Use the following address after July 1, 2013
Elder Paul Johnson 1889 W. Queen Creek #1104
Chandler, Arizona 85225
Monday, June 24, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
This week was awesome. The best week since February. Why?
This week was awesome. The best week since February. Why?
We taught her for the first time on Monday and she was on date for July 6th. On Thursday we invited her to move it to June 29th. She said no since they would be out of town and suggested....that Saturday! So in two days we organized the entire baptism and invited everyone. She had been to church before for quite some time. It was a great turnout and the first in the ward for 10 months. The work is picking up with the Hermanas having one next week (who lives in our area...), and us in two weeks again with someone else.
So that was definitely the highlite. But there were other things that made the week great as well!
A dog bit me this week. We were walking over to someone and this dog got loose and ran straight at me. It was a 1 year old chihuahua that couldn't get its mouth around my shoelace if it had wanted to so no damage was done. Regardless it made talking to the person a little difficult since I was busy kicking it off me with my foot... In that same conversation her 13 year old daughter came out and said, "I LOVE your eyes Elder....Johnson!" It was a really weird OYM.
We moved this week. The night before transfers at 10pm they called us and said, "Pack your bags, you're moving down near Queen Creek!" I sat there for a second in silence thinking to the Queen Creek zone and Gilbert mission but he clarified and said Queen Creek Road. So we stayed up till 12am packing our bags and moved everything that next morning. They said we'd stay in the Chandler zone.
But that didn't happen either. At transfers they split all the zones and opened 4 or 5 new zones as well as made all the new zones for the Gilbert mission. We are now in the "Gilbert West" zone despite the fact that we live in a different part of Chandler still. They're going to rename the zone on July 1st when the mission split takes affect to either the Gilbert zone or the Ray Zone. I'm hoping for the latter. We still cover the same ward and same area (thank goodness) so we cover two zones now.
Transfers was CRAAAAZZZYYYYYY. 240 missionaries in that room all singing Called to Serve was pretty sweet. It was the last chance I had to see some of the great people I've met as the Tempe mission gets split into the Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Mesa missions. Bittersweet. Luckily my whole MTC district is staying together in the Tempe Mission. We thought we'd take a picture to commemorate.
Happy as always.
The mission actually got Jeep Compasses, not Grand Cherokees, for the missionaries in the mountains. They're pretty cool.
Speaking of cool, I got to see some of the old members from Yuma at transfers! It was awesome! Brother Borgerson and Brother Allen were both there giving rides and it was great to see and talk to them again. I told them I'd be back there next February. Apparently the work has slowed quite a bit down there.
Does anyone in the DC South mission know Elder Payne? He's best friends with Elder Janis, our roommate.
I ripped my first shirt this week. We walked up some steps to visit someone and my shirt caught on the window. It ripped about a 7" hole along the left sleeve. I was pretty bummed at first then I went back to look at the corner and realized that if my arm had been 1/2" closer it would have cut my arm open pretty deep. That window was super sharp. Blessings in disguise...
The apartment we live in right now has one room. There are four of us there. There was some miss communication somewhere and now we're sleeping on the worst beds in the world. We're moving next week on July 1st... So, after June 26th you can send letters to this address:1889 W Queen Creek Rd #1115, Chandler AZ 85248. We have a private lake we can't use.
Anyway, because our apartment is so small (we have two chairs) we put our desks outside on the patio and study there. It's miserable since it's so hot. I'm not unpacking. We've moved 3 times now since May and once more next week. 4 times in 7 weeks... Ridiculous. We joke about how they just move us to clean up the apartments.
We got some time to spend with the missionaries in the Mesa zone at transfers to talk about iPads and iPhones in missionary work. As we saw in that stellar broadcast last night they're upping the amount of technology in missionary work. In Mesa zone, every missionary has a personal iPad Mini and each companionship has an iPhone 5. It's super sleek. They're also given permission on Faceboook to "proselyte on Facebook." They are even allowed to be friends with family.
