July 1, 2012

Carlos Version 2.0

Dear Mother, Father, and Family,

I'm getting pretty excited about the upcoming year mark. I am officially less than one transfer away from turning the big 12 months in the mission. Not that I want the end to come any faster than it is. I'm actually enjoying my mission more than ever right now, which is saying something. I love my area right now. I love the rainy season. I love working with investigators who feel the Spirit. I love it.

Anyways, let's get business out of the way first: I did, in fact, receive both your package and the pictures from dad. Thank you for all of that. I specificallly enjoyed Tyrel's picture that he colored for me. I have in hung up in my room, between the pictures of Jesus Christ and.....Jesus Christ. Missionaries don't have much variety. By the by, the fact that I hung up pictures should tell you how much I want to stay here in Fortín. You sent me those pictures a billion years ago and I didn't hang them up until right now because this is really the first time that I'm determined to stay for at least 10 more weeks. Fortin is awesome.

Okay, specifically, why I am so happy this week. Carlos had a change of heart. Let me remind you who Carlos is: Carlos  is 22 years old, and a nerd (I say that lovingly). It's the last part that's the problem because he always has a lot of questions about things that are that important for him right now. For example, imagine, when all he needs to focus on right now is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and recognizing your answer, trying to satisfactorily not explain Kolob to him. He just focused on the wrong things. And they confused him....which sent him on a series of radical decisions, including going a spiritual trip with some Christian group and selling all of his religious books, even his Book of Mormon. He absolutely could not accept Joseph Smith, he told us, and he still didn't know how to recognize the Spirit in his life, despite our best efforts to describe it to him. So we pretty much had given him up for dead. And then we met his friend Clarisa.

See, we passed by his house one day and decided to stop by really just to say hi. He is never home, so we weren't expecting much. But then he was home, and he was with a friend, and she had interest in the Church. With left that five minute visit with an appointment for the next day with the two. And we showed up, quite excited to teach our new investigator. We had prepared a lesson especially for our new investigator. If you hadn't noticed, we were pretty preocupied with our new investigator and were not thinking of Carlos for all.

As it turns out, Clarisa is everything Carlos was, times ten. She started out by asking us about Polygamy and taking notes on our answer. She doesn't believe in God, but rather a thing called Ser (Spanish for Be) and refuses to accept "any argument dependent on faith". Yeah, not the world's easiest investigator. I was about ready to just testify, invite her to pray and get out of there when Carlos begain to just trash the arguments of his friend. He went off, lecturing on how you had to "feel" God to know that he is true, and how important faith is, and that in the end, everything really is just simple. He almost couldn't control himself. We ended the lesson and Carlos told us, without invitation, "Elders, I am coming to Church this Sunday. FOR SURE" and he sure did. I don't exactly know what happened in the two weeks without us visiting him between selling his Book of Mormon and demanding a new one, but I like it and I'm pretty sure it has something to do with God and the Holy Ghost. I'm super excited for him and I think I will put a baptismal date with him this week. Cross your fingers.

Love you all, but got to go. See you in 2!

Elder Johnson

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