This has been really really fun. As a note, Paul sent me a picture of our new front lawn. It's pretty! Tons of trees and green and stuff. Looks pretty weird. Haha just kidding.
This SUNDAY WAS AWESOME! the whole ward, well half the active body almost, went to the temple last week. And they came back Sooo happy. It lined up with a testimony meeting too which made for a really powerful meeting. There were a bunch of future saints in the meeting too who were impacted by the testimonies, especially the testimonies of the youth who went. Almost all the youth who went bore testimony of their experiences.
Apart from that, about.. let's see... one friend of a saint came to church and felt really strongly the spirit. She had a few questions like why don't you have pictures in the chapel. Until someone had asked me that a month ago, I hadn't even realized that the churches, especially the catholic, always have pictures in their chapels. That's interesting. Also, there was a young man who has 15 years who was happy to be there and there was another lady with her two kids who we actually didn't get to meet! Mom dad, friends, when you see someone new, always talk with them, make them feel your genuine love, and get them to know the missionaries, another who is an older man who sells stuff here in Tacna and also lives in the jungle of Lima, our gospel principles class teacher who is always on the ball asked him a little about his situation to find out who he was, where from etc, and straightly asked him if he was planning on being baptized here or in Lima. Yesterday was the first time we've seen him so that was just the directness that he needed to know how to do this thing he wants of coming to Christ. She invited him to a family home evening Tuesday with a recent convert Sandra Astete and a few others from her class.
Apart from those, sister Chita came with two of her kids and she came fasting for her husband who is still not embracing the gospel with all his heart like she is. Her daughter went to Arequipa to see if she could get into a university there, and we were hoping she wouldn't so that when her dad is ready they can all get baptized as a family, and she didn't get in. When they told us we reacted like this YES! oh um... also sad but mostly YES!
In the afternoon we started splits with some members and I went with Osman and we contacted some references of his family. He has been back from the mission for 2 years now, and has been married for 1.5 years. Apart from getting married quickly, he gives a constant example in everything he does. I asked his cousins who he presented to me if they believed that The Lord helps him and they said YES faster than a speeding bullet. Osman was baptized something like 6 years ago, and his strong example helps others to be prepared. We invited them to be baptized with an uncle of theirs and they accepted.
We also went Saturday with Aldo Lopez, a friend of ours, to a friend of his. She is really really awesome. She felt the spirit very strongly and could just tell during the lesson that all we were saying was true. Also accepted a baptismal goal.
What Roland sent me in a Dear Elder has been excellent. We invite everyone we get to know to be baptized at once. That helps a lot. Not just to let them know how to come unto Christ with clarity, but it helps us to be of purer heart I think. I really like it because you can start in any way. Talk about Christ for 5 seconds, or just say: Hello, we are mormon elders. We have the authority to baptize. Would you like to be baptized? And if its said with a pure heart and the eye single to the glory of God, almost everyone says yes haha. Most will express some reserves after, but its just a great thing to do. It makes me happy for some reason.
I like what Manyan Liendo said: A communist is communist until he becomes a millionaire, and an atheist is an atheist until the plane goes down. That kid is pretty amazing. He is now finishing Jacob and launching into Enos. Enos is the best! We gave him an assignment to look for all the places in the Book of Mormon where it testifies of Christ today. We've just got to find his elusive mother so he can have permission to be baptized.
We asked the landlord of our room to take some names to the temple, and something marvelous happened. of the four we sent, two finally told us that the reason they haven't been baptized yet is not just because her mother has been opposed (even though she has 24 years) but that she has felt addicted to coffee. Also, her mom this week decided to support her in her decision to be baptized out of nowhere.. that was special.
No me alcanca el tiempo por los otros, Chao! [I don't have any more time for the rest, Goodbye!)
Love Elder Johnson