Monday, February 3, 2014

28 January 2014

Overall, this was a relatively uneventful week and will thus be a shorter letter.

I don't like being sick. Especially not for five days. No no no no no no. . . 

Our week started out so well. We visited an amazing family on Monday and the wife was a little sick. The next day, Elder Diaz was sick. The next day, I was sick. The next day, the other missionary that we live with was sick. I think I was sick the longest though and it went from Tuesday night to Saturday night. 

On Saturday I thought I was fine again. We went out and worked that day and then I made a terrible mistake: we went our to Chipotle with some members. Big steak burrito with salsa = terrible idea. I was sick again within three hours. I made it to our baptism that night and then went back and died at the house.

But I'm fine now! Wooooooooo! 

I learned a lot from that experience. My timetable isn't the Lord's. On Sunday night I was analyzing our previous week and was looking back on how good  it was and said to myself, "We'll repeat this every week!" Nope. We were then sick for five days haha. I learned a lot about patience and trust. I was beating myself up for being inside and feeling guilty for the first two days. I was so antsy to get up. Brother Burton, the sealer that we live with, told us that there is a season for all things and that really struck me. Sometimes we need to move slower than we want to for the right things to happen.

That baptism was the best service that I have ever been to. Ever. We announced it for two weeks before hand at church and got permission to get every missionary in the zone there. We set up over 60 chairs and had to set more up due to the crowd. The family getting baptized invited friends and coworkers and they came in force. It was awesome.

The ordinance itself was performed flawlessly for all three of them. As they were changing the Bishop bore his testimony. When they came out after changing each one shared their testimony and opened up a little bit more to the members. It was POWERFUL. The final testimony was the eight year old. That was the highlight. The closing hymn was "families can be together forever," and during the closing prayer I laughed a little bit at the number of people sniffling. 

In the post prayer moments the 8 year old approached me and said, "I don't know why, but I feel really peaceful right now!" Later at church the next day she would pull us aside and say, "Last night I had a moment with God. I felt so good."

It was a pure moment of innocence and love.

We love that family. Their baptism was one of the happiest moments of my life.

This past week we said goodbye to the Lamberts, a senior couple that we both served with in Gilbert. They covered the reservation and we love them. They went home on Thursday and on Wednesday we were able to go have lunch with them. We shared mission stories and "what we've learned so far" and it was an uplifting experience. Fun times. 

Last P-day we spent the day with the couple that we live with. We played a fun card game with them and then bocci (sp?) ball afterwards. They are temple workers and a wealth of knowledge. They're hilarious and energetic - we love them!

Elder Diaz and I have been making some plans for this next month, at least trying to. Nothing feels right. We have so many things to focus on and every missionary is at a different level. It's hard to put a blanket statement on the needs. Being so close to Tempe gives us the unique ability to go and visit President Toone and get some counsel from him. We talked and talked and he said he has felt the same way about the mission. None of us got answers but we got direction. That's better than nothing, right? February is going to present some unique challenges but we're ready for them! 

Well, a new week has began and with it will come new experiences! Thanks to everyone for their continued support!

Elder Johnson

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