Tuesday, June 11, 2013

10 June 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.

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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!
Elder Johnson

1 comment:

  1. Wrecked his first mission car! Oh no! I guess it happens to the best drivers too. Sounds like he's having a wonderful time in Chandler. Great conversion stories!