Week 32

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Hey friends, family!!

Surprise! Yesterday I got a text from the assistants to the President. Call us when you have time. That is not anything normal so there was a momentary freak out, then I called. They told me that surprise! A new missionary would be coming in the next day, I would be training her… in a new area. What!!!
I’m headed to Tujunga (pronounced tahunga). It’s in Glendale. It’s where H LaPierre trained H Connelly! It got closed for 3 months right after her training finished. So it’s pretty exciting! There’s a lot of work to do so I’m looking forward to it! I think I may even be training a native. I think they said her name was H Lopez Sanchez. Maybe I just made that up. Not sure. But it should be good!I’m very sad to be leaving Rimgrove, I did not get nearly enough pictures, especially with the members! I hardly got to say goodbye! I did see Oswaldo, the recent converts yesterday, and today Juan R. Everyone else will find out at church on Sunday I guess.

Random thing this week. The most hilarious dinner appointment in the world! We were talking about the Dodgers then the conversation died. H Southworth tried to talk about the food and said, “Ellos son ricos.” Instead of saying the food is good (rich) she said, they are rich. Hna Jaime was confused said, “Los Dodgers???” haha yes they are though. Then I picked up my plate to serve myself more mashed potatoes. And my fork about killed H Southworth. Then a few minutes later we got yogurt for dessert. When Hna Jaime held out a spoon for H Southworth but I guess she held on too hard. She couldn’t pull the spoon out of her hand. So she gave up. It was hilarious. Hna Jaime was confused, asked her if she really wanted the yogurt or not. We just laughed all through dinner.
Also we had a freak out about the virgin Guadelupe…. Catholics believe in her, it’s kind of weird. Who is she even? Is it even the virgin Mary? Her name would be Maria in Spanish… People get mad at us sometimes because we don’t believe in her. Whatever. Only through Christ can we receive salvation.
Possibly someone broke into our house this week. Though nothing was taken. Probably because our apartment is covered with pictures of Jesus…
This is cut short, sorry! Things are crazy around here with me leaving with 24 hours notice!! Oh well I’ll update next week!
Love,
Hna Laura Johnson

 

Week 31

Hola amigos!

Life is good. It is way good! I love our new district! It is amazing! We have a lot of new blood here, everyone wants to work. It is going to explode here! Everyone can feel it. Rimgrove is the place to be. My zone Covina is a pretty good one for baptizing, we have worked ourselves up to top notch. It is amazing to see. That is completely different than when I got here. The members are awesome, there are recent converts all around. It is ready for some new families! I’m just glad I got to see it get built up!

This week I don’t really remember what I did… 

On Monday we met this crazy guy. We were on splits with H LaPierre. Two of us taught a lesson, two went finding. We taught our lesson, after, we talked to a few people. One, Roman was normal, and in the middle of the conversation a possibly drunk, definitely crazy guy came up. He swore every other word, told us how he’s killed people, wants to change. He even tried to beat up someone in the middle of the conversation. He just ran off, the victim got in a car and he hit the car as it drove off. The first guy, Roman decided to leave, at least he gave us his address. It was ridiculous. We did decide to see the crazy guy, but we think he was doing drugs when we went by…
 

Oh on Saturday it was insane! So we had a Mother’s day dinner. Crazy part: there was a bounce house!! It was for all the little kids, but of course the missionaries took advantage…  Nobody was at the dinner at first, kind of embarrassing. Then a lot of people came, two hours later. We ate, and were called outside. There was a pinata for H Stohlton’s birthday!!! It was a Dora the Explorer one. It was so funny!! All the kids went crazy, loved it. 

Then we came inside, Juan M who arranged it all, had a cake for her birthday as well. The ward sang to her. At the end, they had her bite the cake as tradition, one of the counselors in the ward pushed her face into the cake. It was so funny! Then there was flan. There was so much stuff for her birthday it was crazy. 

And today. We had a sister’s activity! We went on a hike. It was super nice. There’s so many crazy things going on with all the sisters. There’s a zillion trios, so many new sisters, including some visa waiters. It was nice to go out, although LA traffic stinks! It took 1 1/2 hours to drive 20 or so miles. But we’re used to it out here.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love CA? It’s great! I love the weather, even the 100 degree heat! Just go under a tree and you cool off, unlike in VA! 

