April 22, 2012

Ending with a Bang!

Dear Mother, hey, SURPRISE! I'm writing earlier this week. Because we didn't go play basketball like we usually do. We'll see if I survive the week without my weekly dose of basketball, but we wanted to clean the house a little bit better and actually be around when the garbage truck passed by. So now I have time to write earlier. Also, just an Elder Johnson-ism: I will have two years until I have one year and one year until I have zero. Counting down months just makes things go slower.

 Anyway, this week did not start off too hot. I did have to give my first zone training conference on how to use the scriptures on Tuesday, but in order to do that, we had to go to Huatulco, which is an hour and a half away. So that killed a lot of our Tuesday. Wednesday was just straight up not that fruitful. THursday, I came down with a stomach infection (I think from all the fish that I eat here. I no longer hate fish because I don't like the flavor, but I am certainly sick of it. More salsa please). We tried to make the most of our time in the house, planning future lessons, talking about how to find new investigators, you know, stuff like that, but we couldn't fill up all the hours. So I ended up explaining the plot to the entire star wars saga using the star wars playing cards that I can't remember if I received them from you or the Greenhalghs. The end of the week, thankfully ended well. Friday, we at least accomplished, finding a new investigator and teaching Antonio and Arsenia (who did NOT come to church - we will be talking about this with them tomorrow, thank you very much). Saturday was straight up spectacular, finding new investigators, teaching member lessons and ARMANDO PRAYED!!!! Hallelujah!!!

! Okay, maybe a little side note: So, in the beginning of my last transfer, I baptized three kids: Adriana, Ricardo, and Angelica. All are still active, thank you very much, because we still go to visit them. Armando is their cousin who lives with them. All are pretty timid people, but Ricardo and the gang at least say yes when we ask them to do things like come to church and read the Book of Mormon. Armando does not. He is the "stinker" of the group. He does not go to school, he flicks paper at his cousins while they listen to us, he gives us short, one word answers if we ask him a question, and so on and so forth. We had pretty much given up on him, but we still invited him to the lessons because that's what good missionaries do (Preach My Gospel says that we should invite everyone to the lessons). And this is why you listen to Preach My Gospel: Armando, every time we invited him, would never respond. He sometimes would just get up and leave. But he always came back, sit himself a few meters aways from the group, and kind of listen. When we started with the compromises, he would say no and leave. Always. But in this last lesson, several things changed: First, we didn't have to invite. When Ricardo and Angelica came to listen, Armando went and got his chair and purposefully put it right behind his cousins (not several meters away). Then, we taught. When we got to the compromises, we asked Armando if he wanted to read the Book of Mormon too. Instead of saying no and leaving, he didn't respond. I asked if just reading a half a chapter for a week would be fine. He said it would. My companion asked him if he would actually read. He said yes. Then we got to the closing prayer. Hardly daring to breathe, we asked Armando if he would like to say the prayer. He said he didn't know how. We gave him the guide. And he DID IT!!! It's hard to get Ricardo and Angelica to pray and they're baptized and come to church every week (by they way, they are giving their first talks this Sunday. We will be helping them). So major progress with Armando. Saturday was easily the best day we've had all transfer. We were so happy we went and bought Tlayudas and a cokon (read: large coke) for dinner.

 So the Spirit works with everyone, even rebellious 14 year olds. I still don't exactly understand why the Lord is not giving us many results here in Puerto Angel, but I learned something very important this week: Everybody hears the Spirit. It's the missionary's job to bring it. I know I'm doing a good work here and that my offering is being accepted. There's really nothing else to say except I've got to get out, get working, and get progressing again. Day after day. It's what the mission is and what life should be.

 Well, the business stuff. Nope, really don't have any requests for my box. Just pictures and family updates and fruit certs. If you don't have pictures, go on the computer and print off old ones from Facebook and whatever files dad still has on there. Please. I love my pictures. Drunk people have all the same motivations to un-drunk (I think there are like three AA chapter in PUerto Angel alone) except, as I may have stated before, I'm pretty sure working is more of a way to fill time than to earn money because everybody seems to spend most of their days in hammocks and yet still have money to buy alcohol and tlayudas. Go figure. Mother's Day is May 10 and the only problem with figuring out the phone call is that I have transfers April 30 and there is a good chance I will be leaving Puerto Angel, which means that whatever preparations I do here could very well be null and void by the time the phonecall rolls around. Love you all. God is real. He blesses us and knows us better than we know us.

 Keep it classy. Love, Elder Johnson

 P.S. My drunk story was a joke story. And wish Kumi happy birthday for me (I am with you with the coolest person on the planet thing). And there had better be a trampoline for me when I get back ;)

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