This week someone asked us what we were doing there. I felt the situation was right so I quoted Paul (more or less) and said, "we're here to help you repent and be baptized!" I was a little nervous about what they would say but they just said, "hm, ok" and walked away.
I was reflecting on the last year I've had here with President Howes. I was also thinking about my first interview with him that I wrote about in my first few weeks. I remember not liking what he told me. But I realized that that first interview changed my entire mission for the better. Looking back on it that was the single most trans formative event in my entire mission and all I had to do to realize it was humble myself. I'm so grateful for the time I've had to learn from President and Sister Howes and will miss them both dearly. They have less than a week left.
I found an Ensign from the June 1976 issue and read an awesome section in the "I Have a Question" section about rebellions. Informative.
I'm approaching 3rd Nephi in the Book of Mormon. We have a week left to finish it. From the last 300 or so pages what has struck out to me is the major difference between the Lamanites and the Nephites. I think it's obviously connected to their faith in God but it's a bit deeper than that answer. I've come to see that the principle difference between the two is the capacity to forgive. The lamanites hold grudges for centuries and it consumes them whereas, for the most part, the Nephites learn to forgive and forget and as a result they're, for the most part, blessed. Good life lesson there.
I've filled my first journal!
And now for the elephant in the room...the broadcast last night! I hope everyone watched it. And for those who didn't, go to lds.org right now and watch it. I was hoping for some huge announcement which never came but nonetheless it was awesome! They re-stated what has always been said but also showed how to do it. I think my favorite part was Elder Anderson's. Unfortunately not many in the spanish ward went and we're pretty sad about that but we'll take what we learned and teach the members. If any ward can implement it, the Ray 5th ward can!
We love that ward. Last night we had dinner with the Bishop and his family. Ahhhh, they're the best. They made a chocolate cake for me and a Key Lime pie for Elder Diaz. They have such great love for the gospel and last night it felt like we were home again. Such a great family and such great leadership for the ward. We're so blessed to serve with them.
Last night someone threatened to call the cops on me. Some people just ignore us when we speak to them and pretend we're not there. I don't like that so I usually stand there in silence with them waiting for them to tell me something. This person said nothing and then when I stood there in silence for a bit she said, "I'm going to call the cops on you if you don't leave!"
We also talked with someone last night who told us right away that she wasn't interested. I said, "do you know what we share with people?" She said no and I asked her, "How can you not be interested if we don't know what we do?" She laughed and we invited her to visit mormon.org then headed off when she said she had to go.
We set our baptismal goal for 3 in the month of July. Bring it on.
Thanks Susie, Tanan, Eric, Will, Mom, and Sister Hines for the great letters!
Thank you all so much for being so supportive!
Con mucho amor,
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
We're both staying in Chandler and together! Wooooo! The phone calls didn't come until this morning. More on that later.
We're both staying in Chandler and together! Wooooo! The phone calls didn't come until this morning. More on that later.
This was a tough week. Elder Diaz got pretty sick so we stayed inside for two days and we didn't teach many lessons. Fortunately he's feeling better now, a CT scan, ultrasound, and several blood tests later. They were pretty worried about his liver but fortunately he's good to go. Somehow the relief society found out and we got some concerned phone calls asking if we needed anything. It was cool to be on the other side of the phone and feel the love of the ward.
We didn't have a baptism this week...He cancelled the morning of. Three times now I've had a baptism cancel within 24 hours of the baptism. Here's the full story:
We have taught him every day for three weeks and his entire life has changed for the better. From his personal life to his apartment which has been cleaned up and refurnished, his life has done a complete 180. The gospel has saved his life in more than one way. He loved church. He loved the members. On Friday we went to the temple with him and he loved it. LOVED it. "I'm bringing my kids here in a year!" Friday night he was all good to go for the Saturday morning baptism. He asked me to baptize him and Elder Diaz to confirm him. The ward was getting pumped.
