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, July 31, 2017

29 July 2017 Service, Soup, Sabbath, Supplemental Food, and Several types of conversion


Not a whole lot has happened since Monday. It's the end of the transfer so the usual Saturday P day.

The week started off on bikes. Our P day afternoon we biked around a lot and did an hour of unplanned service for this couple we met. They were shoveling dirt so we jumped off our bikes and asked if they wanted help. They kind of laughed at us a little and told us "this won't be one of your victories we are (insert religion) and you won't convert us," so we offered service and they pointed out our white shits, but we persisted and they agreed. It was pretty great, they were a little nervous at first but after a few minutes we were all good. We came back the next day and shoveled dirt for two hours. Their lawn has these weird dips and holes so we had a lot of work to do. We moved around 5 square yards of dirt to contour their lawn. It felt really good to do some less typical missionary work for a few hours. 

Wednesday Elder Rencher woke up sick so we took a slow day. We had a few hours of finding mid day that we just cut out and he took a nap the whole time. Our apartment is small so there isn't much I could have done. I basically read through the scriptures until I got bored and took a nap as well. Later that night we went to a member's home for dinner. They gave us a soup consisting of beans, eggs, green bananas, and pig skin. It wasn't very appetizing.  

We had a good lesson with a less active part member family. We talked about the Sabbath day. Somehow the whole Seventh-Day Adventist doctrine stuff went over my head when we planned for the lesson. He has never said he was an Adventist but has mentioned Ellen White a few times and I just totally forgot. We walked in had a good chat and we brought up the Sabbath day after the opening prayer and he went on a huge spiel about preparing for the Sabbath on Friday and doing nothing on Sunday.  Adventists are often some of the most devout people when it comes to keeping the Sabbath day holy. We spent the whole lesson on why we worship on Sunday. It went well, and we finished with the fact that all of his questions rely on the question of if Joseph Smith truly was a prophet. The introduction to the Book of Mormon is really good, specifically the last two paragraphs. All objections to our church rest on whether he was or wasn't a prophet, the proof of that is the BoM. If you gain that witness of the Holy Ghost that the BoM is true then you learn a few things, including that Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer and that Joseph Smith was the first prophet of this dispensation. Reading, pondering, and praying are key to that process. Pedro has started to read, which an important step in the right direction. 

Carmen is doing really well. She said she is coming this Sunday. We had two really good lessons the last few days with her. At the most recent lesson, we had a great member come out with us. It's sometimes a little nervous bringing new people out who we have never taken out but it turned out really well. The member teaches the gospel doctrine class and like most of the members in our branch is a convert, and better yet around the same age as Carmen. We also taught her the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. We focused on the sacrament and taught out of 3 Nephi 18. She said she wants to come to church and asked if we ever fast. We obviously said yes and explained a little about what is and she asked us to fast with her to help her find a way to stop working on Sundays. It was pretty awesome. The member talked about how her job didn't let her come to church and after a few weeks of praying, looking, and fasting she found a way. 

On the topic of bringing new members out to lessons. We brought someone to one of our lessons with the Aguilar family who doesn't speak Spanish because we wanted to focus a little more with Aldo and the BoM. It was a good lesson but at the end it got slightly side-tracked. We talked about some of the BoM stories and she went off telling about Nephi cutting Laban's head off, Ammon cutting people's arms off which devolved into various Spongebob stories. 

We pulled it back into prayer somehow but only after a significant detour. 

The Aguilars are very interesting. They have definitely become socially converted and aren't nearly as solidly spiritually converted to the church. Someone told me for someone to join our church they need at least 2 of the 3 different types of conversions, which includes spiritual, social, and secular. They are at the moment loving church, love the people, living all the commandments, reading their scriptures everyday but struggle to recognize the spirit's influence in their lives. Our plan is to set them up with dinners with specific members so that they can go and the members can share their conversion stories. So far we have one dinner set up. 

Today we are going on a bike ride to some Indian graves and that's about it, we have like no money for the rest of the month. 

Also, I almost forgot. Our ward had a picnic last week as well as the English ward so our church's freezer was filled with food. They were like, "just give it to the missionaries." So much free food. That is how to make missionaries happy, outside of solid referrals and good lessons. 

No comments:

Post a Comment