December 13, 2011

Dear Mother and Others,
Merry Christmas Season! It is definitely Christmas down here because during our second Christmas concert, we had to compete (in the same park, same time) with ANOTHER Christmas concert put on by a different Church. Not gonna lie, it was quite funny to invite somebody to the Mormon Christmas Choir and then receive from that person an invitation to the Evangelical Christmas choir. All against the backdrop of a giant Catholic Church, holding mass during the two. The world, indeed, is a funny place sometimes.

Anyway, to the important things: my Christmas package. Kidding. After Dad's weekly letter, I'll be happy with anything I receive. Gifts aren't that important in comparison to the gift of the Savior. His life, as well as HIs death, is an eternal gift, to be appreciated and shared. I love just reading the words of the Savior with people. He started this all. All Christianity. He is something amazing. Truly, His name is Wonderful.

Oh yeah, I guess I kind of have something important to say this week. So, week started normally enough: working with Elder Juarez, teaching the same investigators, living in Bosque, whatnot. Then, we went to Choir practice Wednesday morning and that.....was also normal. Until the very end, when Hna Leyva announced that we need to stay a little bit longer for a special announcement from President Leyva. He got up and started to announce a bomb: SPECIAL TRANSFERS. Right now, on Wednesday. And guess what? Elder Juarez got transferred. I stayed in Bosque, but with a new companion. Oh, and I'm senior companion now.

No big deal, right? WRONG! Because I haven't technically finished my trainer. It's a 12 week training program. Today, Monday, is the first day of my 10th week. And technically, as senior companion, I'm training because my companion also has only 10 weeks in the mission field. His name is Elder Edwards and you might remember him as my District Leader in the MTC from my earlier letters. Yup, us two Gringos, alone in Bosque, trying not to get lost. It's quite the wild ride. I was the only one in my generation to be moved to Senior Companion/trainer, so I have no idea what the president was thinking, but actually, things are better now.

Let me explain: Elder Juarez is a good companion and a good missionary. It's just that he has 14 months on his mission now and naturally doesn't have the same enthusiasm for the work as a greenie. We do. We are shooting for perfectly obedient. We are teaching, working with members, looking, serving with more energy, more time, and, to be perfectly honest, just more of everything. Elder Edwards is the kind of person who can be a missionary 100% of the time. He is always talking about investigators, lessons, scriptures, rules, things we can change in order to become better, and it's exactly what I need. I'm being pushed and it's good for me. I'm learning in leaps and bounds again. I think, in a week or so, it wil be good for the investigators as well. We just need to find them.

Kidding, I actually know the area pretty well. We've only gotten lost once and that was today when we were looking for a place to eat lunch on p-day. It wasn't the worst thing in the world. We ended up finding the cocina anyways, just like 20 minutes later than we thought. No biggie. We also put two more baptismal dates this week. One was with Luis, the thirteen year old we've been working with for a while but with whom Elder Juarez and I had sort of dropped because he hadn't come to church. But, one night, we had nothing to do, so Elder Edwards and I went looking for him. Luckily, we found him. We set up a date again. And we are going to visit him everyday this week so that he comes to church. And Jesús, a return missionary who's only a month fresh, has agreed to pass by his house on Sunday in order to bring him to Church. We are getting this kid baptised because, dang it, he wants to.

Our second baptismal date was with Adolfo. He still has a bunch of problems. Like, a lot. His wife still wants to leave him, he still doesn't have much money, his daughters are still sick. But, we are focusing on repentence, asking forgiveness, praying to God. This man just needs a new slate. His life has been so hard up to this point. We want to give him a new slate. So we explained the Doctrine of Christ and read Act 2:38. The Spirit was strong. I couldn't help myself; I had to invite him to baptism. And he accepted. So hopefully, we'll have baptisms on the 18 and 25 of this month.

People need to start coming to Church though. I won't lie, it's really frustrating when nobody comes. The problem (one of them) is that our area is super big. Our chapel is at one of end and most of our investigators live at the other end. Nobody owns a car. So money, time, and distance all get in the way of church attendence, which is essentially for conversion. We don't know what to do, exactly, for this problem, but we are going to do all we can. That is certain.

Well, I love you all. Life here is life and it always goes on. The Lord lives and Loves. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I'll be more interesting next week, promise!
Elder Johnson

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