And then at 9am we got the dreaded text. :( The first thing we did was drop to our knees and say a prayer then we called him, no answer. We went to his house, no answer. His roommate wouldn't call him for us and so we waited for 1.5 hours for him to get home from work. He never got home. We called him probably 10 times that day and no answer. I was starting to get worried.
And then yesterday we finally found him at home before church. Long story short we got him to say a kneeling prayer and then afterwards we waited for 2-3 minutes in silence, us praying intensely mentally for him and him sitting with his eyes closed and 'listening.' After a time he looked up to us and said, "It's true. The Book of Mormon is true and God has restored his church to the Earth!" I was beaming, reveling in the miraculous change of heart we had just seen.
And then he said, "but my path is elsewhere." Devastation. We sat in silence for 5 minutes waiting for him to clarify. He sat his job is to help his old church.
So we invited him to the mission president's devotional that night - President Howes' last one. We showed up at 6pm, the allotted time, and he wasn't there. Agh! We can't go without investigators. We ran around the area visiting some of our other investigators there and desperately trying to invite them to come with us. They were all busy. On a whim we stopped by our investigators house once more to see if he was home. Nope. But his roommate was walking to the door with groceries in hand. We ran over to him and helped him carry them inside and said, "hey, come to a devotional with us!" He said, ".....ok!" Whew! Miraculous! We went with him and it was an incredible devotional. Two people who were baptized the day before spoke and shared their testimonies and then President and Sister Howes spoke. Elder Heathcote (served with me in Yuma for my first six weeks) came back to visit and it was fun to see him there.
Anyway, we were pretty sad about that baptism falling through. At church the Bishop came up to us and told us that someone in the ward who isn't a member whose family is all active decided that she wanted to get baptized in two weeks. So now we have someone who is on date for July 6 out of nowhere! He mentioned she may prefer Sister missionaries. Nope. That's not happening.
Elder Diaz's birthday is this week, his first in the field. His is June 24th. Last night we had dinner with the relief society president and in a moment where he was in the restroom I mentioned to her that his birthday was next week and asked her if there was anything we could do. She promised a cake on Sunday night. I told her not to tell him - I want to surprise him. There's not much we can do for him but I'm trying to think of something to make it better than it's bound to be haha. I did not tell her mine was just four days after.
We had a pretty unique experience this week. We found a Navajo Book of Mormon in our car trunk 6 weeks ago and just left it there to admire it on occasion. Well, this past week we found two Navajo women and spoke to them for a bit and then ran to the car to get the Navajo Book of Mormon. What are the chances! After much prodding we convinced them to say a prayer in Navajo - It was AWESOME.
Our senior couple in the zone, Elder and Sister Lambert, got anti'd this week by someone in the grocery line at Costco. Apparently it was so bad that even the other people in the line told the guy to get lost. Sad, the Lamberts are an inspiring and very very humble. I also whispered to them that Elder Diaz's birthday is next Monday so maybe we'll get two cakes?! Haha
I'm pretty sure Arizona has damaged my eyes. I can barely walk outside without sunglasses on since it's so bright.
I almost died at a dinner this week. No, not because of the food. We ate with someone who was studying for his citizenship test and we asked some questions. Elder Diaz asked, "who's Benjamin Franklin?" Two people who will remain unidentified said, "oh, he invented electricity!"
We had just finished talking about how most American's can't pass the citizenship test haha. Classic.
We also had the most intensely meat packed meal this week of my life. Elder Diaz has told me for weeks about Argentine Asados and this week an Argentine member made us a five course meal. Of meat. Started with some type of port, then steak, then pork, then chicken, then something else that I'm still unsure of what it was. We ate this salad of beats, raw eggs, and ham and it was actually really good haha. I couldn't eat two of those three ingredients 12 months ago.
This week I realized I've been out for almost 12 months and I was dumbfounded for a bit. Where does the time go?!
