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.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

6/10/17 The Double Door Slam, Sunsets, Squirrels and Muffins

Sunset over our Apartments


Zone P day was last Monday. It was super pleasant. Lake Michigan basically is like an ocean. I forgot my camera, but I may be able to snag pics from Elder Weston one of these days. 

Tuesday was such a beautiful day. We didn't have any lessons planned so we stopped by everyone we could, and did a bit of knocking. We also stopped by one of the members Rosa Cervantes. She is doing really well and is totally active and has been for the last few months. It's really funny when she doesn't put her new teeth in because it changes how she looks and how well I can understand her. We had a good talk on temple prep, patriarchal blessings, and everything that should follow baptism. This was all new to her which was slightly unfortunate. She was baptized a long time ago in Texas.
We've been debating if this is Spanglish, the use of remover. We are pretty evenly split, but the consensus is probably. 

Wednesday we stopped by Enrique again, the guy who has meet with missionaries forever. Obviously a slight language barrier, but it seemed like he was trying to ditch us pretty hard core. He may have seen us and retreated into his house. His wife was outside in the truck, so we talked with her. She has some slight mobility impairments, so we helped her out of the car and she let us in. We had a pretty good lesson were we talked about baptism. He doesn't know if he can change after baptism, and doubts he can overcome his temptations. We had a good discussion on how that's basically why Jesus Christ is so important. His grace is here to help us through these things. We shared Mosiah 26:30 which says "yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me."  After baptism we are still humans, we still make mistakes, we still have temptations, while Christ wants us to be perfect he knows we can't. All we need to do is repent and try to be better. 
 On trade offs we tied some muffins to some string and were messing with some squirrels in the other apartment.

Elder Guerrero on the left, Elder waters, and Elder Rencher slightly blocked by Waters.

Wednesday is where the subject of the email comes from. We were knocking in a really culturally mixed area and we came up to one door. We knocked and on the second knock someone opened and yelled "we hate the [insert other religion name]" and slammed the door. A little put back, I started writing on one of the card we pass out, "sorry we bothered you, but we are the Mormons" about halfway through writing that another person comes to the door. She had two massive dogs barking behind her that she was fighting to keep in the door. We asked her if there was any kind of service we could do for them and she responded with something else and slammed the door. Like really slammed the door. It was pretty funny. Elder Waters and I figured that was the most intense door slam either of us have ever had. 

Friday was another amazing day.

We started the day with a lesson with German. He called us on Thursday and told us he has been feeling unworthy and the scriptures are just making him feel bad. We sent him a lot of stuff to read, including Alma 32, Enos 1, and Ether 12:27. We came by Friday and talked. He said he just felt so happy reading these chapters, especially Enos 1. Enos 1 is very basically about a guy who asks for forgiveness.  It's pretty great. We talked about repentance and making it a part of everyday life. One thing he struggles with is that he keeps doing small things he knows he shouldn't. We talked about how it's hard to change but that we can always ask for help. Just like in our lesson with Enrique we told him we can always ask for forgiveness and help in the repentance process. We shared a few stories in the Bible with Jesus and sinners. Jesus came to save sinners, this is our most important message. We also talked about the power of journals. 

One thing we all do is that it's easy to forget spiritual experiences or really happy events, so when you write them down you have a place you can go back and read what happened and have a greater feeling of remembrance. The spirit in the lesson was pretty awesome, and through that we were able to turn his feeling bad about himself to remembering all the spiritual experiences we've had together and looking forward to the 24. He also had a question about what happens to children who die without baptism. We didn't read Moroni 8, but we told him that little kids can't sin, so they go back to the presence of God. He really liked that, as do I. 

After some more studying and lunch, we went to a lesson with someone we just picked up. We shared the restoration. It's awesome. I love that every time we share the first vision and the Joseph Smith story you can see people change. All of a sudden they give you way more attention and they feel something. She said the closing prayer after a fair amount of coaxing and teaching. 

After that lesson we headed up north a bit to Montserrat and Frank. I'm pretty sure I said something about them last time. Either way, we need to pass them off soon because they are progressing really well. Like weirdly well. It was our third lesson. We had a member with us and we put Frank on date for baptism. We asked him if he would be baptized by someone who holds the authority of God on [specific date] and he said "I think we will be out of town can we do it [another date]? It helps so much that his wife has such a strong testimony and shares bits during every lesson. They're easy to teach, super friendly, love church, read everything we give them and pray about what we talk about. If only everyone was like them. It will be sad to pass them off, but the English Elders are going to love us so much.

We finished our proselyting with the Aguilar family. We brought President Reed, the branch president, with us to the lesson. It was fantastic. The Aguilar fam like I keep saying are so awesome. We told President Reed what we wanted to cover and he basically gave our entire lesson and more. Every member we bring connects so well with the Aguilars. Basically they said they worry the church is too good to be true. This is the first church they've been to where they want to come back. It's the first church where they feel welcomed. It's the first church they feel something at.  They just love to learn about the gospel. They are reading like 2-3 chapters in the Book of Mormon each night, as well as portions of the Gospel Principles book daily, not to mention they said they are talking with their friends about the gospel and invited a family to come to church with them this Sunday! President Reed said in our lesson to them that they are basically members, and are doing more than many of the members. He also added the warning that our congregation is filled with imperfect people, and that there shouldn't be expectations of anything perfect in the members. We talked a little about learning in the church as well as tithing and fast offering, in how its not used to pay ministers but all goes to helping people. President Reed also invited them to come to the temple in August to just be around it. 

Chicago LDS Temple

I added that if they are baptized before they could come in and do baptisms for their ancestors with us. They said they'd be baptized before August. It was a good lesson. 

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