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, March 6, 2017

3/6/17 Fender Bender, Knocking doors, Teaching Sunday School

Family and friends,

We've had a pretty good week this week. 

Monday afternoon was interesting. Our only lesson that day fell through so we knocked doors for a little while on a very Latino filled street. Croften street next to Rodriguez grocery for anyone who wants to check out google street view. 

We talked with Arabic guy for a little bit. He wasn't really listening to us but offered us a Qur'an. Elder Guerrero and I both felt prompted to say yes. He walked back into his house and we both asked each other if we felt the prompting to exchange books with him, that was kinda cool. About two minutes later he came back and said he couldn't find his English copy and we still offered to give him a Book of Mormon instead. He told us that he would just throw it away once he got it. We left soon after that.  Sometimes we will get promptings to do things and we might never really understand the true purpose of why we were asked to do that thing. 

This week we did a lot of door knocking. 

This week was also a little colder than last week, and it snowed a little more, but nothing stuck. Elder Guerrero and I both talked about ways we can engage the ward members more in finding. I think church statistics say that 1/1,000 door knocks lead to a baptism and something like 3/10 member referrals lead to a baptism. That may be wrong. It's really only hearsay but really seems like it at least shows a trend. If members do our finding we can teach more and not be using so much time knocking. The kicker is we typically have a bunch of lessons with potentials lined up for each day and we do our part to follow up and remind them, but when it comes time to go to their lesson they don't open the door. For example, yesterday was Sunday. We had a lesson planned after our study time in the morning but before church. We called and confirmed the day before and everything was straight. After church we had two lessons with potentials lined up and confirmed the day before. In the morning we sent a text to the first lesson confirming and she said one of her kids was sick, which is pretty valid but she told us she wasn't interested. Our afternoon appointments the people turned off the TV and hid and the other one they weren't home. I'm not really sure what I can do to avoid things like that happening. It would be awesome if people just gave us a straight no rather than hiding. 

Saturday was a similar story. We had 4 lessons lined up and only one happened, but it was an awesome lesson. I did most of the teaching and we had a recent member convert family present. The family we are teaching is awesome. The mother of the family has been inactive for 10 years and decided it was time to come back. Her children have never been part of the church so we are teaching them. They are progressing pretty quickly and have come to church for the last two weeks, have friends, and connect really well with the branch. The Rosales family came to that lesson and they are super powerful. The parents gave testimonies on prayer and we watched the shorter restoration video. I think I did a decent job. I said most of the things I wanted to say, but being able to turn to Elder Guerrero is really helpful. My problem is understanding what people say back to my questions. I kind of guess and answer or talk about what I think I heard. Nothing bad has happened because of that yet. 

Saturday we also had our first car accident. After one of our lessons fell through we went to this grocery store to use their bathroom. I pulled in behind this guy and put the car into park. He was adjusting his parking job and backed into us with a little bit of force. It crunched our bumper a little but but wasn't that bad. 

(not the actual photo)
We talked with him and he didn't speak English. We were thinking about calling the police, but I felt like we shouldn't. We just took pictures of everything and when the guy heard we were thinking about talking to the police he was a little sketched out. I grabbed a picture of him without him noticing. We exchanged info and I asked to get his license info to make sure he was who he said he was. "I left it at home" turned into "I don't have a Michigan license" turned into "I'm not a US citizen." We looked at his passport and he was from Ecuador. We told him we weren't going to call the police and that nothing bad was going to happen. He offered to buy the new parts and fix the car himself. We told him it was fine, laughed a little, and ITL'ed the guy. We don't have a visit with him yet, but he actually seemed interested. We'll see how much of the interest was to make us feel better, but that will be later. It would be hilarious if he actually welcomed us into his home and took the lessons.  

On Thursday we had a really powerful lesson with a family who has cousins who are members of the church. We went through the how to begin teaching lesson with them, set expectation and talked about the spirit and scriptures to them. We also had our elderly missionary companionship with us. Elder and Sister Weston are awesome, seriously a powerhouse. I could tell Boris could feel the spirit during our lesson. I'm a little worried we will have to pass him off to English elders though. Boris is Mexican but is fluent in English and I'm not sure if his wife speaks Spanish. We'll have to see. I hope we keep him. He comes to futbol every Friday at the stake center.

Sunday we taught the youth class again. Their teacher didn't show and forgot to text someone to cover for them. We talked about temples which was fun, also the class is mostly in English which makes it a lot easier. We had a less active teen that we've been working with in that class. He did so well. We taught him about the plan of salvation about a week ago, and he was answering bunch of the questions some of the active youth didn't know and/or at least didn't want to answer. It was really cool to actually see that he understood what we talked with him about and was willing to attempt to answer questions he wasn't 100% sure what the correct answer was. We read through some sections of Doctrine and Covenants section 138, I think. One of the kids is open about the doubts he has with the church, which is really awesome. We talked about how doubts are normal and it's our job to pray about it and learn as much as we can, because to receive answers we have to be doing our part. 

We also talked about how to receive answers to prayers, and how answers might not come when or how we might want them.

We knocked doors after church and ran into this really nice Muslim guy. He was smoking a little bit of weed, but actually took the time to talk to us. We talked about Jesus Christ. We got a return appointment which was cool. He said a few weird things though, one being about how Peter (I think, definitely one of the apostles) went apostate after the death of Christ. He also said that to really follow Christ you really need to be a Jew because that's what Christ was. I think if we do teach him he is going to be asking some really good and really hard questions. That'll be fun.

Sunday we also were hit by a few funny things door knocking. One lady told us she was already saved and didn't want to know more. One guy also tried to say Revelations 22:19, which if I'm not mistaken says something along the lines of  "that anyone who adds to this book would receive all the curses or plagues which this book contains" was about the whole bible. We tried to explain that John didn't write the whole bible, and that it was not the last book in the bible chronologically.

 He was really nice though but wouldn't listen. One other guy told us he believes in science not God. I asked him who doesn't believe in science. We got his contact info to schedule a return appointment.

Side note, snail mail is preferred to email when possible.

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