March 11, 2012

Dear fam-fam,
I know you've just been dying for pictures mom. Well, here they are. Pretty, isn't it? I have a surprisingly large amount of pictures of critters here. I just live with a lot of cool animals, except for the terrible dog that lives next door that can get no greater pleasure than barking in our faces EVERY SINGLE TIME WE WALK DOWN THE STAIRS! Other than that, lots of cool animals, including the scorpion that lives in our bathroom. He's cute.

****(I accused Riley of looking very sober in some pictures his mission president's wife took of him meeting Elder Scott and posted on facebook)*** Mom, what you mistook for soberness was actually reverence. Maybe tiredness as well. I had a great time and learned a lot. I certainly was not as sober during lunch when I got to talk to all my old pals. I met an Elder Kraft from Valley Center California who knows Beau. It was a wonderful conference, although it only lasted 9 hours. 9 hours in Oaxaca, 21 hours on a bus. NOt a good ratio, despite the large numbers of disney movies that we got to watch to and from the conference. I did get my box and I'm already sick from all the candy hearts, they do have daylights savings down here, as I found out one Sunday when I woke up a whole hour earlier than I had to. I think that covers all the business.

Oh my gosh, Avril Lavigne's "complicated" just popped on the radio here and I just got sent back into time. It's awful. Anyway, Joel now is super excited to get baptized from what the Pochutla Elders tell me. Dora is frustrating me a bit because she hasn't come to Church in two weeks and can't come this week because instead of Sacrament meeting, we have a district (we are not a stack, but a district here) conference in Huatulco (like an hour and a half away) this Sunday. But nevertheless, the work rolls on like a stone cut out of the mountain without hands (recently read the book of Daniel, who is a boss. Read it, Mom. Wonderful part of the Old Testament. He's like the Old Testament's John the Revelator mixed with Joseph of the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat).

I'm going to tell you all about Satornino this week. Yes, it's a weird name. Weird names are in abundance down here. Anyway, Satornino is an alcoholic whose wife is cheating on him because he cheated on her one and who is slowly losing his family. We met him a long time ago and it started off great. We had one lesson (which, I won't lie, I thought went kind of poorly) with him and for the next week he said he felt more peaceful than he had in his life and he didn't have any desire to drink and we put baptismal dates with him and his wife and we were saving their marriage. Then, instead of going to work one day, he decided to go drinking. And then he stayed out drinking for over a week. Like, didn't return to his house he was so drunk for over a week. So we visited him for the first time in like a week and a half yesterday and he didn't want to talk to us. But as we got going, he started opening up and sharing his feelings. We taught prayer again and a couple of things seemed to hit him this time that didn't the first time: that prayer doesn't have to be long, you say what you want to God, God is listening, and you feel really good during and after. We now wants us teaching his family again. Let's hear it for the power of prayer!

Anyways, I've got to go. HOpe you enjoy the pictures and the jabber. Love ya!
Elder Johnson

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