January 15, 2012

Curse you, Shakira!

Okay, bad news all: President has officially restrited internet time. We have gone from spending two hours on Preparation day writing to friends, family, and President to forty five minutes. Yup, we are back to MTC style letters: short, rushed, scattered, and infinitely less inspiring than the unrestricted Elder Johnson. Kidding about that last part, but just be aware that my letters may become shorter. Sorry. The reason for this change has to do with, of all people, Shakira. See, she decided to go and make very popular Spanish language music and many missionaries, as it turns out, lack self control. So instead of writing families and friends, they decided to watch Shakira music videos on Youtube and I can't help but agree with the President's opinion that this does not help them focus on the work. 

But, to the good stuff. This week went great. Like, spectacularly great. What happened was we started progressing again here in Bosque. After Paty's baptism, we had kind of run out of things to do. We still had a bunch of investigators, but none of them were really progressing that much. We still needed and were not receiving a bunch of member support. We tried to develop the work for a bit, but that didn't really work out. But this week, things started moving again. For example, our numbers of investigators in Sacrament meeting were hovering near two a week. Sometimes one, sometimes three, never more than that. This week seven came, including two families. We had been putting like one baptismal date a week before. Last week: 5. And three of them are looking pretty legit. Here are the stories:

First, we have Luis. I have talked about Luis before. He is fourteen years old and I started teaching him in my first transfer. In our first lesson with him, we put a baptismal date. He had never come to church between that time and this Sunday. Some lessons, he appeared super interested in our message and our Church. Other lessons he seemed like a  bored thirteen year old kid who didn't know how to say no. But we could never drop him because he always expressed a desire for baptism. So, the other day we were walking to Luis's house and we ran into none other than Luis himself. Luis told us yeah, he had time to listen and also something very interesting: some neighbor had accused him of stealing. He asserts that it wasn't him and that he had been in his house all night in the presence of his parents. Also, the neighbor said Luis stole like a value of 23000 pesos, which, judging from Luis's neighborhood, means that Luis would have had to steal the man's house. ANyways, Luis was clearly looking for help with this problem. We were going to teach the ten commandments, but we changed on the spot. We turned to the Book of Mormon to answers and I went to Helaman where we found the story of Nephi praying on his tower. What happened? Well, as Nephi was praying, a crowd gathered and began to listen. Some didn't like Nephi's claims of sins and began to falsely accuse him of law breaking. Nephi then received help from God, revelation about the assasination of the chief judge. What do you think happened after this, Luis? Luis began to get very excited, "Well, I imagine, I think, I would say that the people went and looked and found the chief judge dead. And then they would accuse Nephi because he knew beforehand, right?" Exactly, Luis. But Nephi did not compromise his standards. He remained faithful and confident in God. What happened? He received more help and was vindicated from all the false charges. Moral of the story, Luis: Nephi began the story praying. This is how to receive divine help for temporal problems. Second, stay true to your standards. So are you going to come to church tomorrow? Yup, 100% sure. And then Luis prayed. During his prayers, he always prayed for his family. In this prayer, he said these words, but in Spanish, "Father, thank you for sending me the missionaries for helping me not feel alone in this world."

Yeah, I want to baptize him real bad now. And he finally came to church. This is the message of listening to the Holy Ghost in order to help others. I know that I am receiving help every day. I really have more really cool stories about really cool people, including one about how an investigator fought with her mother in law and now comes to church, but I am out of time. I am sorry Colton, that I could not write you this week and I'll try to do better next week. Love you all!
Elder Johnson 

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