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 3, 2017

4/3/17 Pitbulls, new malibu, church tour

3 months!

Due to the weird P day schedule we had two Sundays between emails. Last Sunday was awesome. We had fast and testimony meeting, where people just share their testimonies on anything they want so it can be interesting sometimes. Sadly we weren't able to get any investigators out, but the meeting was fantastic. We had a few really powerful lessons that week where members participated with us, and they shared their testimonies on those experiences and it was incredible. I was just so happy, it was kind of weird. So many people where trying to share their testimonies, so the branch president finally said we had time for one last quick one. I feel like everything we do with the members starts 15 minutes late and goes 30 minutes over. Half way through the meeting Luis, the less active kid we are working with, showed up. I heard the door open and was super happy to see him walk in. Elder Guerrero was sitting in the back with someone and Luis sat with him. The only thing stopping him from going to church is his inability to go to sleep and wake up on time haha. 

Spectrum Health Grand Rapids

That night we got called to give a blessing to someone who has been in the hospital for the past few weeks. That was such a beautiful night. The hospital is massive, like crazy big. Spectrum Health Grand Rapids. We parked in the wrong building and there are sky bridges from building to building, but we just walked outside. It was a perfect night at dusk. We meet up with one of the members of the branch and walked to the room. I've had a few opportunities to give blessings, none in Spanish...yet, but they are always really touching moments. 

The next day we had a fantastic lesson on the Plan of Salvation with the family we found. They asked some really good questions and offered to feed us after. It was great. We had handmade pupusas which were awesome. We had another lesson with them later on in the week in the church where we gave a little tour and finished next to the baptismal font. 

We put them on date! They were super excited to come to church to watch conference but last minute had to cancel because "something came up." We asked if there was anything we could do for them and if everything was alright. They just said "pray for us," so I'm slightly worried for them. They are awesome though. They pray as a family, do a bunch of family oriented activities, and have read a little of the Book of Mormon. 

Tuesday was a little funny. We spent a fair amount of time knocking doors and one guy opened the doors asked if we were Mormons and I said, "Yes". He then said he wasn't interested in talking with us and started closing the door. I asked why he wasn't interested and he said we were one of the "false religions". I asked him why he thought that and couldn't say why. I asked if we could maybe talk with him about our church and he said he didn't want to waste time talking with someone about a false religion. That was a little funny, I wish we could have talked with him. Door knocking just makes me think of the scripture in Mark about how people with ears to hear will hear. Door knocking is not the way to find people ready to hear. I cannot stress the importance of member missionary work enough. We also had a funny dog encounter the same day. We were talking with this lady, and after she left we were writing down her info to call later and this massive pitbull walks out of its dog house. It charged at us, but luckily was chained to the little doggy house. We laughed a little bit until it started dragging the doggy house towards us, we crossed the street and the owner came out and yelled at the dog. Never have I seen a more muscular dog. My goodness.

Friday we picked up our new Malibu! It rained our whole way down to Lansing and the people weren't ready for us once we got there, which wasn't that good. We chilled in the mission office, and once we made all the calls we could to potentials and investigators we ran out of things to do. We played ping pong and read through sections of "Mormon Doctrine" by McConkie that are not scripturally backed up and are not actually doctrine. That was fun, there are some weird things in that book haha. After a few hours we were able to take the car. It's sweet. Its color is "nightfall grey steel," but best of all TIWI wasn't working on the way home so I drove home at a comfortable pace. 

Saturday and Sunday were pretty great. Every six months we get to hear from the Apostles and Prophets who lead our church. Saturday my favorite talks were definitely Elder Holland's talk on the hymn "There is Sunshine in my Soul" 

Elder Holland's talk

and especially Elder Sabin's talk on being fully committed to the gospel. He made a point of connecting the symbolism of baptism with being fully committed to the gospel. The ordinance of baptism needs to be done correctly, and if the person isn't fully submerged it must be done again. For the gospel of Jesus Christ we need to be all in, and when we are truly all in we are eligible to receive the greatest blessings God can give. 

Elder Sabin's talk

In the Priesthood session, President Eyring made a really good point on leadership and service. He said the Lord's work is not to solve problems, but to build people. When we help people we need to be thinking of what will actually help them, instead how to fix the situation. Once they can help themselves they can fix the situation on their own. This builds off the idea of the importance of building strong capable people, instead of making life easier. Capable people solve problems while people who haven't had to learn and grow shrink at challenge.

Elder Eyring's talk

I hope everyone reads or watches at least one talk. These people truly were called of God, and that's a powerful gift.

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