Thursday, July 19, 2012

19 July 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

What a fast week! It seems like I've been here far longer than just 2 weeks (today starts the 3rd). Soy un profesional missionaero. I can't spell in Spanish.

I think the non-spiritual highlight of the week was finding Ergs. There are two gyms on campus, one at the fieldhouse area, another under the mailroom. It has elipticals, weights, and 2 ergs. I've been using those regularly. I had completely forgotten how evil they are. No other machine is as good as workout as they are though. Running the 3 miles that we do per day is easy in comparison. I rowed a 2k the first day, 3k the next, and 5k yesterady. The first 2k was 8:40, pretty lame, but a bit better than I expected, especially considering I stopped for 15 seconds to help my companion fix the shoe tightening thing. He was pretty exhausted afterwards, I won't mention his time. The 3K was equally hard. What I like to do is row 500 meters at a fast pace then every 500 meters try to get a faster split time than the previous split time. It's a good workout. I rowed the first 500 meters of my 5K at 2:17 split then dropped down to 1:50 for the last 500 meters. I almost died. Ended with an average split of 2:10, or two and a half 8.2 minute 2K's. Though it wasn't too quick, it felt good after I was in bed but pure agony during. Gotta love ergs. I'm racing the other elders tomorrow. See who can row 500 meters the quickest...we're all pretty competitive.

Mom, when you served in Honduras, did you know an Hermana Colledge/College? (spelling?) Her son is your same age and served in Honduras, can't remember the mission presidents name. If you knew her I would laugh.

Also, Dad, you never answered my question if you knew an Elder Shreeve in Portland, OR. My roommates Dad served your same years in Portland Oregon. Elder Shreeve.

Thanks for all the letters! I got nine on Tuesday. Needless to say, my roommates were jealous. Thank you Aunt Andra for your note! Glad to hear that you're following along! Uncle Matt was spot on: the MTC isn't easy but it's so rewarding.

Thank you too, Roland. There's a letter enroute. Snail mail, of course.
Random connection. Apparently Elder Shreeve, one of the four elders (including me) in our small room, knew Tiffany at BYU. What were the chances. He also just found out he dated my companion's girlfriend before they started dating. They didn't know eachother beforehand. Only at BYU...

William, I quoted what you said to some of the elders here. Apparently you guys went to a catholic cathedral and it was, "so nice that I decided to make it in Minecraft." They all laughed.

Elder Brown just left the MTC this week. At the MTC, or at least in my zone, when older missionaries leave, they leave things behind for select missionaries. My companion got a bouncy ball, my roommate got a gross robe and a quarter (?). Elder Brown passed down a poster of Joseph Smith and a sweet toy car. Good guy. He's the DC North mission but if you ever see an Elder Brown, tall and skinny from CA, blonde hair, feed him. I gave him a list of things to do in DC, as well as our address in Arlington. Elder Campbell passed down a nerf gun to me. 6 bullets and all. I'm set. If our zone breaks out into all out war, which is highly unlikely since we all love each other, I think I'll survive.
My study question for the week was one that took way longer than I expected to answer. I was reading in some scripture and realized that we pray to God in Jesus name. Why have to go through someone? I spent three days reading around trying to find a good answer. Here's my conclusion. The atonement exists because we are not worthy to return to God's presence because of our sins. Similarly, we aren't worthy to speak directly to God so we use a "mediator," or, Christ. I analogized it like this: back in the old days before even the internet, phone operators would be dialed in order to reach someone else. You had to go through a central figure to reach someone. Similarly, we pray through Christ to God because it helps us contact him. Anyway, I'm not 100% sure that's true, but thats what the scriptures made it seem like.