Though these past six weeks haven't yielded any baptisms, we have had success in other ways, the most profound of which was being able to help someone return to activity in the church. We got a referral from a member for a less active to visit and after the first visit she said, "Ok! I'm coming back! And I'm bringing my whole family with me!" Yesterday the youngest daughter sang with the youth in the fathers day program and I just sat there smiling and thinking about how all this family needed was the invitation and they're back and they're happy.
We were visiting someone this week and I took a drink out of my camelbak. The person looked at me and said, "are you smoking?!"
We took our car to the dealership this week to get that mirror that broke itself replaced. While waiting a salesman came up to me and I asked him some questions about the Scion FRS, their sports car. That car is pretty sleek! The guy just about sold me on it and as I was reaching into my pocket I remembered I only have $20 dollars left for the month, a little less than the $25 thousand that I would have needed. He wasn't willing to trade for our 2010 Corolla either. I could only imagine what President Howes would say if I showed up to transfers in a red race car revving the engine at 8,000rpm instead of our silver corolla.
Laura Johnson, if you read this, I met Elder Benson. Small world!
I talked with Elder Boyd last night to verify that we'll be able to wear polyester ties with the new mission president. He said President Howes is making policy adjustments next week including something with ties. Woooo!
Every single missionary is invited to transfers tomorrow. It's going to be 4 hours long including a social afterwards. This will be the last chance I have to see missionaries I've met that will be in the Gilbert mission. Last night I got it confirmed that there will be four Spanish missionaries in the entire mission and they'll have one companion for basically their entire mission. Those four Spanish missionaries are based out of Queen Creek. Whew, that was a close call!
So we cover all our daily planners with pictures to make them less boring. I've always spent way too much time looking for really unique pictures that no one else has to make my planners different. Well this week I looked through the 20+ watchtowers I've collected and found two sweet pictures of Daniel in the Lion's Den and a picture of Lot running from flaming meteors. Elder Diaz doesn't approve hahaha. I'll send a picture of it next week.
Speaking of pictures, here are some I took this week.
Dang, that one came out really well... It took a couple tries to frame it just right.
During the hour and a half we waited for our investigator to come home from work (the one who was supposed to get baptized.) We felt like cops - we were just missing some newspapers with eye-holes cut out.
Thanks Natalia, Annie, Mom, and Will for the letters this week! It was great to hear from all of you!
Love you all so much! Happy fathers day!
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
I got in a car crash this morning. Well, it wasn't really a car crash but this metal pole jumped out of NOWHERE and broke our right side rear view mirror. Ahhhh, my driving record isn't perfect anymoreeeeeeeeeeeee. We've already called it in and will be dropping it off later today to get fixed and whatnot. The ONE time I park next to the pole...the ONE TIME! I hit it backing up at 2mph, if that.
Before I forget, THIS WEEK IS THE LAST WEEK OF THE TRANSFER. I don't know where time has gone! So, if you're not planning on sending a letter by Wednesday to me, you should probably send it to the mission home (see side bar on blog for address). I'm 98% sure we'll both stay in Chandler but you never know. Since we're both new here, since I'm training, and since we have so much work it's almost guaranteed we'll stay. I hope.
This was an awesome week. We didn't find as many as we did last week but now we have 4 people with a baptismal date in June and they're all progressing. We're pretty excited.
Speaking of baptismal dates, you'll never believe what happened. The person that was supposed to get baptized June 15th got anti'd....
But it didn't go bad! Our investigator actually anti'd the guy back! It was actually his old pastor from his old church and our investigator went off on him! The investigator was at church yesterday and we had him meet with our Bishop for a bit. 75 minutes later they came out of the room - both happy. This baptism will be the first baptism this ward has had for almost 10 months now and we will have found and baptized him in 3 weeks! He is crazy prepared and there have been some unbelievable miracles in his conversion story that I can't write here. Unbelievable. Almost. He also did the commitment from the sunday school lesson from last week to compile his four generation family history chart haha.
