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, September 18, 2017

9/18/17 New companion, Service Project

1) Elder Magalei and me

2) Fog in our exciting parking lot

3)"skyline" of Grand rapids 

Last P-day in the afternoon we had a small miracle. We felt like we should go visit one of the families in our area so we drove to their home after confirming they were okay with us coming by. The family has some crazy kids and so we offered a prayer that taught me a simple lesson. We simply asked that the kids wouldn't be as rambunctious as they normally are and then walked in. Once we said the opening prayer we had a simple message centered how God is our loving Heavenly Father by using the scripture John 3:16 and what he wants from us in return using the scripture Omni 1:26. Never have the kids been so peaceful. The spirit was so strong in that home that night it was amazing. God really answers prayers. Our prayers shouldn't be designed to change God's will, because first of all they can't, but many times he is just waiting to send us certain blessings on the basis that we ask for them in faith. That lesson was a pretty humbling experience for me because as we walked out and I just felt like why are we not always doing this?

Monday was transfer day and I picked up Elder Waters for the few days we were together. He is also training so we worked in the my area up until Thursday. He has served English speaking for the last two transfers and was able to jump back into Spanish pretty easily.

Tuesday we had one of the more interesting lessons I've ever had with someone new. As we were walking into an appointment he ran up to us and asked who we were and set up an appointment with us. Come Tuesday we knocked on his door and he came out. We talked for a few minutes and asked if we could come in and share a message. He hesitated for a second but invited us in. He had us sit down on this couch and there was this other teenager just passed out on the couch. The guy who invited us in tried to wake him up but was to no avail. We asked if there would be another place we could sit down that might be better but he said no. We talked for a few more minutes and opened with a prayer. The lesson was kind of off and we weren't really getting any participation of any kind. About 10 minutes later we heard this car come to a skidding halt and park in the yard and some yelling coming from outside. The guy we were talking with jumps up and the guy outside is just screaming for the kid we were talking with yelling out threats and other unflattering things. At this point the kid we were with was rightfully acting pretty nervous and without saying anything walks out to this guy. Elder Waters and I kind of look at each other like "what the heck is going on and what can we do." We looked out the window because the yelling continued to make sure this kid wasn't getting beaten up or anything and we saw this bigger guy yelling some stuff at this kid and we hear him mention that cops are on the way. The kid runs back into the house where we are and tries to wake up the kid still passed out on the couch telling him that they have to go right now but to little avail. We asked him if everything was okay. He told us that maybe we should come back another day haha. The car in the yard shoots off and we walked out of the house to our car thinking what in the world is going on. We came back a few days later and he didn't say anything about what happened so it couldn't have been too bad haha. The life of an Elder.

Thursday Elder Waters and I went out to pick up our new companions. That morning we had a significant amount of fog which made the trip a little exciting.  Once we arrived at the Lansing stake center we had a bunch of really good trainings and meetings. President Brennan can be pretty inspiring. Later that evening we had a few lessons set up and my new companion Elder Magalei did really well. We walked into the Aguilars home after spending a fair amount of time prepping together for this lesson and once we said the prayer our whole lesson plan didn't feel right so we tossed it and did something completely different. I was really impressed that day one of in field Spanish he was able to completely pivot and turn on basically no notice. We had a really good lesson on faith and shared a few scriptures out of Alma 32 and a scripture in Joshua 4 I think. We've only spoken Spanish together which has been pretty good.

Saturday was the first day I really wished I had my camera. There was a stake service project up in Big Rapids that we got a ride up to. We did a trail clean up and it was really beautiful. We were planning on going with the youth and the leaders, so at 5am we arrived at the Young men's leader's house. We jumped in his van and went to the three homes of the youth in the branch and no one was awake to go, so we returned to his house and had breakfast and then he loaded up his own family and we went up. Big Rapids is about an hour away and we had two really good conversations, up and down, on the needs of the branch and the need for greater member support in the missionary work. We've had pretty poor support from the branch and it's really hard to get things moving. We listened to two really good talks this week about missionary work, the first is called "every member a bird doggier" and I can't remember the other one. Basically nothing works if the ward or branch doesn't support the missionary work.

Once we arrived at the service project we were immediately given gloves and a Mormon helping hands vest and thrown into the back of a pick up truck and dropped off about a mile away. There we removed brush and picked up a bunch of trash. We were right next to a really beautiful river bend and we spent a little bit of time watching the geese fly in and make their landing approaches to the river, it was quite and peaceful.


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