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 4, 2017

September 4, 2017


I think we turned the tide on the Aguilars. It didn't feel right to extend a baptismal invitation but we had a really really good lesson. One thing that is hard to do but so worth it is to have lessons in members homes with investigators. 

Members homes often have a really good spirit about them that helps our lessons. We need as much help as we can get. We invited the Aguilars to the Westons home and watched the 20 minute restoration video and read some really good scriptures. The spirit was really strong as we read through some of the parts we did. We focused on repentance and receiving answers to our questions. Part of the lesson we read through 2 Nephi 26:23-30. 

23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.
24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.
29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfareof Zion.
30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.

For the first time in a little time I think something actually touched Gilda during the lesson. After we shared our testimonies on Jesus Christ and the gift of repentance we offered a kneeling prayer where we invited Natividad to offer the prayer and to ask if the BoM is true. As we knelt and Natividad offered an amazingly sincere prayer you could just feel the love of the savior as he humbly asked. In church the next Sunday Gilda had Natividad bring Leo to Primary which seemed like an attempt to remove distractions from church time. Leo who is 5 would normally stay with his mom.  

On Tuesday we had a really funny lesson with a member. We are teaching her sister and we visited with her so that we could tell her what we wanted to do with the lesson later that week so that she would be ready. After we covered what we planned for that later lesson we read through the Joseph Smith Testimony that is right before where the BoM actually starts. About mid way through she stops and kind of solemnly say "Elders I have a question." She then unfolds this huge story about how when she was living in one place and then just completely leaves all of her possessions because she was bored. She said she loaded some things she liked into her car and drove to another city leaving a house and a car to see if she would like the new city. She left everything because obviously if she didn't like it she could just come back. About a month later she decided her old home was too far away so didn't bother with anything there. Fast forward another few years the same thing happened again and she just picked up a few things and moves to Michigan. She told us nothing has ever happened to her and it's been like 50 years and she is a little embarrassed and a little scared to go back and see what has happened to the two houses she left. Some people ha ha. With a chuckle she asked if she was right with God. We told her we didn't have any authority to say anything on that and directed her to the branch president. 

In our zone conference last week we heard that Elder Snow of the quorum of the Seventy is coming to our mission for a few days which will be fun. President Brennan has been getting us really ready. As assignment we have been told to do a good amount of things in preparation including listening to each talk he has given at the various General Conferences he has spoken at.

 We also had a really good Family home evening a returning less active family that just moved to our side. The Westons were with us and we had a pretty good lesson. 

At the end we were eating some arroz con leche and we were talking with the wife about their goals. She mentioned she wanted to get sealed to her husband who is also returning less active, so hopefully we can jump start this goal with them! The only problem is that they have a kid and both work and their work schedule like so many Hispanics here which is that one parent watches the kids until the other gets out of work and the other goes in and they switch. We'll make it work.

We had a lot of success street contacting this week. Our area has like one consistently Spanish populated area and we spent like 5 hours walking around and talking with people. We picked up more people in one day with return appointments than anything I've done before. Hopefully something comes out of all that work. Street contacting is better in every way than door knocking, but there isn't a whole lot in this area where we can actually do that well. The only true good way to contact is through the members.

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