Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013

This was a little bit of a slower week. Lots of lessons cancelled and things seemed to just be going against us. 
Our monthly baptismal goal is slipping through our fingers. Two people who were progressing towards baptism either have disappeared or decided they aren't so interested. It's looking like three is attainable but the next one will be on our faith. We learned that there is a youth who has been going to church, seminary, and mutual for 2 years faithfully just told everyone that she actually isn't a member and wants to get baptized. Apparently everyone thought she was. Unfortunately her parents aren't so on board so it will be at least 6 months until something can happen.
We will be having two baptisms this week, both on Friday. There was some confusion over what time they would be at which left some people a little less than happy but hey, can't make everyone happy right? One will be at 6 and the other at 7. Cutting it close haha. With these baptisms, we will again have baptized someone into every unit/congregation that we cover in one month. That's always a rewarding thing to think about. We have a good amount of work going in one of our English wards and the ward is getting very excited about missionary work.
We were sent out this week to get the ward mission plans for the year of 2013. The wards aren't pushing themselves very hard for baptismal goals.
This week we were walking down a street trying to find someones house when we saw a guy one the road. We went over and OYM'd him and when he said he wasn't interested I asked if the red car in his garage was an Alfa Romeo. Way off, it was a '61 Corvette. I had a bad view... We talked about his car for a bit and then I asked what car was under the cover. He looked over and smiled and said, 'come here.' We walked over and he slowly pulled it off. He had a DeLorean! That was the first one I've seen in person. He opened the doors for it and let us look around it. It was in awesome condition, too. I wanted to get a picture but it felt weird so I just admired with my eyes. Sweeeeeet car. I offered to trade our Corolla for it and he said he could use a convenient car. I wonder if President Howes would be mad if we did that... People would come to US to talk to us if we drove a Delorean.  Either that or a car with hydraulics. We talked to a guy with one this week...pretty useless thing haha.
It is has been interesting to see how peoples countenances change when they see you and reject you to when you talk about the car in their garage or the plane on the wall. They open right up and will talk for however long we want. Sometimes just leaving them with a good impression is the best thing you can do. Maybe in a couple years they will be more likely to listen.
I tried that last night and failed. I know nothing about bikes and this guy came by in his Harley and I asked what year it was. He revved it really loud to keep me from talking so I tried to talk to his friends. They just sat there laughing at us so I made eye contact with the one laughing the most and just held it there while bearing testimony. She felt pretty bad about it at the end haha.
We got our first hate mail this week! After a long day of cancelled lessons, we came home to find a card that we had handed out, burned, with obscene comments taped to our door. We laughed about it but it was a little concerning since we don't tell anyone where we live. I'll probably keep it for a while, the person went through a lot of effort to put it there.
 Last week we were asked to speak in Church on the 13th about whatever we want. This was Valdez' first time speaking in English at Church and actually mine as well (on my mission). We both decided against the cliche missionary work topic and did something else. I spoke on the Book of Mormon, what it is, and why we all need a testimony of it. At the end I challenged everyone to take up Moroni's challenge again and to read it, pray about it, and reconfirm or receive a testimony of it. Shared a principle, taught, and left a commitment! We were each given 15 minutes to speak. Two youth spoke, a musical number, and us. It was a nice sacrament meeting and the congregation enjoyed it.
 We have been teaching someone recently who has a great deal of faith. We invited her to pray about the Book of Mormon and followed up about it the next time we went over. She said that she believed it was scripture and said that she had her prayer answered. She had a pretty miraculous answer come and she said it has touched her and she wants to change. She said she wants to feel forgiven since her sins weigh her down. Ah, we've been waiting to hear that from someone!
Earlier this week we were out knocking on doors at 8:30ish. It was cold. We knocked on one door and before we could say anything this guy pulls us inside to get out of the cold. Once we're inside and warm he asks us what we're doing. I was half expecting him to throw us out when we said who we were but instead he sat us down and said he has always been interested in our church. He is a practicing catholic and not interested in changing religions as much as learning about what we believe. Maybe we can share something tonight that will change that.  Very nice family though with a very strong spirit in their home.
Two days ago we stopped by our investigators house to teach him but he wasn't there. He had a bush of Chile de Arbol outside his house so we borrowed a couple and took them to dinner that night. For some reason I thought it wouldn't be too hot. I don't think it was as hot as the Chile ta Pin (spelling?) and definitely not as hot as the Habanero. But it was still hot. I was supposed to share the message that night and couldn't since my mouth was just on fire. The family we were with brought out Tums and told me to take two hahaha. One of these days I'll be able to eat one without dying... Until then, free entertainment for the Spanish dinners I guess.
I don't remember who but someone said, "Nothing great will ever be accomplished without enthusiasm." I'll take credit for it until someone comes forward.
Since this was another slow week, not a ton happened. We didn't teach a ton of lessons. We did find 9 new investigators though, that was abnoramlly high! More on that next week as we see which ones progress.
To kind of explain those pictures....there was a dust storm of sorts, not the kind I'm waiting for (giant wall of dust moving towards you as one body) but rather a slow move-in of dust. High winds and lots of dust made visibility pretty bad. Lots of sirens that day. We broke into Elder Lanier and Sawyer's apartment through their window because we were hungry and our dinner cancelled. When they came home and we were in their home they got  good scare.
Thanks Johnson family, Deweys, Wolthuis, Wolthuis, and Eric, Mom, and Will for the letters this week! 
If anyone has any questions they'd like answered, ask away!
With love,
Elder Johnson

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