We had a pretty cool experience with him this week. We planned to go over the 10 commandments with him but the spirit prompted us otherwise and we talked about the Book of Mormon for the whole time. He has struggled reading it since he has such a strong testimony of the Bible. The lesson changed things and he's doing really well now. At the end of the lesson he spent 15 minutes thanking us for being so supportive and loving and how he feels something different from us etc. It was pretty humbling to hear him testify about the role that we have been able to play in his recent life.
The Mesa Mission President told some stories recently about how their missionaries were stalked. But by who? But members of the Cornerstone church. They have anti Mormon classes in their church, offered during services on Sundays, and they send people to follow LDS missionaries around and knock on the doors that the missionaries visit. We had the same guys in Queen Creek and looks like they're hitting the Phoenix area hard. They anti all the investigators they can find. Usually I wouldn't put the church name in the email but these guys take it too far.
The temple this week was awesome. I learned Elder Myler got red lighted from Tiwi (in-car GPS) hahahahaha
We met someone who had a "Chweenie dog" this week. What a terrible creation.
This last week we were visiting with some investigators from Dominican Republic, and Chile. They all said where they were from, Elder Diaz said Argentina, our member said Chile, and then it was my turn. Naturally I said Brazil but for some reason they didn't believe me.
I walked up stairs this last week for the first time in months! We never go up stairs because there's nothing upstairs of any building that we ever need...
So it's officially hot. 113-115 was the high this week and we were out on bikes. I think the most depressing thing is when we're biking home at 8:55pm and see one of the giant screens with the temperature and it says 107' F. Kills me.
I thought Arabs might have been onto something for the heat. Nope. Still hot.
Speaking of bikes and car crashed, I almost got hit again this week. We were biking up north to visit someone and this car was pulling out of a parking lot to turn onto the road. This person decided that she didn't need to stop for the stop sign and plowed through. I swerved out of the way and my pedal just about his the front of the car.
On Sunday yesterday I was getting ready to sit down when I was approached by one of the members. He asked me, "will you translate?" There are some English families that were present and the normal translator wasn't there. I said yes and got ready and was pretty nervous. Everything went perfect until the youth speakers got up. They spoke so fast and mumbled into the microphone. I looked at the Bishop on the stand and he looked at me and laughed. I just whispered, "sorry!" into the microphone and the people with the translators on just laughed. It was a pretty fun experience and I was a lot more attentive than usual. There were some awesome talks. My favorite was on an experience from girls camp where they blindfolded some of them and had them walk an obstacle course holding onto an "iron rod." There were people without blindfolds walking around trying to lead the people with blindfolds astray. One of the leaders (blindfolded) told of one girl who tried to "tempt" her by saying, "Help, I'm lost!" The leader then responded, "Come and walk with me, we will go together!" The youth 'tempter' then said, "aren't you a leader?? Help me, I need your help!" The leader told us that she couldn't tell if the girl actually needed help or not and was trying hard to decide whether or not to check (which would have disqualified her. She likened it to people who may have wandered who need help but aren't willing to come where the good is and she said we can't leave the path to help them but we can invite them and encourage them to come walk with us. It was a pretty touching story and excellently delivered. Our investigators loved it.
We are teaching a woman who is from (I'm going to butcher the spelling) Guahaka, Mexico. She speaks a very interesting dialect that has some similarities to spanish and sounds awesome. She also speaks some spanish.
We are taking a recent convert out with us to visit some people. He has been looking for a new house to move in with his young child and pregnant wife. We took him to visit the above-mentioned investigator who had just that day put her house up for rent and is the perfect price and location for our member. The blessings of missionary work!
I think I love spanish wards so much because the overwhelming majority are converts. It makes taking people out with us more personal for a lot of our investigators.
Right now we're teaching a young husband and wife who are expecting their first child. The father is drinking a lot and the wife broke down in tears telling us how she worried for him as a result. We had a member with us who was a convert and had been through the exact same thing and he bore super bold testimony to the husband about how he needed to change now. It was pretty cool to see how bold we can be with the spirit and if it's loving. They didn't make it to church since someone stole the husband's identity in Mexico and was doing some money scam. The family is going through a lot and there's a lot of stress in their relationship but they both said yesterday that they think this can save their relationship and their family. It's awesome to see people change, I'd say that's my favorite part.
