April 8, 2012

Post Conference

So, I'm coming off a nice little vacation. Conference, as you know, comes in two hour sessions with two hours of breaks inbetween. To get from Puerto Angel to Huatulco (where they showed conference), it is two hours. Lets do the math: two hours to get there (8-10), session (10-12), break/lunch (12-2), session (2-4), break/more food (4-6), priesthood session 6-8 and not enough time to get home. So we stayed in Huatulco, in our zone leaders house, with me sleeping on an air mattress (fond memories of camping with the entire family). Then, more conference. We didn't get home until 8 pm on Sunday, which did not give us enough time to do much proselytizing. And guess what? Today is P day. I have a full 2 and a half day vacation, filled with spiritually edifying moments. It's been exactly what I need.

Don't worry much about me and my area. Really, I shouldn't complain: if there's not much work in missionary work, then the thing to do is go and find more work. So that's what we are doing and going to do. I we have a few encouraging things: first, we have a lovely young couple who shows all the signs of actually do the neccessary things to experience conversion. They are reading the Book of Mormon, saying prayers, recognizing the Holy Ghost, giving us references, and leaving the alcohol behind. They are my hope right now, although we've got a couple other investigators doing well as well. For example, we have Floriza, who has read like half the Book of Mormon and really knows it's true, but has yet to go to Church and therefore does not know for sure if this is the right Church. We'll get her with time, just you watch. Another encouraging thing: the members are working with us again. Branch President Juan and Elders Quorum President Hmo Rodas are both working with us two times a week. We might not have very many baptismal dates, but things are looking up in Puerto Angel.

So, things I learned from Conference: Priesthood holders are not better than other men, but they should act better. Priesthood is not so much a blessing as a commision. We have a divine duty to do the will of the Lord and unfortunately, many modern priesthood holders (myself included) do not have that mindset. We seem to think that the Church is fine when it is convenient. Sometimes, it is more convenient for some people than for others, but that doesn't change the flaw in the mindset. We need to put God first, and that means sacrificing more time, more energy, and more everything in the service of our fellows, inactive, active, and non-member. This duty is sacred, but slightly less sacred than the duty of raising a family. I just want to thank you, mom and dad, personally for having the inspiration to follow all of the prophetic counsel we received this weekend well before it was actually given. During every talk on the family, I was able to sit there and think of all the times in my life when my mom or dad taught me that specific principle in word and in deed.

It was a good conference, but I think what stuck with me most was what President Monson said in his closing words on Sunday. He said (more or less) that he hopes that everybody leaves this conference better people than when they came into the conference. That means the Prophet of God hope for an inmediate and direct application of what we learned. That means goal setting and changing. Changing is hard, folks. I know. But we've got to do it to become better people and to follow our Prophet truly.

By the by, I also wanted to say that I literally laughed out loud (I lol'ed) reading your Tyrel/bowling story. I love Tyrel stories with all my heart. It's one of the reasons you are the best mom ever. You send me tryel stories that I can't properly explain to my companion in Spanish because you just can't fully communicate who Tryel is or how special he is sometimes. I love that kid. Other thing: my pants size has not changed, but I don't remember what it is. And it's kind of awkward to check in a public internet. Finally, I have a request, if it's possible. I wouldn't mind getting an mp3 for my year mark in August. If you don't want to risk sending one, I can live without it, but it's my small request. We can listen to Disney, BYU Vocal Point, classical, anything Church related (from Motab to soundtracks like music from The Singles Ward), Christmas, Alex Boye, and more. It's worth having one, I've decided, and I've also decided to swallow my pride and ask for one after point blank refusing to take one on my mission with me despite Dad's best efforts. Sorry dad, I was hard headed. I'm trying to change, believe me.
Anyway, I love y'all and we are going to get to work again!
Love, Elder Johnson

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