Also, this week, I’ve really realized how much my testimony has grown. This church is true. This gospel is the complete gospel of Jesus Christ as he taught it. We have the priesthood, the authority of God. We have miracles happening still on the earth. The scriptures are so important to your well being. If you aren’t reading daily, you don’t have that protection from the world and can be easily influenced for the worse. I have seen the power in prayer. Sincere prayer is the only way we can talk with our Heavenly Father, and he really does answer us. I have seen so many things, and I know it’s true. This is just an amazing thing. I am amazed to be here, see the hastening of the work. It is happening. It is real. It is true. You better be helping, my friends! Actively get to know your neighbors. The people you work out at the gym with. Anyone. You never know if they’re searching for the truth. There are so many people who are, even if they don’t know it yet. 

I love you guys, I hope for the best for everyone!

Love,

Hermana Laura Johnson

Week 30

Heeeeeeeeeeello,

So remember how my birthday was supposed to be crazy? Well no. I’m staying in my area! What the heck… And dun dun dun. We have a trio. Again. So we picked up H Southworth today. She’s not new to the mission, but she has been out of Spanish work for 5 months!!! So that’s crazy, it was way unexpected. We waited all night by the phone and nothing happened. She called Sunday morning to tell us. It was quite a shock. That means I’ll be in Rimgrove for 7 months at the end! 5 transfers is crazy to be in one area! And I’ll be 3 transfers with H Stohlton which is unheard of for the Hermanas. So awesome.

We had a Mother’s day dinner for the RS. Two of the hermanas really wanted to sing a mother’s day song from the old hymn book so we did. There was a little fuss about when they would sing it. We painted cards for our mothers. The hermanas wanted to do the song before we started painting. The RS leaders wanted it during. They wanted everyone to just pay attention to them. They settled and did it as the closing hymn. It was so funny. And the whole time they just assumed I could write it. Luckily I could. (This ward is getting wayyy comfortable with me as the pianist! They think I can play everything which is totally not true.)

We taught two of Juan 2’s friends. Beatrice and…. Juan. Juan 3. It is ridiculous!! They have a lot of potential. I am way excited about that. Juan 3 is getting baptized. It’s going to happen. Maybe that’s why I’m here again, to keep the Juan train going strong! I’ll baptize every person named Juan by the time I’m out of here!

We’re teaching Flor, the daughter of Temos. She is way cute, way prepared, super ready to change and be baptized. She was there when we taught her mom Lucia. Flor was way excited for the lesson. She taught her mom how to pray, comparing it to a sandwich. Bread= Heavenly Father. Mayo, mustard= whatever in the middle, blessings, questions, requests. Bread= in the name of Jesus Christ. They both are doing awesome.

I did get birthday cake from a less active, Claudia. It was great. She let me take it home, but the icing melted in the 100 degree weather. Speaking of which, it is hot here! And it’s only May! Bring on July and August!

We played soccer on Saturday against the English ward (or that’s what it was supposed to be). The teams were the missionaries against everyone else. And everyone else was Latino, hardly any English members came. So it was difficult, they are all really good at soccer. I just ran around since I can’t really play soccer. But I think I’m still ok at defense anyways… 

My birthday was good. I got cards from a couple people. And I opened the bag with my birthday present (which I’ve been dying to open!). That second package apparently hasn’t gotten to the office yet though… Dang. And a couple members sang for me. It was awesome. And H Stohlton’s birthday is next week. So we’ll have another party!

That’s about all that’s going on. Nothing too exciting, just exciting enough.
 
Love,
Hermana Laura Johnson

 

 

Week 29

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Hola!!

So let’s just talk about what happened this week. Let’s say it was crazy. I kind of let H Stohlton take over, we did some really random things.

On Monday, we were supposed to see a neighbor of a sister in the ward. When she came out, first I noticed her visor. It was as big as the one from the Sandlot. It looked ridiculous, plus it was broken on further notice. It was hanging at a weird angle. We then noticed her shirt was inside out and her crocs were the cherry on top. Hilarious. Her neighbor wasn’t there, we went back to her house. We complimented her on her visor, she ended up giving us one each! Yay.

On Wednesday, I attacked a drunk man’s drinking habits. He knew it was something he shouldn’t do but does anyways. I asked if it makes him happy, I asked if he thinks God likes it. I asked what the worst thing that could happen in his life would be. I then told him I could tell he wasn’t happy and he would never be happy without Christ. I don’t know if I was trying to make him cry or what (not quite)… but yeah we’re not going back.

We tried to see Jose, the crazy old man from awhile back. He lives in an all Chinese area, says he wants to tape his eyes to look more Chinese to fit in. He talks about his communion which he gets every week. Well I was not having it. We went back for the helper lady who is a preacher’s wife. Well, they tried to give us green tea!! So awkward. That was my first time having to deny a drink. (lies I’ve had to deny beer a lot but people understand that…) They poured it from one of those Arizona cans, she tried to pour it back into the can, into a mug. They then gave us water, and were super confused by it.