We ran into an unbelievably drunk man yesterday. He was too drunk to even shake my hand and we told him that was the last drink he should ever have again in his life. I thought he was going to punch me, he looked so mad haha.
Remember the Jehovah's Witness I wrote about last week? Well we ran into her again. By ran into her I mean we knocked her trailer door. She answered and was surprised to see us. She had told me to research some anti thing she told us last week which I learned about (thanks Sister Hines!) and told her the real story. She told me she had more for me and would give it over next time we saw. Anyway, that wasn't the point of stopping by. I told her I had read her magazine and found it interesting and offered to give her one of ours again. She declined and said, "Jehovah already has spoken to me, I won't read it." I left it on her doorstep by her door with our phone number on the back. She gave me four more magazines and a book. She couldn't comprehend that I was genuinely interested in what she believed and that I like to understand the people I teach. Her question was, "if you believe you already have the truth, why are you reading this?" I told her that if we aren't willing to put our testimonies to the test then we don't trust God. Anyway, those little magazines did the same as the one last week did - just strengthened my testimony of the restored gospel. It still blows my mind that they never talk about the role that God plays in their church today. Never. Not once. I think she thinks she's going to convert me. I have a lot of respect for their beliefs but not the way they go about sharing them. I think the religious zeal goes a bit too far. We talked to someone this week who said that some Jehovah's Witnesses that stopped by three years ago talked so strongly to her about how she's going to hell that she tried to kill herself. Too far.
It has been a good week and next weeks letter will have a baptismal picture attached!
Thanks Katie, Jamie, Sister Hines, and Eric for the letters this week!
Hope you all have a great week!
The big news of the week is...
Ok, the real big news is that we have someone on date for June 15th! He came to church for the first time yesterday and really really loved it. Sometimes it seems like the hardest part is getting them to church. We've been working to talk about church with them from Monday to Saturday so they know we expect it all week and not just tell them on Saturday night. I'm pretty confident he will get baptized but we will have to talk on the word of wisdom since last night he told us about his past with other substances. Probably won't go into detail here on that but he gave us a little of his life history - it could be a movie.
But to rewind to earlier in the week... On Monday I realized that my the fabric that covers my belt loops is wearing off and is white. So in a stroke of inspired GENIUS I colored over the white part with a sharpie. Ta-da! Good as new.
We went to Carls Jr this past week and I ate a hamburger (only the third time on my mission) and root beer for the first time. It was weird haha. That's not a big part of Mexican's diets.
President Howes changed the district meeting calendar. For the next 5 weeks, instead of training, as a mission (but individually) we will be reading the Book of Mormon focusing on the Doctrine of Christ. It has been awesome to reread it focusing on one topic. I've learned a lot. We read from 9-11:30 and from 11:30 to 12 we share thoughts on what we read. Everyone else commented on the overall theme being "faith" but I found tons more instances of "enduring to the end." I guess that's something I need to work on.
My favorite spanish phrase is, "no manches." Literally translated it means, "no stain," but in mexican slang it means "no way!"
We had interviews with President Howes this past week. These were his last interviews before he goes home. I was prepared to ask him some intense questions but instead, for my last 15 minutes with President Howes, we just talked about ties haha. It was a fun conversation and culminated with him trading me a tie and me giving him the one around my neck. He doesn't trade ties very often and I made sure he wrote on the one he gave me. He told me that if I ever saw him wearing the tie I gave him in a meeting I can't say, "hey, that's my tie!" Guess that means it passed the test.
This past week we were biking around talking with people and this guy on a bike biked past us. We followed him and tried to talk to him. He said, "NO BRO, I'M RUNNING, I GOTTA GO!!" and biked really quickly ahead. Unfortunately for him we were biking the same way. After about 15 seconds of bike sprinting (word?) he slowed down again, looked behind him, saw us again, and started pedaling as quick as he could again haha. This happened about 3 times. 11 months ago I might have thought it was uncomfortable but I live for those moments now.
