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, October 23, 2017

23 October 2017


Monday we had an amazing lesson with this girl we met. We met her on this one street as we were checking up on a former investigator. It was pretty late and really dark and this teenage girl just walks walks up to us from behind and tells us how awesome it is that we love Jesus so much that we are knocking doors in the hood this late. It was pretty funny, we talked for a bit and it turns out she thought we were JW's. We got a return appointment. Come Monday we have our appointment. Everything went so perfectly. There has never been a better lesson, the Westons were with us and literally it was so powerful. First lessons can be a little tough, at least for me. They tend to be slightly awkward. The new people don't really know how the relationship is going to be defined and I'm not the most personable person there is, but it flowed really naturally. 

Later that day we had the Aguilars. Still with no idea how exactly we were going to go about having the visit we walked in. We had left a commitment that they really had been struggling with, which was to study something from the scriptures everyday personally and as a family and have family prayer. They weren't super clear about how it went, Natividad left it with "we intended too." We talked about that for a bit and Elder Magalei asked Natividad if he would be baptized. Unfortunately he said no, so there really isn't much more we can do. The whole thing kind of confuses me. Natividad talked with the branch president about this situation and told him some things we kind of knew through our own pondering on the situation and from what we can see. He also asked some of the members that are their friends to talk with his mother-in-law who isn't supportive in anyway to help her open up. We ended the lesson with testimonies and I felt to share Ether 12:6 and D&C something something:10. Basically we left our last visit with a you've got to make a choice because we can't continue much longer, we left them to read the introduction to the BoM to read again. It's really unfortunate, the spirit was so strong in that home that night and if they won't take that step we've truly done everything we could. 

Tuesday ended really well. I can't remember how much I've told about the Fanco family, they own a tacoria that's really good and give us free food, and want us over every week to eat. They are a part member family but are totally inactive. We've really not had much success with them up until Tuesday. A few days prior the husband sat down with us and asked "Elders I want to get baptized, how do I do that?" Pretty good question. We talked about that and set the return appointment for this day. Elder Magalei started off our lesson by asking the husband why he wanted to be baptized. It really set the tone because he just bore a sincere and powerful testimony that really bore witness to his sincerity. We spent the lesson talking about everything that we will do and that they must do. We've invited them to church before but they've told us they can't not work Sundays because how small their tacoria is, and after a lot of prayer we had an idea that we presented to them. We set up a multi-step baptismal plan for them where they first pay tithing. Tithing is an ancient law and the Old Testament has a bunch of good scriptures on the blessings of that. We shared those with them. The idea is once they pay tithing faithfully they will receive the needed blessings to come to church and once they are coming to church he will gain the strength to quit smoking. We promised some sweet blessings and they accepted. The only problem is we haven't set dates for each step. Hopefully we can do that, the goal is to bring everyone back into activity because this process really will likely take the whole family so that they can all keep the Sabbath day holy.  

Thursday we had a good district meeting. We've been working on jump starting member work in the two Spanish areas. The idea was proposed to split up all the active members between both companionship ignoring geographic boundaries when it comes to the member work. We accepted this idea and have been putting it into action. Our side is destitute of active members so this helps us out SO much. Basically what we have found is that members want to share the gospel; they just don't. They don't take the steps to leave their comfort zone to invite a friend, teaching by example only goes so far but that's the mentality everyone has. I can sympathize though, missionary work is not natural for me at all. Success is in the invitation and you don't need to be the best of friends with someone to invite them to the gospel. We invite everyone we can and we basically don't know anyone. D&C33:7-13

This last Sunday was funny. The story starts the day before I picked up Elder Magalei. We were out walking around on a particular street and started talking with this guy drinking on his porch. We had a little lesson with him and set a return appointment. Elder Magalei and I come back and one drunk guy turns into three drunk guys. The only good thing about that lesson was was that they gave us some good apples. One of the guys was really knowledgeable in biblical history and was just there to teach us without giving us any space. It was pretty annoying because there were some key things that he had wrong but we had no space to do anything. We left without any intention of coming back. Sunday morning 9am we knock on this nice lady's door on a completely different street with the Westons. We walk in and I make eye contact with her husband who was just chilling on the couch and we both kind of made the *a shoot not again* face at the same time. Turns out the guy who antied us is married to this lady we talked with a few days ago. The lesson wasn't quite as bad but he still behaved mostly the same. He kept going and going and going and we were kind of just taking the monologue to the face but Elder Weston wasn't too happy about that. He slightly interrupted and asked some question that the guy didn't know the answer too which allowed us to put in a few points before he took back over. His wife wasn't too happy about what her husband was doing and she told him to basically shut up and let us share what we came to share. He didn't like that very much and kept going until he said something about Abraham that was wrong and Elder Weston corrected him and kept going with that idea that isn't found in the bible but in the Pearl of Great Price in the Book of Abraham that gives a greater understanding of the sacrifice of Isaac. We were able to regain control and end the lesson. We actually set a return appointment for in our own church building and we will have another family.

This Sunday the package of lava lava's came in. Mines sweet. no pics, my bad.

Some news, Some changes are coming to missionary work, we will be having a full mission conference on the 11 of November in Lansing with someone from either the Quorum of the 12 apostles or first presidency. We've heard of some world wide changes but we have also had some allude to some Michigan specific changes, we will have to wait to find out.

The Zone leaders had a baptism last week, some one grabbed a pic of the missionaries in the Wyoming ward, AP's, and the Spanish elders with us which will hopefully keep him a little quite. We wouldn't have done that, but the wife really seemed interested and was not happy her husband T-Boned our visit, also the spirit said to so we did. Hopefully third times the charm. Its pretty easy to gauge peoples sincerity within the first few minutes of any visit. I hope he opens up, listens, and gets converted so we can laugh about our first two visits.

This Sunday the package of lava lava's came in. Mines sweet. no pics, my bad.

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