Elder Shreeve, Myler (companion of mine), Elder Thorsen, and I decided to sing in the Choir this week. We sang, "This Is the Christ" during the devotional. It was pretty great to hear so many people sing such a great song. I didn't know it was written (lyrics) by President Faust! The cameras panned over us for a bit and it was hard not to laugh. Nothing like being zoomed in on in front of 3000 people.
Naturally, Hermana Dicarolo, the only person at the MTC/this side of the coutnry who follows F1 got transferred to the Intermediate spanish class. Hermana Maier went with her. We also lost Elder Diaz Galarza to the advanced class on two days ago. He is going to Peru, Lima Central tomorrow. 2 weeks in the MTC and he's already going to the field. He's not going to the MTC in Peru. his Mom is Peruvian and Dad is Mexican so they are very excited. We had a nice farewell for him.
Elder Peterson and Elder Adams leave on Tuesday for the Peru MTC at 3am. After that, we will have five elders and two hermanas. Elder Thorsens Visa isn't coming in for Peru so he's getting delayed it seems. Our group of 12 will soon be 7, and then 6 when Elder Thorsen leaves.

We had a musical devotional this week. First time I've seen one of those. Elder Oaks' daughter who is a concert violinist performed. She went to Giuliard etc etc. It was pretty impressive. At the end, her four kids (Piano, Violin, Guitar, Cello, ages 13, 10, 8, 5) performed a song. It was amazing and everyone was impressed.

Our "Investigator" got "baptized" this week. Our new "investigator" committed to baptism too. (Mom, you can explain this if you want, as in what the investigators are. For the sake of time IO won't)
not sure if I said this last week but the showers here are brutally bad. They are either FREEZING or SCALDING. This morniing my shower was 30 seconds long, the longst 30 seconds of my life. I think they make them bad on purpose. Some peopel still manage to shower for 20 mintues though...

Speaking of lame, the rooms are also really hot. Some elders have fans which get passed down from person to person over the years. One such fan, a pink one, was in Elder Fullers room. He was about to give it to me then read all the signatures on it. One said, "Elder ______ will be coiming back in one year to pick this up.) He came back with the new district last week. Somehow that fan had made its way through multiple buildings, zones, and people, to come to the same floor and district that he entered. I gave him the fan because destiny is destiny.

We've been taking some cool long exposure pictures recently at night. I'll send those home when the 2nd SD card arrives here. I'll also have names/descriptions of anyone I have a picture of. There are a lot. Anyway, these elders are really creative with what they can do with some flashlights and a 15 seecond exposure. I've got all of them on my camera.

Thanks for that letter Dad. No, it doesn't distract me any more than reading any other letter would. I'm so happy Mark Webber won, he's the man. Totally deserved it. McLaren need to step up it seems. Kudos to Massa too! Keep sending me descriptive letters about the races! Also, putting that Loonie in there was awesome. Canada was a great trip, thanks for it. It's taped to my wall.

6 minutes left and I've used all my bullet point topics tio talk about. 

Does anyone have any questions they want answered about MTC life/schedules? Pop me a letter and I can answer them next week.
This week was full of teaching and teaching. "Julio"," our "investigator" is now our teacher, Hermana Angel. He served in Ecuador and has some hilariously paintful stories about food and what it did to him. Use your imaginations.

We taught a lot of lessons this week. Elder Myler and I work really well together and our whole district still really loves each other. We use less and less notes and are getting more and more confident in our spanish. That said, it's still trash.! Apparently that is an easy way to send packages. Just saying.

I've had a lot of fun discussing politics. Yes, I know, I'm on a mission, but sometimes it comes up either when we're talking about church doctrine or whatever. It's fun to talk to people who "hate Obama," because, "he does nothing." But unfortunately they don't know what specifically he hasn't done. I am educating!

Hermana White told me she can always rely on me to say something interesting. I guess wikipedia is finally paying off. Whether it be relativity in "If you could hie to Kolob" to whatever else, apparently I know interesting things. Word.

Time's up.

Yo se que la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dios es la verdadera. Yo se que el expiacion de Jesucristo es for nuestro y es muy importante por nuetro salvacion. Yo se que este mediante mucho diligencio y fe, todos cosas es posible.

Love you all, thanks so much for the letters again. There's few things as exciting as checking the mail after lunch and dinner and having letters.

Elder Johnson

1 comment:

  1. Wow! He's well on his way. What a great attitude. He'll be an awesome missionary!