We took one of the old ladies from the ward with us to a lesson. It cancelled. We didn’t have dinner, and didn’t have much time. She took us to a McDonald’s drive through. She pulled out her money to pay, pulled out a $100 bill! It was crazy. The funniest part was her holding it out, and in her Spanish accent, in English said, “I’m rich!”
Friday we tried to contact this house. We didn’t know who we were looking for or anything, just the English Elders tried to talk to them and they spoke Spanish. There were people outside, they told us they lived across the street, didn’t know that family. They were carrying beer around, were super sketch. Then when they denied us, we knocked on the door. People were totally inside but hiding or something. Then the two guys outside walked up, really did live there. They said nobody was home, but we told them we knew people were there, and they didn’t know what to say. Awkward. They said they’re busy all the time though, don’t want to take our time. Then one said his name was Alfredo, which was obviously fake, tried to get the other to say a fake name, he didn’t say anything at all. They said we could come back though. We told them we would, we’re really persistent, so if they wanted us to come back to say the truth. They didn’t change what they said, it was so weird/awkward. So maybe one day we’ll come back for Alfredo…

Juan 2 is crazy. After getting the Holy Ghost he got this crazy overconfidence… It has been hilariously ridiculous. At a baptism on Sunday, I sat playing prelude with the hiccups. He, and H Stohlton sat there laughing at me for 10 minutes. They laughed with one of the ladies in the ward about it, they went and got me a water bottle. Then when I drank it, and they went away they laughed about it still. His favorite hymn is The Daydawn is Breaking or whatever it is in English. I played it for his baptism. Apparently, he read the lyrics during the Sacrament. That is such a random song! He is just so weird sometimes.

Also, totally didn’t mention that… IT’S MY BIRTHDAY NEXT SUNDAY!! Woohooo big 22. The Elders didn’t realize I’m so old. One of them, E Knapp, was shocked both times I said it. Next to these 19 year olds, I’m so old, weird. Also, next week we get to Skype! Also next Sunday, I’ll know if I’m leaving Rimgrove!! Ahhhh! My birthday is going to be all sorts of emotions. That’s all I know.

And yes, we did buy plastic flamingo cups. And go through donut shop shaped like a giant donut.

Other weird things lately. We saw this guy, someone we’ve been trying to teach, asleep in his car. It’s super hot outside, we thought he was dead. We came back later, turns out he didn’t. Also the same lady who wore mint green, wore the visor, used a pair of pliers to knock down the door of her friend. There are these awful gate things here protecting everyone’s houses. Then when you get closer they have like screen doors but made of metal and they don’t make much noise when you knock. She used a pair of rusty pliers she found on the windowsill. Weird.

Anyways, that’s all I have time for!

Love,
Hermana Laura JohnsonImageImage

Week 28

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We had another baptism this Sunday. It was great. Temos just loved it. This time we did fill the font too high. We were talking with the Chinese Elders and didn’t check it. Luckily it did drain somewhat and it wasn’t too huge. It was pretty funny though when the baptism actually happened. Temos splashed the man who baptized him, Hermano Vicenteno, in the face. When he went to pull the plug he couldn’t just reach and get it. He tried for a couple seconds of stretching as much as he could but realized he couldn’t do it. Hno V had to put his face in the water, actually go down. It was hilarious it looked like he thought he was sacrificing to do it. Only H Stohlton and I watched it happened, we died laughing, it was just so funny.

Now to the real thing, something I never talk about on here. Today. Today Anna, my sister got married. I’m not going to lie, this has been hard. Everybody wants to be there for their siblings when such a big event happens. No such luck for me. When I put in my mission papers, I knew this was likely going to happen but I knew what I had to do and it was to serve a mission. On Sunday I had a blessing. What I got out of it was that I am where I need to be, no matter how hard it is.

Today I also had the chance to go the temple, one of the two times every year (since it is out of the mission). In the Celestial room I just felt that at least I was in the temple on the same day partaking of the same spirit.

Anna, you’ll probably read this after but this is for you. I hope your day was amazing. I hope you felt as gorgeous as you are. I hope it was all you’ve ever dreamed of. I hope you felt the Lord’s presence in the sealing, that you understand the significance of the event in your life, that you can remember it forever.

I hope you both start the life you want to, that you treat each other with dignity and respect. I hope you grow together to be the people God wants you to be. I hope there is always love and always the Lord in your lives. I hope you always remember family, and the importance it has in your lives. Last of all, I hope you took lots of pictures!! I love both of you. Congratulations, good luck with everything!

Love you,

Hermana Laura Johnson