’t remember how it is exactly right now).

Then I asked everyone if they believe in modern revelation. Haha. Everyone raised their hands "yes we do!" So I asked them: “What does it mean for you when Bruce R McConkie said: “Every Member a Missionary”? That provoked quite a bit of reflection. We analyzed it a little and talked about how the Lord is talking there and says that every member should be a missionary, a full time finder. We read in DyC 19 and 24 some of my favorite scriptures about just talking with everyone and we promised them help from on high. So then Elder Erhard talked a little about the joy that we have when we share the gospel.

Next we watched a short video of 18 minutes that is called "By Small and Simple Things" which shows the history of one young woman who dares to share and writes her testimony in a Book of Mormon and gives it to a friend who says thanks and getting home throws it por alli [away or to the side]. El piensa un poco y lo recoga [He thinks a bit and then gets it], and he begins to read, reads all night, prays and receives a testimony. His friend invites him to meet the missionaries and presents them to him and his family. The movie continues with their baptism and it s pretty awesome! It finishes with clips of a talk by President Eyring about how members who share the gospel and it shows some interviews with converts. Very cool.

So everyone felt the spirit and we asked them to stand up, and make a circle in the activity room (like a smaller gym.. but not a basketball court like ours [in Arlington] since they have a small futblito canchita [area for soccer] in the back with a basketball court.) Ready. So they all got in a circle and we walked to the bishopric counselor. We pulled out a balloon that had a name on it (exactly one of the bag y’all sent me for my last birthday I think) and we told all that he would have to keep it in the air. Easy. So we gave him another. And another. We had blown up like 120 with the air compressor of the Stake President (our neighbor/carpenter) We averaged 1 balloon ever 4 seconds with that machine working the both of us! That’s 15 per minute!) Each had a name and it was quickly apparent that the counselor just couldn't do it alone. The whole ward had to help and pass the balloons around the circle to help all the different people, members, not members, investigators, less actives, and everyone!

At the end we grouped them all again and gave each a piece of paper with the self copying thing to have two of each (one for us one for them) to write the names of their friends and people who they can invite to meet the missionaries, and another space to put the actions they will do THIS week to make it happen. They left us their address and number and we will do some follow up this week. In all, there are 41 names that we collected. About 9 from other wards/stakes and 32 from our ward!

After the prayer we invited them to see the table where we had on display all the things we can give away and they took quite a few to give to their friends and neighbors. We had copies of the Book of Mormon, Pamphlets, Pass along cards, cards that have the Articles of Faith, DVDs of the Restoration, the Testaments, Finding Faith in Christ, and there was a sheet that has a schedule for Family home evening with your friends for this trimester so they can sign up to have us there.

Well that was a lot of fun. We talked to a few after that said they really felt the spirit in that short hour! One who said that was Mary Diaz. We haven't seen her since I said she wanted to be baptized Saturday about 4 weeks ago... since she started working until 10:30 every night.. and wasn't in the house the only day of rest she has: Sunday. We basically thought we weren’t going to see her again, but she showed up for the sacrament meeting with her daughter out of no where. She still wants to be baptized... but she doesn’t want her husband to know. We invited her for next Sunday in the morning, and she said yes, but while we planned with her how to prepare her for it.. one of the things was tell your husband... and she doesn’t want to... I think she needs to talk to someone not us to work out those things... because it isn’t so simple as just tell him. Anyway, I learned there that the family that the Gospel produces is much, much, much, better than whatever form of family that doesn’t follow the Gospel teachings.

There is a young man who probably will be baptized next Saturday. He is family of members less actives but has been attending church the past few week all by himself and the only factor that really could keep him from baptism would be the mom. The dad is a less active and got really excited when we told him of the desires of his son.

WOW I gotta tell y’all about a contact we did when I was with Elder Child in interchanges. In the planning session the night before we had prayed to know where to go in the morning and felt to go to Haiti Street. Turns out we were called upon to check out the new room the sisters are going to move into to see that it’s ok (one of our responsibilities) and we did so at 11 and got back right before lunch. I wasn’t sure if we should go to lunch or Haiti and so we prayed and felt like we should go. We were contacting there and we met a man who we were talking with when David passed by.  He said he felt something (later) and felt like he should talk with us. So we finished the contact and started talking to him.
David is really happy and he is super outgoing too. He was coming back from the Gym and haha said he is in the best shape of his life with 49 years (really reminded me of a bowflex commercial) Anyway he said: I wanna talk with y’all, not right now because I work a TON and couldn’t talk with you till friday, could you come then? We couldn’t so we planned for Saturday and left him a Book of Mormon. He said that he wanted to know why people can go to church with their heart Saturdays AND Sundays ( He goes Saturday).

So we got there Saturday and verified his reading. He said he read Moroni 10:4-5 and loved it. he said, when I read this, it really seems like the bible. Ive been reading the bible since I was a kid and I just feel something that’s great when I read this book! We helped him see that that is from the Spirit and talked about his sabbath question. We helped him see how we couldn’t define that doctrine without apostolic authority (see talk of Elder Christoferson) and explained the Restoration. He loved it. We read the last principle, prayer and the Holy Ghost, of the first lesson right out of Preach my Gospel with him, and he really got emotional when he read it and asked us to get him a copy of the book, no importa el precio [the price was not important]. Haha it’s like a dollar here.

Anyway since he always works Sunday, and is some kind of boss, he had tons of appointments and couldn’t clear them 1 day antes [before] and so he said, “Can I go next week? I really want to see how it is!”

More news on him later.
Love Elder Johnson.

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