Sunday, July 1, 2012

26 June 2012

Dear Family!

Wow this morning 13 pages of Dear Elders got here. All acumulated from these past weeks or month... its the first time I get Dear Elders here in Tacna. It does take longer to get here. Well the zone Alamenda finished the month with 14 baptisms. We have been in a rut of 12 the past two months so we were excited to go up. This week we also had a significant improvement in investigatores in sacrament meeting. One ward had 11! Now we have to go up again to keep being diligent.

This week we did something really fun. We have been working with the presidency of the stake and we have been planning a training meeting to re-enfocus the ward counsels and put in order a few things and it was so cool! The stake gave my compaƱion and I 40 minutes! haha that seems like a ton for a reunion like that.

I was just thinking about how there is a little bit of a difference in the relation between the members and the missionaries here and in Arlington... or maybe its just because I wasnt very aware in Arlington, but it seems like the people here love a lot more the missionaries since almost all of them are converts and remember the missionaries who baptized them every time they see us. The member of the high council spoke about missioany work in his talk this sunday and he got very emotional talking about his conversion, the Elders who met and baptized him. That could be true for both here and there but for some reason I think its stronger here. Or maybe just for me, since my conversion had very little to do with missionaries.

Anyway, we planned it to be able to inject some missionary purpose in all the members. Haha at one point, when I was talking about the reuniones we have in the church to satisfy the needs of investigatores and members, I sat down as a video we had quewed up played. I looked over my notes from the planning meeting (which were on a sticky note I had) and put the note to the side. When the video finished, I stood and resumed talking. After a little I was thinking, how can I grab more of their attention, and help the reunion have the council feel that we wanted, not a discourse  When I was ready for the next item, I wanted to look at the note again, and looked under my scriptures on the podium, then on my Preach my Gospel, then under that, then all around the podium, then where I was sitting before, but I couldnt find it! The first counselor of the stake said from the seat he was at, "there it is pointing (I thought) to my back. I looked behing to the left raising my left arm to see, and to the right raising my right arm to be able to see, and nothing! Well about 7 seconds had passed by then, so I turned around to get help from all the people there. haha. That grabbed all their attention. Turns out it wasnt on my back, but my left elbow right where I couldnt see. haha. Everyone got laughing, I heard Elder Beletanga whisper something about breaking the ice and I said: "that was a joke to break the ice". haha pretty effective in fix the discourse slash no participation feel. I kept going with lots of questiones so that the council wouldnt get lost in discourse. This meeting had about 150 powerful and dedicated ward leaders. It was very special.

In divisiones this week with Elder Cerrudo, something very cool happened. We knocked a door and the lady said, you knocked at just the right time. Turns out a whole bunch of things had happened, including that her husband had gone with her best friend. Poor lady. She went to church and is preparing herself to be baptised. Another contact was a man who until 3 days ago, hadnt wanted anything do to with God, but he said he saw a movie and realized that in the 12 years he hadnt prayed to God, he had become something he didnt want to be and has been wanting to come closer to the Lord the 3 days before we got to him. the interesting thing is that they had planned to go over by his house the same day that he had seen the video, but couldnt.

We are teaching a family, who are really good, but we arnt sure how to help them go to church. One false doctrine that lots of people think is that there is no need of a church. I think that is one doubt they may have, that they dont know how really important it is to do things like be baptized and take the sacrament every sunday, having a calling and magnifying it. Its vital for our progress and if we dont go to church, then our velocity of comming unto him is at best slower than it could be.

I have a feeling that this week will be a good week. We are going to be able to have lots at church. I think that por fin we are going to get in a really good swing, hopefully we dont have changes!

Love Elder Johnson

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