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

9/9/17 Training a new missionary


Estoy embarasado con un hijo! (missionary play-on-language-lingo saying that he's going to be a trainer)

Well I'm going to train these next two transfers. That will be fun and a definite growing opportunity. I'll be serving with Elder Waters again for about 2.5 days before we drive down on Thursday to Lansing to pick up our new companions.

Two of the people we picked up on the long day of street contacting seem really promising.

To preface, missionaries have a rule that says we aren't allowed to be in the same room alone with someone of the opposite gender. This week we slightly got wrecked on that rule, so we taught a fair number of people outside.

The first was Paty. She came up to us on the street from behind and asked us who we were. We told her we were the missionaries from the church and talked with her for a while. We talked about modern day prophets and the other awesome things we share with people and set up a return appointment. Our first lesson with her was less than ideal. We pulled up outside her house and it was just pouring down and like 50-60 degrees. She didn't have a man home and was really sick. She still really wanted to meet with us, so we met on her porch outside. It was cold and rainy and we shared the first vision and BoM pretty quickly and she looked like death. Aside from the less than ideal conditions she asked some good questions and we set up a return appointment.

The other was Gabby. Her lesson was mostly in English, but she also didn't have a man home so we met outside. Luckily it wasn't raining. In Michigan in some of the poorer areas, the homes are often split up into multiple apartments so that like +4 families live in these small-medium sized homes. She lives on an upper level apartment of one of the same style homes and there was a pretty sketchy walk way going up to the door. We sat on three chairs on this sketchy landing and shared the message of the restoration. It's always awesome that the spirit accompanies us at each of our visits that we have with sincere people. Depending on the lesson I always try to ask why people invite us back or allow us to come over and this lesson was one of those lessons. She told us as we walked up to her and talked with her that she felt something and figured it was a sign. She then explained to us the stuff she has been going through and she felt she needed to straighten things out. It was super cool she shared that with us.

The other new person we picked up we had two lessons with in the last few days. Her name is Mary and also mostly speaks English. We might be passing her off which is unfortunate. Her family doesn't want to meet with us but she really does. Our first lesson was outside on the grass and it went really well. We committed her to pray about what we talked about and read the introduction. We came back like two days later and had a really, really good lesson. We had to re-cover most of the Restoration lesson because she didn't really grasp everything but at the end she really understood. We read a few things in the Book of Mormon to answer her question on "why do bad things happen to good people." At the end we covered why the BoM is so important. The last paragraph of the Introduction to the BoM explains this, it basically says that if the book of Mormon is true then the Church is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet and we have living day prophets. We asked her to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon is true. She did and paused for a moment after she asked in her prayer. She told us she felt joy and a warmth as she asked the question. We explained the spirit again and reconfirmed the commitments we left with her. We will know what happens with her most likely this Monday. Monday we will have a lesson at the Weston's house with the other elders that cover that area speaking English and she will hopefully decide then. Fingers crossed. Also during that lesson her three year old daughter was outside with us and was trying to destroy the lesson. She was throwing rocks but we were able to divert her attention to building a rock structure to keep her mom attentive and the kid from distracting the lesson, it turned out really well on all fronts.

We actually got a member referral on Thursday so we immediately went to go find this person. We got super vague explanations on which house it was and were told not to use their name which was a little sketchy. We walk up to this door and knock and this tall black guy who doesn't speak any English slowly opens the door and softly says "come" in a thick accent. At that point it was pretty clear we were at the wrong house, but we went in anyway. He tells us to sit and points at a couch and disappears. We sat for a moment in silence and he comes back out with his son. The guy tells his son something and then the son translates in broken English and asks us if we were there to teach them about the bible. We said yes and also mentioned the BoM. The Dad said something to his son, who then said "what day do you pray." Turns out they wanted to know when we go to church and we told them Sunday. They all sighed and looked down. Turns out they were Adventist, but they still invited us to come back today. So we will hopefully have a lesson with this family from Rwandan who speak basically no English. It's going to be super fun. We have the 20 minute restoration video that has a bunch of different languages including french which was their second language. Haha that will be fun.

Also the weather is already slightly chilly, we've been in the 60s with mornings in the 40s. I anticipate a fairly cold winter which will be nice to a certain extent.

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