We talked with someone this week who lives in Maricopa, where Elder Myler is serving. I got to call him to pass it off to him and it was fun to talk to him. Love that guy. Near the end of the call he said, "oh, I have a referral for you!" Sweet, I thought! He gave me a name then the address. The address was, "866 u-s-m-e-l-l." He pronounced it oosmuhl. I read it out loud to him and said, "that's a street!?" Then I realized that it spelled out "you smell." Ah, gets me every time!
We get to go to the temple on Wednesday for the 7:30am session.
We were hoping for a new car this past Wednesday. On Friday night the APs texted us and said, "will you be at home at 9? Stay focused!" I was so sure we would be getting a new car! Turns out it was some sick joke haha.
We stole a dog this week.
Maybe stole is the wrong word. We were walking around a trailer park and there is always this little pug that never moves so I approached it to see if it was alive. It got up and ran at me. Thinking my life was in jeopardy I got ready for the worst. 60 minutes later it was still following us around. Eventually it ditched us to chase a cat but we're hoping it found its way home. The trailer park isn't that big.
In that same trailer park we ran into someone we had seen before. She told us about how she wanted to change and would have to quit smoking after her surgery. I told her that if she wanted to change she would have to start now. After some pushing and prodding I convinced her to give me her lighter and in return I gave her a picture of Christ. Victory! The lighter is now a trophy on my desk. That's the second lighter I've taken.
I have reached a milestone. I've gone four weeks now without getting an "aggressive driving" or speeding violation. I've been a little more careful since I'm yellowlighted and if I get more violations I'll get red lighted and not be able to drive haha. It's probably Yuma's fault. I got four aggressive drivings in one day once...and I didn't even drive crazy!
We OYM'd a woman this week who was very quick to tell us that at death the family is dissolved. She told us all of this in front of her kids. We don't get that point of view very often but I've heard it all. Thanks Queen Creek!
I talked to the first white Jehovah's Witness this past week that I've found in Chandler. She was very quick to attack Joseph Smith. I don't think I've ever met one who went at him so quick. We managed to keep it a cordial conversation and she went on about some court cases about plagiarism and the Book of Mormon. I found it ironic that that was her argument since they believe all government is corrupt. Keep in mind this entire interaction was less than two minutes. She brought up the God's name thing and I asked her just a question, no more. My question was, 'if we're supposed to pray to God by calling him Jehovah, then why didn't Christ do that in any of his prayers.' She couldn't answer the question but that was fine since I wasn't trying to attack her. I offered her a pamphlet which she declined then asked for some of their literature to study. I like to understand the people I teach. She returned a few seconds later with a copy of a magazine with their basic beliefs.By the end of the conversation we both respected each others beliefs and she had a better opinion of LDS missionaries. It was a nice exchange. I read it that night and used their given scripture resources to see how they support what they believe. But after I had studied their basic beliefs I left knowing one thing: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the fullness. The member that was with us for that OYM wasn't happy that I took their literature but I see no problem.
It's really hard to teach a lesson with cockroaches crawling all over the place. We have a lot of investigators in this one area and there are 50x as many cockroaches as people. Ahhhhh.
For some reason there is a store in Chandler that sells Hot Tubs. I can't imagine why. There is always a "SALE" sign outside.
It has been really interesting to serve in different wards and see how the members react to new investigators at church. From what I've seen, the Spanish wards are far better. The great great members introduce themselves to the investigators, sit with them, and socialize with them. They walk them around and explain little things to them. I love the Spanish wards but I wish I knew how to play piano haha.
[From mom: interesting to see that last comment.]
Thanks Eric, Annie, Sister Hines, Natalia, and Mom for the letters this week!
I got locked out of my account again for refreshing too many times. Lost the story about eating fish and getting sick (fish ew). and some other comments.
Thanks so much for all your support!