Week 15

Hola everyone!
 
So our investigator Juan, that I’ve mentioned before is doing awesome. He’s been reading, and praying. He told us that he thinks his prayers are being answered and he is being protected. He said he knew this because of the two times he hasn’t gotten pulled over for one of his tail lights not working. It’s a random example, but truely it is one. He also told us that, the Book of Mormon could not have been written by just a man…. Yes!!!! He’s totally getting it!! He just has to stop being busy (going out of town, and going to a wedding) and come to church. He is so great though, seriously he is.
 
There’s this investigator, Huilario (Hilario?), anyways, him. We got him as a referral from Mexico via text (he put his own name as the referral). As it turns out, he was still in Mexico when we first contacted at his house, one day later. When he got back, we went by his house. He was busy but told us to come back the next week (this past Tuesday). An hour after we saw him, the English Elders called us. Apparently half an hour after us, they went and contacted him too! They gave him a Book of Mormon but they wanted us to go see him since he only speaks Spanish. When they said that, we just laughed, and explained we already had met him. I’m not sure how all the confusion happened but it was funny.
 
We are planning for a really exciting Taco night! It’s in February, right at the end of this transfer. We are hoping for a lot of people to come. To get their tacos, they first have to go on a tour. It’s a big party to set up for, so we’re starting already. We are lining up people to cook the meat, give the tours, and provide raffle items. It will be so fun!
 
This week I was obligated to eat fish… There were two chilis stuffed with tuna. The first one was totally fine, but the second one was super spicy, and with the tuna, I about had it. I somehow managed to eat the whole thing and keep it down (though I was about 5 seconds from the alternative).
 
Cool story, so we went to Panera for dinner last week. We were sitting there when a couple came up to us. They’re from the English Stake. They told us how they work to help people with addictions overcome them. In the Spanish Stakes, we don’t have those callings, so it was pretty cool that we “just happened” to run into them. Really, it’s God’s hand in all things. ‘
 
On Saturday we went to Hometown Buffet for breakfast/lunch. I love breakfast food!! I had two plates of pancakes and french toast and all sorts. And the saddest part of all of it? I totally forgot about cinnamon rolls?!?! I saw some there, and realized that I haven’t had or thought about them in months. And it was so delicious! Seriously, this whole forgetting things that I love is super strange. Oh well!
 
Much love,
Hermana Johnson
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Week 14: Transfer 1 complete

Hey everyone!
 
So I finished my first six weeks! I’m staying in Rimgrove, but H. Poulton is not. She’s actually headed to Pomona! So it’ll just be me and H. Jardon which is going to be super weird. It’s ok to go from 2 to 3 companions, but 3 to 2? Super strange! It feels like we’re missing a part of us.
 
Well last Pday as a district, we went to the Buddhist temple which is close by. It was pretty cool. Lots of statues and an area of fountains. There was a main worship room, but I felt super weird there. We were a bunch of missionaries looking at all the Buddhist stuff, which we obviously don’t worship/believe in. They were super nice though. At an area with statues you throw pennies to a bell, and if you hit it, you get good luck. Well after many unsuccessful attempts, I hit it! I was the only one in my district to do so, and I actually gave a yell of triumph, except that it was totally out of place, and I just laughed.
 
We started piano lessons this week for the members and anyone who wants to learn. H. Poulton was in charge of it. Only two people came which was perfect for lessons. The sad thing is she got transferred and now I have to teach them! I don’t know what I’m going to do when a ton of people come… I’ve never taught piano before, let alone to a group!
 
We saw Yolanda again. It was the most confusing conversation of my life… She doesn’t believe in God, but then says she does-just not our God, she prays, yet she doesn’t think he can answer prayers? Our lesson got nowhere… We aren’t really sure what to do with that.
 
We taught Juan on Saturday. He is so great! He had the best week, just because of our meeting, and because he was so excited to see us again. Our lesson went really well, even though he doesn’t understand me 100%, the spirit was there and he just felt it. It was way awesome! We saw him before H. Poulton had to go and he was so sentimental about it all. He makes sure to take good care of his friends, and she is no exception. He did not want to let us leave, and made sure to tell her she has to write.
 
We had an exchange on Thursday. H. Zamora came and H. Jardon went to San Gabriel. It was way fun! We had an appointment fall through, so we went to see someone else, which ended up being an inopportune time (she was in tears!). It was crazy awkward! Then we went to dinner and to an appointment with Rafael. Just with the one lesson, she told us that they are definitely getting baptized, which is awesome. We’re soooo close with them! Jessica got this boost of excitement to learn and both she and Paola really want to get baptized! Just their dad now!
 
We also had this crazy lesson with the RS President’s sister in law. We were just there to talk with the RS President but she went out really quick so we shared a scripture. It turned into a bashing. It was ridiculous though, because it all went down to her putting her faith in men and not in God. She told us in the end to pray to know if it is all false. Well goodness, we’re here on missions because we have received a witness and then countless other confirmations. The craziest part was that it was all in English, but the grandma Marta busted out her scriptures and jumped into the conversation in Spanish. We had no idea she knew what was going on! Then after a couple mintues she asked if we had another appointment and excused us. It was great!
 
Also, we went to Golden Corral again… With another family though. It was way fun, and luckily no second dinner right after!!
 
