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.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

2 December 2017


Monday was a little tough. We had two lessons planned for the afternoon of our P-day which was good but they didn't turn out all that well. We finally were able to receive a referral on our side from a member and things were looking promising. She came to a ward party we had for the departure of the Westons and we were able to talk extensively. 

Come Monday, the member friend, a few minutes before the lesson was planned to start, sent us a warning that the grandma was going to be at the visit as well. I didn't think much of it so we continued with our plan. We walked in with the Westons and were just talking with the family and it was really nice. We said the opening prayer and were talking about what we do as missionaries, what they should expect and started sharing points about the restoration. 

I really don't like it when people T-Bone our lessons. It's really unfortunate. The grandma really doesn't like Mormons. We meet a few people like that. The problem is that it's really hard to get back to the lesson when someone just has no desire to listen. Our purpose very simply is to present a message and ask people to try it out and check it with scripture and more importantly ask God to see if it's true.  He can't and won't lie and will tell everyone the full truth. So it's important that people just don't take our word for anything we say. The grandma wouldn't listen and just wanted to bash. The upside is she doesn't speak English so we dropped into English for a minute to set up another time to meet with only the lady who wanted to meet with us. Moral of the story is follow all warnings. Any time spent where someone is just ragging on us is time wasted. 

Tuesday was the follow-all-spiritual-promptings day. It gets dark here pretty early which is really unfortunate 2 Nephi 26:23 and makes our job a little harder. We had arrived at our 8pm appointment just to be told they were about to leave. We walked back to our car and felt that the back up that we did have planned wasn't really the best thing we could do. We couldn't really figure out what we were supposed to do so we prayed. We simply asked if there was something better that we were supposed to do than what we had planned, and then thought about it for a minute. 

As I prayed I felt we were supposed to go to a fast food restaurant around the corner but didn't really know why. Elder Magalei didn't really have any ideas and so we went. We walked in and sat down trying to figure out what the next step was. I was confused and sat thinking. Elder Magalei was deep in thought and I asked what he thought we should do. He said he saw something in the restaurant that reminded him very clearly of a specific home we had knocked through a few weeks before and that he felt we needed to stop by. We left and knocked on the door. This lady walks out and we were talking with her and turns out she had just had family die in Puerto Rico and that the next day she would be flying out to go help the family. We were able to talk with her for a few minutes and left her with a prayer. It's really nice to be able to receive that guidance from the Holy Ghost that God is often times just waiting to give us. We just have to ask for it sometimes. I truly know God listens to and answers our prayers.

Wednesday we kind of got on the Francos for not having read since our last appointment. A few days prior we had talked with a member who had served her mission in Honduras. She shared with us an object lesson she used with people who had struggled to read in the scriptures between visits. The problem is most people don't have an interest in reading the scriptures. They either admit they don't understand what it says before they've even read or believe they don't have the time, and without that interest, it's hard to make that change. The truth is there is so much in the scriptures, you just have to open them up. What you do is you make this hypothetical situation where the person is going to die the next day and they have an opportunity to write a letter to their kids as advice. You spend a few minutes writing out all these ideas you might have or bits of advice. At the end of the specified time you make the connection that God, our Heavenly Father, has written his counsel and guides to living a happy life in the scriptures. How would you feel if your kids ignored your letter? Would you want your kids to read and study what you said? If our life is a test, the scriptures are basically the cheat sheet on doing well. 

Transfer calls came in yesterday, thus the Saturday P-day. Still here. I made the realization that I'm going to hit my year mark in the same area I was trained in. Time is too fast. Our now former zone leader can speak very limited Spanish and for his last transfer is serving in our district! Elder Guerrero is going to Zone lead the best zone in the mission (this one) and Elder Magalei and I are staying together for at least one more transfer.

Friday we met with this brand new family. It was kind of weird, not gonna lie. We've had like a bunch of days of everything falling through and not a lot of luck and we came into this home and had a great lesson. It's normally a little tough with more people but everyone was very attentive, responding thoughtfully to questions, and there were almost zero distractions. The tricky thing is when there are multiple generations in lessons. What normally happens is the grandparents can't speak English, parents speak a little or none, and the kids are almost exclusively English but I think we did a good mish-mash of spanglish. 

Friday we had our best lesson with a Pastor ever. Normally they just want to fight or test our biblical knowledge which is really just a huge waste of time, but he was super humble and really nice. Instead of bashing with us he let us share the restoration with him. He couldn't accept that God continues to reveal truth to living day prophets or that God could reveal more of his word but there was zero contention. The Old Testament teaches us a lot about prophets and what they do. Moses is the easiest example in how he lead, received revelation for the children of Israel. It's cool to think that today we have someone guiding all who will listen with that same power and authority.  

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