Thursday, May 23, 2013

20 May 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

"What are you doing to have so much success?"

Those are my favorite words to hear in a phone call. On Sunday night we got a phone call congratulating us on keeping the zone afloat this week.

I think 'success week' doesn't really do it all justice. We unfortunately had someone fall of date, no baptisms, no one progressing, but in all other aspects we've had a miracle week. 

It started last Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday were decent days teaching a moderate amount of lessons, but Wednesday was when it all fell into place. We had planned to go visit some formers in the morning and then some other formers later in the morning with a member family. We had no luck on our own from 10-11am that morning and went back to meet up with the member family. With them we visited a former investigator family who all had a baptismal date that then disappeared..  Well, they're still missing. When we were piling back into the car to head home I felt that we had to go knock on a different door - one that we hadn't knocked on who we knew was a former investigator. We drove over to the trailer, knocked, and she answered in tears. One of her sons is in jail and they have been struggling for a long time. She was taught two years ago by two different elders and wasn't ready at the time. She said that she always saw other missionaries walking past her trailer but never to it. We sat down with her and talked about trials and overcoming them and committed her to a baptismal date then and there! It was cool to be guided to someone who was finally ready to accept the gospel. Unfortunately she's the one who fell off date, but that's a different story. We were pushing for a 2 week baptism but will probably change that and head towards the 15th of June instead of the 1st. We are meeting with her and her husband tonight to talk with them about the church and our role as missionaries. They have a lot of potential.

Another great potential came from an idea from district meeting. The training was on making lists of contacts with people - not necessarily people that are interested, but just a list of EVERYONE they know. After that we pray over the names and sit in silence as the person marks each name they feel prompted to mark. Then they call them and invite them to sit down with us to meet. Well, we implemented that this week to resounding success. We got 5 referrals from one family and 10 from another (still waiting for their addresses.) The first person called her friend and set up a lesson right then and there. We stopped by on Saturday to teach her friend and had a nice chat and invited her to church. Well, she showed up to church with her family of five in tow as well! Woooooo! It was cool to see them participate and take the sacrament as a family. We have another appointment with them tonight and we are going to extend all a baptismal date for probably June 15th as well.

Our Bishop pulled us aside and thanked us yesterday - this was the first time they had had investigators in church for "months." The members did an awesome job introducing themselves and talking with the investigator family. We did a lot of background coordinating as well to let people know they would come but even those we didn't talk to reached out. Success.

We have been working with someone who had a baptismal date for the 11th of May but cancelled just before. I wrote briefly about her last week. We met with her once this week with another member family and had an awesome lesson about setting examples. The parents testified about how they sometimes had to encourage (or pull) their kids to church when they were younger but how it always paid off. They had a daughter there who shared her testimony about her grateful she was for her parents doing that to her. It was pretty tender. Anyway, we knelt in prayer afterwards and told her to tell her kids why church is important to her to see if they'll go with her to church.

They didn't go :( We'll keep working with them though.

It's hot! Ahhhh. Air temperature is bad but hot air, that just kills you. We got cut 50 miles for some reason and we're biking over 10 miles a day. Speaking of, my "cyclometer" speed rating often jumps from like 2 to 14 when I'm maintaining a constant pace and then it will just go to zero after some time. Anyone know why? Readjusting it temporarily fixes it but then it gets out of place again. Very frustrating.

We went to the reservation this week to do some baptismal interview. I'm pretty sure that was the first time I've been on a complete reservation before. It was a bit...different. The chapel was...different too haha. Dirt roads, everything was dead, it was a different world. We spoke with the senior couple who covers the reservation and they told us about some of their challenges, specifically about how there is no word for "commitment" in Pima and no one is willing to firmly commit.

On Monday we had a pretty cool experience. We had a referral for a trailer that ended up not existing. As we went to the car a member pulled up and gave us a super solid referral that we will be visiting sometime this week. A family that moved from CA and wants to go to our church. In the right place at the right time! What's that saying? Be where you ought to be when you ought to be there doing what you ought to be doing.

I think one of the highlights this week was biking around town and OYMing this family. After the lesson all five of them accepted a baptismal date but all five of them are for the English missionaries. 

We got news yesterday that we're moving out of our apartment next week instead of in 3 weeks. Ugh, there's so much to do before then... Good news is that we'll be in a two bedroom, bad news is that means that there will be four missionaries which is often too much fun.
We found a pet ferret this week? One of the neighbors is watching over it until someone claims it.

We were in a trailer park talking with some people and some kids challenged us to a game of knockout. I told them that if we won they would have to listen to us for a few minutes. I won. Now we have a bunch of potential families to visit! 

One of the priests in the ward offered to make us wood pens this week and laser inscribe them with whatever we want. I asked him to make, "Elder Johnson - Arizona Tempe Mission" and then on the other side, "Barrio Ray 5 - Chandler, AZ" He'll be using cherry wood and they look sweet!

Thanks for the letters Natalia, Jamie, Jeff R, Mom, Dad, and Grandma and Grandpa J!

Its been a good week and we have a good one to come! 

PS: If you find the turtle let them know!
Inline image 1

With love,
Elder Johnson

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