Love,
Hermana Laura Johnson

Week 13 Week of the Crazies

Hey everyone!
 
This week has gone pretty well, lots of interesting things as always. The most interesting of all was Yolanda. She was a referral from the Primary President, they know each other because Yolanda works as a lunch lady at her childrens’ school. While she was giving us the referral, her girls were moaning and saying not to give her address to us because she is so mean. Hermana Borrayo gave it to us anyways and we went. When we to her door we heard yelling about money and wages and it did not seem like a good time. H Poulton knocked on the door disregarding it and out came Yolanda a 70 year old lady.
 
She came up to us and stared us down for a long, awkward minute, then said, “Que bonitas!!” She was very excited to have three random people show up at her door to talk to her. She asked us if we wanted to come in for some margaritas, which she had out, we quickly declined. Her husband, who had been the one yelling, came out and told us he was going to call the police, FBI and immigration because Yolanda’s sisters were coming and they’re that awful. She told him to get away and he went inside. Then we asked her what her family meant to her, which is usually a safe question. She responded saying she would get rid of them if she could. She told us about her grandkids and asked us if we wanted to come to a party with them. And she said that skinny-dipping would be involved! I am pretty sure she did not get the concept of what missionaries do. Not at all. She offered us more alcohol, then when we refused she gave us candy. She showed us a picture of a model from Brazil that she loves. Then her husband came back out. She said she gets a new ring for every 10 years they’re married. We told her we loved her ring and she went to her husband and said (in Spanish), “I’m married to this man and all I get are these rings, and they say ‘Que bonito!!!'” Then her husband went on about how even though they’ve been married for 40 years she’s hidden the marriage certificate. We then made a return appointment (in between her telanovelas) so we could actually talk about why we’re there.
 
So craziest lady ever. Her and her husband–so over the top joking, yet serious, yet still in love? When we told the Borrayo family, the girls were so distraught. They asked if Yolanda was going to come to church and were sad. They even told us about how the school wanted to fire her as a lunch lady but she’s just a volunteer so they can’t. She steals kids lunches…. Yep.
 
Moving on. Another crazy person. Steven. We went looking for another referral from the same family. We knocked on a door and started talking to Steven. He first off invited us in for food even though he had never met us before, then started talking to us. He told me that I had food in my teeth and he got me floss. It was funny/awkward. We told him that we’re missionaries and we were looking for the Borrayo friend. He informed us if it was his next door neighbors they’re weird and he doesn’t like them because they don’t give him lemons off their tree like the old neighbors. We soon realized we were at the wrong house. So he taught us how to find/read addresses, “It’s a four digit number that you match to the address you’re looking for.” Thanks. Then he walked us to the neighbors’ house and he rang the doorbell for us. Then when they weren’t home, we talked to him. He told us he was Athiest and then he told us about his electronics business and tried to sell us phone chargers and adapters. It was just ridiculous. So we told him if the chargers were all the same blue he would have had us sold, but sadly no, and so we helped pick up some water bottles that were in his yard and left.
 
Lately the Elders have been leaving musical voicemails when we don’t pick up which is pretty hilarious. E. Markham has a ukelele and he plays it to whatever he wants to say. We also used this method during a meeting where we talked about our investigators. It made everything more exciting.
 
Also, I am sad to report that my knowledge of Harry Potter is dwindling. It took me five minutes to name all of the books!!!!!! Worst day of my life. Although everyone should look up 3 Nephi 13:21 (I think) because it is a quote Dumbledore says at some point. I just can’t remember which book/movie anymore.
 
This week we made a couple batches of cookies. Our oven hasn’t been used for a long time and my companions are scared of it. So we resorted to baking them in the toaster oven. It takes us ten minutes for six cookies…. It’s really fun though, something I’ve never done before.
 
There’s been lots of weird gurgles lately… I gurgled in the middle of a prayer this week, mid-word. H. Poulton gurgled during a conversation and E. Markham gurgled sporadically. I don’t really know what that means. Also after Golden Corral, during our second dinner last week my stomach gurgled and they assumed I was still hungry. That was hilarious because it was just making weird noises and I was for sure not hungry.
 
On Saturday we gave a church tour to a guy, Juan. He wants to change his life and has really been searching so we’re excited for him. The bad thing is he can only meet on weekends so we’ll see where this goes. It’s looking really positive though! The funny thing was when the Elders drove past when we were at the door. E. Markham was wearing this crazy mask and they were all making crazy faces but we couldn’t acknowledge it because we were already talking to Juan. Apparently E. Markham used the mask this week to scare E. Reinhardt. He was not feeling good, so when E. Markham jumped and yelled to scare him, E. Reinhardt started throwing up which I think is hilarious (everyone knows all my throw up stories….). Then E. Markham was just confused for the next little while.
 
Transfers are next week! So that means that our companionship could change. We think that both H. Jardon and I are staying but we’re not sure about H. Poulton. Actually, what we think could be completely wrong and there’s no guarantee I’ll stay in Rimgrove. So if anyone happens to write, just send it to the mission office (170 W Duarte Road Arcadia, CA 91007). We get mail at least once a week so I might not give out my home address… It’ll be easier in case I end up changing areas and just as fast.
 
Much love,
 
Hermana Laura Johnson