Tuesday, March 5, 2013

4 March 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Since I didn't get a phone call telling me to pack up last night, it looks like I'll be in Queen Creek for at least another 3 weeks to the end of the transfer. I'm not going to fully unpack until transfer call night though. I learned my lesson last time!
Just a reminder that if you send letters to Yuma, I will have a chance of getting it once a month. The missionaries down there could lose it. Also, if you send it to the mission home I can also get it once a month.
Well, Queen Creek is very different than Yuma. There are so few hispanics and they are so hard to find. Every time we speak with someone we ask them if they know where we can find hispanics to teach and 85% of the time they say no. So the finding is tough. Went from finding 14 new investigators in one week in Yuma to 2 in one week here.
The drive here all I heard was about how the work is struggling, how they have no potentials for baptism, and how the work has just about stopped. Pretty depressing news to hear going into an area. But I reserved judgement on the area because once I accepted that I wouldn't really be able to work with faith in the area. And so this week we put behind all judgements and just did missionary work. By the end of the week we had hit the record for most lessons taught in this area for 6 months and we now have three people on date for baptism this month of March. Things are starting to turn around.
The missionary work here is different but so are the demographics. There are tons of members here. Tons. And yet our area is 90 square miles as we cover one of the YSA wards and the spanish ward. We went to Chic-fil-A for lunch this week and as we were waiting in line this guy comes up to us and says he'll buy us lunch. That has never happened to me before! We sat with them and talked with them for our lunch hour. We started talking about the roads in Queen Creek (how they don't make any sense) and he just grabbed his GPS and loaned it to us. Caught us both by surprise! I just tried to update its maps since Queen Creek has recently exploded but it costs $50! I'll pass.
We eat dinner with the spanish ward every night since we cover the YSA ward and they can't really feed us. Since leaving Yuma two weeks ago, I haven't had mexican food for dinner once. So sad. While walking down the one trailer park we have found some people yelled at us to come over. They were cooking Carne Asada! Just like that they offered us it and we shared a meal with them on the side of the road. Mexicans are awesome. They wanted to share their beer with us as well but we passed on that one.
On that same note of demographics, we were walking past an elementary school and dozens of kids ran over and yelled, "MISSIONARIESSSSS." hahaha.
Two days ago as we were helping someone with their yardwork, I heard this deep deep propeller sound and looked up. There was a B17 flying over head! Apparently there's someone here who owns that and a P51 and sells rides.
We do a lot of our work in a place called Little Mexico. You drive down one of the bigger roads for a while and then turn onto dirt roads and you're in Little Mexico. It's basically the ghetto of Queen Creek and there is a more dense population of hispanics there, still not many. We had 8 lessons fall through there. But that's ok because we found a couch in the middle of the road which we sat on. Pictures attached.
We went on exchanges this week and I got to go to an English dinner. Guess what we had for dessert? Georgetown Cupcakes! Apparently you can buy them online and have them shipped over. They were so good; that was the first time I had eaten one.
Next week is our temple trip! I'm pretty excited. We get to go on Wednesday morning for the 7:30 session. Maybe on the way back I'll get to see the Gilbert temple since I still haven't seen that yet.
I gave myself a goal to read the Book of Mormon in spanish in 11 weeks. That's an average of 3 chapters a day. I'm in 2nd Nephi now.
We had the cool opportunity to teach someone and put them on date this week. After we invited her to get baptized she said, "you know, I have actually been thinking a lot about baptism recently." The only trouble is getting a hold of them. Since our first lesson we haven't been able to get ahold of them to stop by again but that first lesson was awesome. Hopefully we can find them...
We tracted into an interesting family this week. We asked them if they had ever been to our church before and the guy said no, they went to ____ church to which his wife said, "no, it's called ____!" He said, "Oh yeah." Guess they don't go very often haha. When we invited them to the easter pagent in Mesa, all they said was, "We don't leave Queen Creek," and shut the door haha. Tracting is great.
Thanks fo the letter Sister Hines!

 Love you all,
Elder Johnson

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