December 16, 2012

"The mom is coughing"

December is exhausting. There's just so much to do: Christmas Party on the 15th, temple trip on the 12th, Christmas Choir on the sixteenth, a baptism somewhere in there, plus all my normal missionary duties. And I have to somehow do it all while wearing a Santa Hat. I just don't know how I will manage.

I had another great week, just so you know. Things are really working out out here in Miahuatlan (not the prettiest place I've ever been to, but the coldest, which is perfect for this time of year). We keep getting people to Church, despite the logistics. This week, a man named Miguel came, the father of a large family of people who are all interested in the Church. We have a family home evening with them like every week. They are super cool, so I hope to baptized like five people sometime soon, all from that family. As for the other large family that is progressing, the hermano Pedro keeps going to Church. He now has three weeks in a row going to Church and seems a lot more comfortable there. People call him by his first name now, which is also a sign of progress. I think he would easily accept a baptismal date at this point, but we want to baptize him with his entire family and they are not quite at his level yet. Also, a little unbaptized ten year old from a less active family came. We are working with the entire family and they are doing well. We are going to really start teaching the kid, Daniel, this Friday, which, coincidentally enough, is when his mom is having a C-section. We helped her husband  not only go to Church, but also give her a blessing for the operation. The both seemed really happy afterwords. It made me smile.

More progress on the horizon as well: the branch organization presidencies did their jobs!!! We've been giving like weekly training meetings on how to organize and run home/visiting teaching programs. We left the assignments with the relief society and elders quorum presidents to create the teaching companionship's and assign each companionship to less active families to visit. They did it. Now we have to communicate it to the rest of the ward. If this actually gets off the ground, it's gonna be a pretty cool legacy to leave as a missionary. Ejutla will be like one of three ward/branches that actually does visiting/home teaching. I'm pretty excited about it.

So, cool thing: Elder Piereder is super into science fiction fantasy stuff, like me! Okay, so I fell off the wagon a bit in recent years, but he's getting me excited about it all over again. We decided to write a story together yesterday. It's already in the works. It will be positively EPIC! And super high-school! I'm SO excited about it. I haven't goofed off in such an appropriate way since going Halloween caroling four years ago. My life is awesome, I might add.

Umm, I'm trying to think of a cool experience that I had this week. I had a ton, but they are all in my journal, which is at my house, which is not where I am. I do remember a sad thing: the other day, while walking through a festival in honor of the Virgen of Juquila (they literally celebrate December 8th more than December 25th. I AM NOT JOKING), we saw one of those fun carnival games where you shoot at various things with toy pistols. In this game, you shot at various scenes set up using toys and dolls. The sad part was that one of these scenes was called "Table Dance Barbie" and it was a bunch of barbies dressed like hookers pole dancing. This game was marketed to kids. The world makes me very, very sad.

I have to counter that with a good story, I think. THere was that time when we went to go look for somebody, but instead we stumbled upon a college kid who wasn't sure he believed in God. Ooops, I just told the entire story. Better, I think, the one about Georgina, the mother of that unbaptized kid I was talking about (Daniel).  Sometimes it seems like she absolutely loves us and then the next day it seems like our visit is the worst thing in the world. So, on Friday, when we went to visit her (we had an appointment!), it wasn't really a surprise that she, without even coming to the door, told us that she was busy and that we should come back on another day. We were about to turn and leave when I remembered that she had asked for a blessing a week earlier and that we carried oil with us this time. I reminded her about it. She came to the door and asked if we could kind of sort of maybe just give her a quick blessing right then. We happily obliged. After giving the blessing, this was when she revealed to us the information about the emergency C-section and whatnot and all her worries and fears about that. So, we taught her a lesson and reminded her to pray and to remember that Christ knows exactly what she's dealing with and that He is willing to help and capable of helping. Then she asked us to teach her unbaptized son, but we honestly didn't have time at that point. But then, her teenage son asked for a blessing. We gave him one. Then her ten year old. We gave him one. The Spirit was very strong in that house when we left. I hope we can reactivate them all.

Well, about the Christmas phone call. We're looking to do it on the 24th at around 4 or 4:30. We are looking to do Skype again. Let me know if that works. Other than that, just remember: Church is true and I love you all. Merry Christmas!
Elder Johnson

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