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, April 10, 2017

4/10/17 Happy Easter


Sometimes you do all you can and things just can't line up. We had a good week as usual. We did our best but after all, we can do, we can't make other people's decisions. 

Starting off with the overwhelmingly good news, Bienvenido is safely back in the country! We heard a little more about what happened to him. So he is here legally but his wife wasn't here under the same circumstances so when her visa expired she actually returned home to the Dominican Republic. When Bienvenido arrived in country for his son's funeral at some point he was with his wife and was abducted at gun point with his wife. His wife was able to hide a few dollars but everything else of value was taken. They were held blindfolded for a little bit and were dumped off somewhere, and where able to use the few hidden dollars to return to family. Basically a crazy experience. We were able to meet with him, have a nice little lesson, and see how he was doing. He seems to be doing pretty well, obviously shaken and down from everything that happened, but still wants to get baptized and really has a testimony in the power of the Book of Mormon. Dominicans are basically impossible to understand, so this is only what Elder Guerrero told me. If everyone spoke gringo Spanish como yo (like me) it would be super easy to understand people. 

Wednesday was a little bit of a bummer. It was a little over freezing and just pouring, a great day to knock doors. 

Luckily I stayed mostly dry and we had a really good conversation with a 7th day Adventist. Other than that we didn't get a lot done that day due to cancellation and the visible success rate of door knocking.

Monday was super cool though. Things fell a little too perfectly in place. Our Malibu doesn't have a CD reader so we were back to just talking and no music, but Elder Rencher graciously let us borrow his USB drive to listen to some music and talks he has. We have a crappy old CD player in our apartment that can also play off USB drives. I was going to leave the USB in the car but had a thought to bring it inside to listen to music at the end of the day. We were listening to this great talk by this guy that I wanted to finish so I hoped it would start where we left off. Once we were in our apartment I plugged it in to listen and it would only play this one story that wasn't what I wanted to hear. I turned the CD player off and ignored it. I had this feeling to try again, so I did. Still the CD player wouldn't change and was stuck on this random talk. For a third time I felt the need to try again, still nothing, but this time Elder Guerrero heard the first few seconds and said he really liked that talk and that it was really good. As he was saying this, for the 4th time I felt being drawn to listen. I realized it was the spirit pushing me, and that it was that specific talk that I needed to hear, so I did. I started listening and the spirit was just so strong, I was basically sucked in and before I realized I had listened to the whole thing. Once I finished I was just a little confused. I have no idea why I needed to watch that, but the feeling was undeniable. Its called "The Conversion Story of Brother Carpenter." To say the least, it's pretty good. A quick google search and it'll pop right up, and I hope everyone listens to it.

The Conversion Story of Brother Carpenter (youtube)

Last week I also expressed concern over one of our investigators. We've had a lot of trouble contacting them, but they're basically golden. They connect SUPER well with the Rosales family and are such and awesome family. We finally contacted Natividad over the phone and he told us he has been reading a chapter of the Book of Mormon every night with his family and has been reading one of the Teachings of the Prophets books which was given to him by Brother Rosales. Golden. We have them on date on April 29, and we have a lot to do. There are a few things that need to happen before they are ready, but they want to be baptized. Spring break didn't help us at all, because they've been in Chicago for awhile. 

The same way we had a little bit of a disappointment. We stopped by a less active man we've been working with to remind him we were going to give him a ride to a dinner and lesson at a member's home. We saw him outside and he kinda walked into his house once he saw us. We knocked 3 times on his door and nothing. Wanting to really get this kid's attention, I knocked a 4th time kinda loud haha. He opened and was clearly high. We told him we were going to pick him up after our lesson and go to dinner at a member's home. We got an okay and left. We came back after our lesson and wasn't home. The worst part is we haven't been able to talk with him since. On the bright side our dinner with the member was SO GOOD. Tacos.

Sunday we had a mixture of really good and awkward ITL's. One really good ITL was like the first house of the day with this old lean guy who was pretty raggedy looking and had a shaggy beard down to mid chest. At first he said he didn't want anything to do with us, which happens a lot. I was able to get out of him that he didn't want anything to do with us because he said we wouldn't accept him or that he wouldn't fit in and that we only wanted him for his money. My goodness, the spirit was so strong, for some reason I just felt such a love for this old man. Elder Guerrero and I talked about Christ a little but we weren't able to do much besides invite him to see the Easter video the church has put out and give him a pass along card. (Watch it with the link provided) 

Easter Video
I hope he was able to feel at least a little of what the Lord's love for him that I felt at his door. That was such a cool experience. He didn't accept what we said, but we are just out here planting seeds. 

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