Thursday, December 20, 2012

17 December 2012

Fun times with Santa Clause

Christmas in Yuma
Happy Birthday Grandma Johnson! Wishing you the best birthday ever!
Today is Monday but today is not P-day. Since the mission christmas party is tomorrow in Tempe. We have time to shop and write emails today but that's it.
This past week we had interviews with President Howes. Elder Valdez and mine were scheduled first at 7:45am. Since we wouldn't have much time in our areas this month to proselyte (Elder Cook, Christmas party, interviews, christmas, etc) President kept them to 15 minutes each. A lot less than last time haha. Interviews were really good. Learned some good things that will help us be better missionaries. President Howes definitely can speak with power.
This week was a 2 baptism week for us. Both went smoothly and well. The first one was the most attended baptism I've ever been to wth well over 60 people. The room was full and people were standing. The second one had considerably less, probably 12, but was just as powerful. I was in charge of filling the font both times and I guess the water was a little too warm the first time. The thermometer read 90 F. Woops. When they walked into the water they both looked at me and mouthed "IT'S TOO HOT." Good times. He asked me to confirm him a member of the Church which was my first spanish blessing. To say I was a little nervous probably wouldn't do it justice. Nevertheless, it went smoothly except for saying that that God was happy that he joined his (the baptizee) church. I meant to say that God was happy he was joining His (God's) church. Bah, semantics.
Last night was the baptism for someone that I taught with Elder Sawyer. When I got transferred, she was on date to get baptized. Even though the baptism wasn't 'statistically' mine, I was super happy to see her make that step of faith and was happy to have been a part in teaching her. She has overcome many trials and her life and is an example for everyone. That was the most stressful baptism I've ever been to though. Elder Lanier, Sawyer, Valdez and I all ate dinner out in the Foothills that night (yesterday). The baptism was scheduled for 6pm and we left dinner at 4:45 (my goodness the best dinner I've had on my mission. I don't even know what it was but it was delicious). They (Lanier and Sawyer) still had to fill the font (~40 mins), print the programs,get the baptismal suits from our car, and set up the room. Well, we didn't get back to Yuma until 5:25. We split up and we helped them prepare by printing off the programs (which was clearly rushed since they even spelled their own names wrong - we fixed that) and getting the baptismal suits. The baptism didn't start until 6:25, late as usual for our spanish branch haha. Anyway, I told Elder Sawyer to be careful with the hot water and I guess he overcompensated. The water was ice cold. The woman he baptized took like 5 minutes to get into the font. After the baptism, they realized the woman's locker room door was locked and no one had the key. People were bristly walking in and out of the room trying to find the key and it was, well, stressful. Ater 10 minutes they found a key and let her into the locker room to change haha. Wasn't even my baptism and I was stessed out. But that's ok because once she finished changing and came out we ( the 6 missionaries) sang a cool rendition of Nearer my God to Thee. We're probably going to be doing that at every baptism from now on. It was pretty powerful.
We taught a lot of lessons this week. 28. Unfortunately, only 7 of those were with members present so I'm not too pleased.
And that was because we broke our phone 4 days ago. We were sitting in a members car and the phone slipped out of a pocket and, wouldn't you know it, fell straight into a cup of something. He grabbed it quickly and took the battery out and we let it sit in rice overnight but it was already dead. So for 4 days we've been struggling to do everything. It was especially stressful to plan and figure out baptismal details without a phone. How did old missionaries do it?...
I forgot my scriptures at an investigators house this week. While we were walking around the corner, I heard a little kid scream, "HEY WAIT." I turned around and saw him running with my giant scriptures in hand haha. That would have been bad.
We baptized someone who lives in San Luis this week (~30 miles away). For 2 days we had tried to find someone to come with us to a lesson and give us a ride and no one could. On a whim we called someone who we knew was very busy. He has a large family and works 80+ hours a week. As soon as we asked him he said, "Of course, let me move my schedule around." Man, that man has a testimony of prioritizing the Lord. It was humbling to see him take 2.5 hours (trip there, lesson, and trip back) out of his very busy day and help us. The lesson was amazing and the spirit was very very strong. Despite it being 50 degrees, we all felt warm that afternoon. He gave a great talk at the baptism too. Something he said that I really liked was, "We live in a world of darkness...but it doesn't have to be dark for you. The light of Christ shines brighter than ever." Amazing experience.
This week during personal study, I had a moment of realization. It finally hit me how much sense everything makes in the gospel. Everything Surely something so perfect can't be incorrect. I don't remember when or why it hit me but it did.
One of the most common things we here down here is, "It's all the same God, why does it matter how you worship? I do it in my own way." I was flipping through the Old Testament this week and found a pretty great scripture.  8 ¶For my athoughts are not byour thoughts, neither are your cways my dways, saith the Lord.
 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my aways bhigher than your ways, and my cthoughts than your thoughts.
Sometimes we don't understand why we have to do something but we need to remember that there's someone who knows better than all of us.
We went to a Tamale festival this week haha. Down in Sommerton (~15 mins from border) they threw a giant party and advertised it for weeks. Since we cover that English area we went down there to see it and see some former investigators. It was a massive dissapointment. $2 for a Tamale "pass" and then $2 per tamale. Psh! There were well over 2,000 people there though. We left empty handed but ran into some snowbirds from Utah who bought us a big bag of them haha. Only in Yuma would there be a party centered around Tamales.
I got our family Christmas card this week. There are two ways you can tell Mark made it: 1) He used the picture I told him not to, 2) He made himself look taller than me haha. Just wait, I'll come back 6'11" and show you who's boss.
We were in our sketchy part of Yuma last night talking to people at around 8:30pm and we pulled over and started to get out. Someone walked past the car and looked into it. When we opened the doors, he jumped and quickly walked away. The person we were going to visit was the same way he was walking so we went that way. He was terrified that we were cops haha. He then decided to walk into house...which just happened to be the house we were going to. The look on his face was priceless when we said Hi and then when we said we were missionaries. I think we'd get to talk to more people if we weren't wearing white shirts and ties. Then we wouldn't be thought of as cops.
We are focusing this week on working with referrals from members. The other day, we were driving behind a member who was going to work. On a whim, while he was driving, he stuck his hand out the window and pointed to a house. We pulled over to the house while he drove away. The family told us to come back another time which we did last week. Turns out the family of 3 have LDS parents but aren't members and the daughter (12) wants to get baptized. Sometimes we don't know who is ready for the gospel, so why try to determine who we think is ready when in reality we don't know who is? The gospel is something that blesses everyones lives. Let it!
Thanks Mom, Dad, and Natalia for the letters this week. I'll respond tomorrow on the car trip to Tempe.
We get to go to the temple tomorrow! Never been so excited haha. Just hope I get better by then. Last two days have been pretty flu-y.
How is the range in the temperature so huge in deserts? 120 during the summer days, 30s during winter nights.
Why does, at the end of the Old Testament, it say, "the end of the prophets?"
Merry Christmas, love you all,
Elder Johnson


  1. low humidity enables rapid cooling through radiation when the sun is not out. Humidity is an insulator.

  2. .... Because the Old Testament was divided into the "Law" (meaning the five books of Moses) and "the Prophets" (meaning the writings of the major prophets such as Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel) and the minor prophets (Daniel through Malachi). Just as the marker "the end of the Law" doesn't mean that there can't be any more law, the marker "end of the Prophets" doesn't mean that there could be no more prophets following the ministry of Malachi.