Saturday, April 19, 2014

13 April 2014

Twenty minutes ago the mission office called and gave me my, "Trunky Call."'s really called that...
They asked me where I wanted to fly into (Reagan National) and about sending my bike home. Apparently it's free through some awesome member so that'll be happening.
We almost got stabbed this week. Alright, maybe that is a HUGE exaggeration. First, some background. President Toone asked us to go on an errand late one night and as we were walking to our destination (through a weird alley) we suddenly saw a camera flash. It caught me off guard - it was pretty late and there was no one around. It was dark. *FLASH* it went again. I looked around and then looked up. 20 feet off of the ground was a small camera that the city installed to keep an eye on who was walking around that alley at night haha. Hopefully that picture doesn't come back to haunt us.
10 minutes later we got to the canal. It was dark. There was nobody around. Suddenly we heard footsteps and saw a kid sprinting at us! We only noticed him about 10 feet behind us. I thought I was dead. He ran really close to us, yelled, "'sup whiteboiz!" and then continued. Two minutes later four cop cars came screetching out of the intersection he had previously been at.
Transfer meeting was this last week! It was HUGE. The entire mission was invited in and Yuma skyped into the meeting from their stake center. President called everybody into a room to have a special meeting with them and had Elder Myler and I go and help the new greenies get all situated with their iPads.
It is always an interesting experience doing those meetings. It's just the group and us. You learn a lot about the missionaries in the way that they can follow instructions to set up an iPad. It's almost hilarious.
Because of that little meeting we missed the big meeting! As we finished we walked out and heard the end of it. "If you're not willing to step up then I am going to release you as a district leader, a sister training leader, or a zone leader!"
We had missed an hour and a half of throwing down, P. Toone style! I heard it was super super awesome. There were a TON of changes in leadership as he fixed a lot of the problems from the transfer before. Every companionship except for 10 in the entire mission got changed. Elder Myler and I were one of very few to stay together! We're pretty sure we'll "kill" each other!! (finish missions as companions)
At the transfer meeting it was fun to see all of the 50 or 60 missionaries that I had served with while in Mesa. That was a fun reunion. It was fun to see Elder Diaz again. He and Elder Myler are my last surviving companions.
At every transfer meeting the greenies go up and introduce themselves and say where they're from. Usually you hear states like Utah, Idaho, California amidst cheering from the missionaries from that state. In my entire mission I've heard one missionary say he was from anywhere near me: Maryland. When he stood up and said that I yelled as loud as I could because no one is EVER from the east coast! I was the only one to make a sound for him haha. But at least I was able to do it once on my mission!
Phoenix South zone got rocked. And something big happened.
Something very big.
We have more sisters in our zone than elders. I have NEVER heard of that happening before!
We told the STLs that they were the new ZLs and that we would be the new Elder Training Leaders. They didn't like that joke haha. We have 10 sisters and 8 elders. For our weekly planning meeting we all meet together in the gym and plan separately but in the same room. It was the quietest and most spiritual planning session of my life. Elder Myler and I couldn't stop smiling. Sisters are pretty different...
Elder Nelson is serving here in Phoenix South now! He randomly showed up to my departure talk 2 years ago and now we're finally in the same zone!
There is a building in South Phoenix that is Mexico in a store. It is called Ranch Market and is the most amazing place in the world. Everytrhing from the music to the signs to the food just screams Mexico. They have an amazing restaurant inside that sells the best horchata and burritos in the entire world. We took the zone there this past week and everyone left with big smiles on their faces. There's only one of those places in the entire mission! #phoenixsouthswag
We found a family this last week. Where? Circle K! (That's a gas station.) The family of four came to church with us yesterday and the children all want to get baptized and the mom is ok with it! que hubole! They made a lot of friends at church and the kids are going to the Easter pageant with the youth on Tuesday!
And we'll be hitching a ride with them! On Sunday night we went to the Spanish night. It was amazingly beautiful. We were able to get over 20 people to the Spanish Easter pageant. And by "we were able" I mean one of the families we are teaching took 14 of her friends haha. She said, "I really feel like God wants me to share what you're teaching me!"
One of the families that I baptized in Yuma is doing amazingly well. So well, in fact, that all of their extended family is getting baptized or learning about the church in other parts of AZ, Yuma, and Mexico!
Sometimes you can't see how far what you do will go...
Elder Myler and I are teaching a ton. We're having a ton of success right now but for some reason it's super hard to get people on date for baptism! We're teaching over 20 lessons a week on average with members present for 7 weeks now, we're getting tons of people to church, and we're finding tons of people. But they're just not getting on date! These people have real concerns and they're future leaders in the ward. They're all looking to the temple.
Things are going super well here! Thanks for the letters family, it was great to hear from you!
Happy Easter!!
Elder Johnson

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