Elder Eric Johnson
2516 Normandy Dr. SE Apt. 304-C
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Please send letters or packages by First class or Priority Mail via U.S.P.S. so they can be forwarded to him.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2/20/17 First week in Michigan

Family and friends,

The last day in the CCM was kind of lame. I spent the time with one of the districts we were pretty close with. The day started off alone which felt weird. After I dropped my companions off at reception they didn't tell me what to do so I just went back to our house. My companions left at 2 and 4am and I said goodbye at both times. I met up with the missionaries I stayed with for the rest of the day at breakfast. The day was pretty typical. I packed the rest of my stuff and brought it to the dorms where I would spend the night. They were pretty funny. We talked for a while and a few threw all the mattresses into one room and started wrestling. Three of the six missionaries wrestled in high school, and one of them wrestled in college. It was entertaining to watch.

The next day I left for the airport at around 3 a.m. That was rough, because not only was I alone once I walked into the airport, but I got through security super fast. I was 2.5 hours early to my gate and was worried that if I slept I would sleep through my flight getting called, so I didn't really get much rest. I just sat dozing off a few times, and reading the scriptures a few times. About an hour before my flight was to start boarding, a missionary coming home from Paraguay walked up to me. He thought I was going home, and was surprised when I told him I was headed to Michigan for my mission. He had pretty good English, but we talked in Spanish for a little bit. My flight from Mexico to Atlanta was really good. I sat down and almost immediately fell asleep. A man named Carlos sat next to me. He was flying to Kentucky for work. He breeds pure bred horses for Polo. We talked for a little but I couldn't stay awake. I passed out and slept all the way to Atlanta. Traveling to Michigan was easy. The line for customs in Atlanta wasn't too long. I got to gate 5 minutes before they boarded. Sadly no one sat next to me on the last two flights, so I didn't make my goal of handing out a Book of Mormon to someone. I got to Lansing and arrived with 9 other English speaking missionaries. The AP's are massive guys, one whose name is Elder Johnson as well. Apparently there are 4 other Elder Johnsons in the mission, and one left yesterday.

The next day I got my trainer. Elder Guerrero. He is from Las Vegas and Spanish was his first language. The guy's a boss, it's also his 4th month so he is also super green. My first night we taught a lesson to a member, which was in English. I also got my driving privileges immediately because Elder G doesn't have his driving privileges. We will have a car for our whole mission and we are about to get a new Chevy Malibu 2017. Our next day we taught our first lesson in Spanish to a less active member. It was pretty good and I was able to talk a little. We just talked about the 10 commandments and fasting. That night we played indoor soccer with some of the members in the stake center. That was a ton of fun. I was expecting to get killed by all the Latinos, but my companion and I scored a bunch of times. We also picked up a possible investigator named Borrus that day.  I think we will be teaching him on Wednesday this week. Saturday we did some door knocking and picked up a potential in Spanish. We also taught a lesson with a less active member. We talked about temples and how she can be sealed to her family. She had a son pass away a few years ago and we talked about that and she seemed really happy. Elder Guerrero said he has taught her for months and has never seen her that happy. That was a great lesson. That night though we got a text from the Branch president for our branch. He asked me to speak for 15 minutes on temples and temple covenants. The best part is I've never given a talk in English that long.

Sunday came around and was pretty great. In the morning we knocked doors in this really Hispanic area. We had some interesting experiences. This little latino man in his 20's or so welcomed us in. He asked us about coffee, tea and alcohol, so we talked about the Word of Wisdom. I was excited because this was one of things I can actually talk about in Spanish so I explained where it comes from and what it means. The little man was looking at me and trying to hide a smile. As I was talking I was thinking what is about to go down? I asked him what he thought about what I said and he walked up, grabbed a bible and opened to a bunch of scriptures about prophets giving commandments and asked where in the bible it said any of this. I knew what he said but didn't know how to answer in Spanish. Elder Guerrero opened up to a scripture in Deuteronomy that says God has always worked through prophets and talked about Joseph Smith. The little man was kind of fighting with us. It was really weird. I think he called us false prophets, but I'm not sure lol.

After we left his home we saw this family walking by. They were going to the park and so we talked with them for a little. Turns out the adults were brother and sister, but they came off really rough at first. The brother was kind of yelling a little bit, but once we got to the park we were able to really connect with these people. Also side note, it was really funny, when we were walking to the park this lady turns around, sees us, then takes her kids and left. Carlos and Delia, the people we found on the street, we really interested in what we had to say. Elder Guerrero taught  a really powerful lesson on the restoration, and I was able to talk a fair amount in the lesson. Carlos and Delia were also super nice. They seemed to really like the fact that I was learning Spanish and were like teaching me some cool Spanish stuff and helping me with some words I kept forgetting. We gave them a Book of Mormon and will be meeting with them again.

After that we went to church. I gave a 10 minute talk that turned out pretty decently. The branch is pretty small, only about 60 people. Everyone seems really nice, and there are also some white people there who go because they speak Spanish.

Im excited to be in this area.  And it looks like I'll be here for awhile. This is the only Spanish branch in the mission. There is one other Spanish companionship here and they've been here their whole mission

Lastly my address is

2935 Waterchase Way, Apartment #308, Wyoming, Michigan 49519

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