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, June 4, 2018

May 7, 2018


Monday we spent the day moving. This is the new official address. We will still have a mail key until our old apartment is renovated so no worries about losing mail!

1650 R W Berends Drive SW Apt #6
Wyoming, Michigan 49519

Senior couples have a special effect on people that younger missionaries I think struggle to have. By the very virtue of their age people will more automatically look to and trust them. Most recently that was witnessed to me when we met with a less active member we've tried to make contact with the whole time I've been in Michigan. The Pectols on their first stop by were able to talk with her and have a great visit where they were able to really connect with her. The Pectols set up a dinner appointment for us to come by and share a message. We arrived at the right day and time and we just had a great visit. 

Our Tuesday we had a lesson with Antonia. We read through 3 Nephi 11, which is the chapter when Jesus begins his personal ministry in the Americas. As we read through one thing that struck me was the order of what Jesus taught. The first thing he does is he makes note of his obedience to the Father and the mission he had just completed. He then goes on to invite all to gain a personal testimony of his resurrection and the goes on to teach baptism. We talked about this with Antonia and how we can apply this to ourselves. Step one is obedience to what God has asked us to do. As we obey we can then gain a personal witness for our selves. We then are expected to act. In the instance of 3 Nephi 11 it was to be baptized but for anyone at any point of life we are expected to act on the testimonies we've received. 

Wednesday we had a great visit with Daniel. We weren't really sure what we were going to do with him and his family during morning planning so we decided to leave it open and think about what we could do a little later on. We still had a lot of moving to do from the old apartment to the new one, which was a distance of about 300 yards or so, so that consumed the majority of our day. Moving is a little more tough when you don't really have boxes or a truck/trailer so we just made a ton of trips back and forth. With less than an hour before our next visit we sat down and thought about what we could share with Daniel. After praying for guidance and counseling we all felt a lesson about baptism focusing on repentance would be the right thing. We had a nice visit with the family and after we said the opening prayer. After that prayer Daniel said he had been doing a lot of thinking about baptism and wanted us to talk about repentance, he than caught him self and cut himself off and said, "no actually you probably have something planned for today." We looked at each other for a second laughed and told him that was exactly what we had planned for today. We had a pretty good lesson and talked about somethings he and his family can do to better prepare for baptism. It's really nice when you seek revelation on what to do and you think you have something that feels right and you go for it and it turns out to be exactly the right thing for that moment. 

Thursday we had our zone leader trade offs. It was fun. Elder Magalei and I went with Elder Guerrero and had a pretty good time. Our trade off ended pretty interestingly. The story goes that the Zone leaders knocked into one guy who offered to feed them and over dinner talk about the differences about their respective churches. Turned out the guy just wanted to debate. Of all the anti experiences I've had this one was atypical. In an attempt to keep things getting heated we watched the "Mormons at a Glance" video on which worked pretty well. What made the "lesson" different was that they weren't as fired up or angry, as someone who wants to argue normally would be, but excited. There must be something about sitting in front of some missionaries you don't agree with being practiced and prepared to run them through a ringer that is so exciting. I'm not really sure we even answered a single question. Questions and answers where thrown out for a bunch of the typically misunderstood doctrines or practices of the church as they "[endeavored] to prove by the scriptures" that we were wrong, but it was okay because "in this thing they did err, having not understood the scriptures" (3 Nephi 1:24). The worst thing about when people just want to argue is that the spirit can't be present as it could be when someone might be searching for direction in their life. My best lessons have been lessons when my companions and I were prepared and the investigator(s) were sincere and open. The upside to the visit was that they gave us the extra pizza they bought for dinner. 

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