Monday, January 28, 2013

28 January 2013

Si bueno!
So there's a pretty good chance that Cassie talked to one of my recent converts. He and his girlfriend went to the San Diego visitors center and he said he talked to a sister missionary with the last name Rasmussen. Haha small world.
This week was the Tormenta Blanca, or white storm. Every 2 months there is a training for all the spanish missionaries. I had never been to one since Yuma is "too far away to make it in reasonable time." Psh. Well for this training, all the Spanish missionaries came to Yuma and San Luis for an evening to visit all the less active members in the branches. Hence "white storm." Our mission president came down and said, "Usually the church discourages 'blitzs,' but that's not what we're doing...we're inviting!" Haha that got a good laugh out of everyone. It was fun to finally meet the other spanish missionaries, including one who was at my farewell my chance as he was passing through on vacation. He, Elder Myler, Harder, and Norton all stayed at our tiny apartment that night. The highlight was probably tricking Elder Myler into eating a Chil te Pin (spelling?). But that wasn't as funny as Elder Mackay getting tricked into eating an Habanero haha. Good times. For the blitz, I mean night of inviting, we all split up with new companions for a bit and had a list of people to visit and went out with a member. A lot of people got visited and a lot of lessons were taught. Unfortunately there were not many new faces at the spanish branch that weekend.
Which in one sense was a relief since I was asked to speak. I spoke on trusting in the Lord and not being afraid to walk forward in the dark since the light of christ will light the way. It was alright, my throat was really dry and was tripping over my words. I only had 5 minutes to deliver 15 minutes of material since Sister Escobar took 20 minutes. I was more than happy to shorten my talk haha.
We tried to OYM a guy this week (street contact) and we said, "Hey! We're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and..." and he interrupted and said, "CONGRATULATIONS!" and walked away. Haha he wins the award for quickest and funniest rejection.
This week we got surprised dropped by an investigator, the one who helped us with our tire last week (the practicing catholic). We went over, he warmly welcomed us in, sat us down, and said, "I read Moroni chapter 8." He handed us the book and said he would hear us out but that he was done listening to us after that. (Chapter 8 is about infant baptisms and why they're not needed.) We spoke to him about why we are baptized: for the remission of sins and to enter into a covenant with God. We told him that Christ always taught that we should be as children, pure and clean and how we are not guilty for the transgression of Adam. I asked him why he believed infants needed to be baptized and he said he didn't have a reason other than that was what he was always taught. He was pretty offended by the chapter. I understand why he feels how he feels and am sorry for him. He's an increadible man and is remarkably christlike. Hopefully some day he will come around. We left the Book of Mormon with him and told him if he ever needs us to call us. We left a little dissapointed; the plan for the lesson was to extend a baptismal date. Didn't happen. But we left on good terms. That was evident the next day when he drove past us on our bikes and yelled out the window, "GOOD AFTERNOOOOOON GENTLEMEN!" I have so much respect for him.
It's the end of the month and, as expected, we are out of miles in our car. Of course the one week we start biking this month is the one week it rains! I can count on one hand the number of times it has rained since I've been here and one of those times were while we were on bikes this week. It was refreshing but we got really dirty. Biking through rivers in the street didn't help either.
Yesterday at church I saw an amazing example of God-like sorrow. Someone we were teaching has been struggling with some things and yesterday told us we would have to push the baptism back. It was humbling to see how everything has affected her and the changes she has made in her life to get to where she is now and where she will be on the 7th when she is baptized. It's awesome to see how far people can come as they humble themselves. President Monson said it right (I'm going to slightly modify it), 'man is never taller than when humble/on the knees'
Here's a question I can't figure out: in 3rd Nephi 11:25 Christ gives the baptismal prayer. It not only differs from the one that John the Baptist used on Christ, but it also differs from the one we use today. As we do the baptismal prayer today, if we mistake a word or do not fully submerse, the ordinance gets repeated. Why then, if it has to be so exact, do the prayers differ?
Also, why 12 apostles and not 5, or 7, or 10? 12 is an even number, it's possible to get a tie "vote."
We set our Feb baptismal goal at 3. It's going to stretch us to work hard but I'm pretty sure we can get it.
Thanks Doug, Mom, Eric, Will, Katie, Jamie, and Lyle for writing this week! Glad to hear you are all doing well and staying, for the most part, out of trouble!
Other than that, this was a pretty slow week. The blitz took out 2 days. We did teach a lot this week, 31 total lessons, 8 of them to less actives, and 13 to investigators with a member present. That's the most total teaching opportunities I've had on my mission far.
goat/ram: this picture was taken right before it tried to eat me
lake: that's a park. It sprinkled all night and there was 6" of rain in all the little parks around Yuma. The city smells like a pond. Also, the sprinkling caused the power to go out and the streets to flood.
But again, thank you all for the continued support!
Con amor,
Elder Johnson

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