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, June 5, 2017

6/5/17 Five months!


I thought I hit six this week but realized I couldn't count.

Not a whole lot happened between now and the last email. 

Thursday was our car fast day and ended about as good as any day could have. We finished up weekly planning in the morning and caught a bus down into our area. We had four lessons planned back to back so we really had to be on our game and teach short powerful lessons and leave. Sadly all the lessons except the last fell through so we had a good three hour knocking session. We had a good conversation with a guy who was doing some renovations on one of his properties he rents out. We did our best, but as we left like usual we realized so many better ways to respond to his questions. One good question he asked was without the Book of Mormon would we come to the same conclusions about God. We answered well, but not perfectly. The better answer is probably no. The Book of Mormon teaches doctrine  found in the Bible as well as some not. The Bible is not the definite word of God. It contains the word of God but by no means all of it. The BoM is more and was given to us under the direction of God because so much had changed between the life of Jesus Christ and now.  Without the authority of the apostles Jesus Christ called, and that correcting force found in the use and function of most of the epistles from the prophet and apostles at the end of the new testament, gospel truths changed slightly through time. The Book of Mormon is evidence that the authority has been restored and brought back. That is why we try to show people the book and get them to read and find out for themselves. We could have pointed out the history and supported this by how many different churches there are all founded off the Bible and how many different things they teach.  

Anyway, what made that day awesome was our lesson with the Aguilar fam. We met with the member for about a minute to make sure she knew our goals of the lesson. We walked in and had a good lesson on fasting and tithing. The spirit was really strong and the member bore really strong testimony. One of the things we found with the Aguilar family is they are slightly nervous committing to a life time of church attendance, and they had this idea that they have to be changed and be a different person before they get baptized. The member was like "I am not even close to being perfect and my family is not even close to being perfect." She shared some stories about how her family isn't the perfect Mormon family (no one's is) and it was really nice. We thanked the member and went home. She sent us a text thanking us for inviting her and said she had received a really strong answer to something she has been thinking about for a few weeks. What was cool was that in our morning planning we realized that we didn't have a member for their lesson, her name came very clearly into both of our minds and we sent her a text. We told her that and she said when she got the text she knew we asked her for a reason. It's fun seeing these little miracles line up. 

We had a lesson with the eternigator Enrique again. It was interesting. His wife suffered a stroke a few years ago and completely forgot she was baptized into the church, which makes things interesting. Oh and we also kind of accidentally got mooned. It was awkward. Missionary work in general is pretty awkward sometimes. We are basically planning on just seeing what this guy's doubts are and doing our best to answer them by using the BoM. In his multiples pages of teaching records he has said multiple times he'd be baptized and has received all the lessons we are supposed to teach multiple times. He had a question about what happens after we die. We read through Alma 34 which answers a bunch of questions. He seemed to be thinking about something we read. We invited him to church, but he didn't come.    

Sunday was great but so mentally tasking. We picked up this couple where the wife speaks Spanish and decent English and the husband only speaks Spanish. There is more to the story but it's important that she goes to the Spanish branch. I spent the whole gospel principles class translating for Kevin. It was fun but during live translating you miss a bunch of stuff. After the hour my  mouth was sore and my mind was fried. I was talking so fast and quietly the whole time. I'm fairly sure everything I said was cohesive.

We also had more investigators than ever in church. The other elders had two people they are working with in church and we had the Aguilar family, German, and Monzerat and Frank (the new couple). Our other people we are working with are being difficult. 

Turns out my area where I work is a lot larger than I thought. The two opposite corners are the intersections of highway 131 and 44th street and the city of Ludington. It's about 100 miles diagonal. We cover the smaller half of the Grand rapids stake. Consisting of the Grand Valley Ward, Spring Lake Ward, Northern Muskegon Ward, Fremont Branch , Hart Ward, as well as the obvious Grandvile Spanish branch. 

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