January 10, 2013

Once again...

Dear fam fam,

I am once again a district leader. President changed me instead of my comp who already had three changes in the area (he's going on his fourth now) and he sent me to Huajapam de Leon. It's a city (i think....it may be a pueblo) that is super far away from EVERYTHING! Seriously, three hours from Oaxaca and three hours from the other missionaries. Nobody is close. My companion and I are literally by ourselves. I am SO excited! I love it when the Lord just leaves me alone and let's me be the best missionary I can be. 

By the way, my companion's name is Elder Babb. Despite his English sounding last name, he is actually from Costa Rica, which brings the total number of my companions' nationalities to 7. I have almost had more companions from outside the U.S and Mexico (6) than from inside (7). Elder Babb seems really cool. He only has two weeks in the mission, so I'm training again too. He speaks English because his grandpa is from England, but we're speaking mostly Spanish so that I can improve my now defunct second language. 8 weeks with a Canadian will do that to you. Gosh I loved Elder Piereder though. He was a fun guy. 

Anyways, so we did have four baptisms last week. It was a crazy day on Saturday. First, we had three baptisms in Miahuatlan. We went to this BEAUTIFUL river with the world's cleanest water (yes, believe it or not, the world's cleanest water is, in fact, found in Mexico. You just have to go high up to the mountains to find it) and baptized Pedro and his two kids. We also brought an entire family of investigators to come see it and our recent convert, José Santiago, bore his testimony about his own conversion. I was so happy I almost died/jumped into the river to go swimming. Luckily, I resisted the urge. The best part, though, was that after the baptism, as custom, I invited every to go congratulate the newly baptized people. This they did, but I almost started crying when, unprovoked, Felipa, Pedro's wife who has not been baptized, came up and gave Pedro the world's biggest and happiest hug (also found in Mexico.)

Then, with the bishopric member in tow, we rushed to Ejutla for our fourth and final baptism. It was of a 10 year old kid named Daniel, the child of a reactivating family. It was short and sweet. The father, a tough, silent sort of man who absolutely loves the Gospel, baptized him in a tank of water. His older brother, Carlos, 16 years old, bore his testimony. Afterword's, Carlos confessed to us that he was actually fasting that day. We are proud of him and his little brother.

I think the best part of last week though might have been Sunday. After the four confirmations (that took a little bit of time), we had fast and testimony meeting. Although the most pilas family of the branch wasn't there, we went overtime. Carlos bore his testimony again and did a great job. The biggest surprise was when Pedro, recently baptized, shy, and soft-spoken, rose up to bear his testimony near the end. He explained how he is coming to see this not just as a good church but as the only true Church and that he knows that his baptism was the best decision he ever made. It was beautiful. I was sitting at the piano (I play piano in sacrament meeting now, by the way. Those lessons didn't go to waste afterall!) and I had to hid my face for a bit. It was to shiny and happy and I think I might have distracted the congregation.
Well, I got a package from the Greenhalgh's. I love that family. I just barely opened it, but I already love it. They gave me Star Wars candy. It's pretty ridiculously awesome. I send them a very grateful thank you. I love you all too and I guess I'll see you in a year or so!

Elder Johnson 

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