Anyway, I really went a week without informing you about ANYTHING that has happened to me as a missionary. Sorry. So, here's my life in a nutshell: my new comp (he's not that new anymore) is Elder PiƱa, former zone leader, bilingual before the mission, very smart, very sarcastic dynamo. He is anincredibly good teacher. He has a lot of experience. The problem is, he's junior. And he knows it. While I would be perfectly content to follow his lead in planning and in the lessons, he doesn't allow it. He knows, understands, and respects the authority that the senior companion has. So I go along, bumbling my way to several lessons and trying desperately to find some new investigators (we failed epically in our 10 person goal this week - only 2). I feel like I do a lot of things wrong sometimes. But hey, I am learning a ton about how to ask good questions and how straight to the point you actually can be. 

However, we have managed to have a little bit of success. First of all, the other day, we were at Zuri's house (she's one of our recent converts). We had brought her the conference addition of the Liahona and were showing her all of the prophets and apostles (you know that page where they have all the apostles and seventy and whatnot? Yeah, that page). Her mom happened to be home and passed by and saw all the old men and started to ask some questions. Who are they? What do they do? How do you choose them? She was super interested (okay, maybe not super, but definitely pretty interested). She had a ton of the same views that we do and was really, really impressed by our prophets and apostles. 

Other sign of success: Ade. Ade has gone to church for five years. There are few people outside of us, the bishop, and the relief society president, who has wanted to give her a calling for years, who know that she isn't a member. And the thing is, she has work to do before she can become a member. In our first meeting with her, she told us that she didn't believe in Joseph Smith, some of the commandments, or that Jesus Christ came to the Americas. Those are all essentially things to know before being baptized a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But we're working with her. We read 3 Nephi 11 with her and she started crying and said that she hadn't ever been able to read the Book of Mormon before with any sort of level of interest and now she didn't want to put it down. She thought it was beautiful. That's the power of the Book of Mormon for you. 

And so we continue in La Hacienda and in the mission. Things are just sort of going. I am content. I am not looking forward to any specific day or event, but, even more surprisingly, I don't need to. I am fine where I am in the mission. I am happy just to do what the Lord wants me to do in my own little section of the vineyard, wherever that may be. I feel like I will be 12 for a long time. I don't ever really want to think of myself as 18 or 20 or 16. I want to be 12, with just as much ahead of me as behind me, forever. I'm still learning, I'm still feeling the Spirit, I'm still meeting amazing people and seeing amazing places, and I'm still eating weird foods (I just found out that I've eaten a lot of cactus during my mission), but those are all secondary things. I just like being me and trying to help other people be them, children of God as they are. It's a good way to live.

I end my email with something I learned in Priesthood this week. We were talking about Abraham, who was asked by God to sacrifice Isaac. The teacher asked us why we thought that God would do that. He carefully explained that God is all-knowing. He already knew that Abraham was going to obey. So why did God even put him through the trial in the first place? Now, really, there are probably a million reasons why. But I liked what he said to answer his own question: God did it not so that GOD would know how faithful Abraham was but that ABRAHAM would know how faithful Abraham was. We never really know our capacities until we are pushed to them. This is the purpose of our trials. This is why Peter said that the trial of our faith is "much more precious than gold." Because after this event, Abraham could continue, knowing that whatever God would ask him to do in the future, he could and would do. Because he had already faced his hardest trial. He passed. Let's not depreciate our trials futher. Let us embrace them as the gifts that they are. Let us learn to know what we are capable of. We have divine potential. I think we are capable of quite a bit.

Well, love you all. Haven't received my pacakge yet, but maybe I will tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, for sure by next week. I hope you are all doing great and I'll see you in 1.
Elder Johnson