Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Important announcement! Our mission office is changing which means you will have to write me at a different address. We just barely found out but the change becomes effective sometime in early December. I think you can do both for a little while so I should get anything sent to either one.
Hermana Laura Johnson
614 W. Foothill Blvd.
Arcadia, CA 91006
This week was just amazing. Something happened to H Davis and I between exchanges and zone conference, I don’t even know what happened but baptism just clicked for us both. It’s hard to explain but I now get why investigators need it, why it is central in our teaching, why we can’t be afraid to mention it at every instance etc. We have used the picture of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in almost every contact, lesson since then. It has truly opened people’s hearts in a way I’ve never seen before. Baptism is truly what this is all about. And for those already baptized it is renewing those covenants. It really did change us, our teaching, I am so glad it just makes sense now. That means it changes our priorities, how we interact with people. I hope it really does show in the quality of our teaching, and investigators–we want people who want to progress!
One of the things mentioned at zone conference was a funny story that really got to us. Elder Ingram said he and his companion were at a lesson and the family they were teaching was making jokes with their member friends. The Elders didn’t get the joke since it was Spanish. To bring it back, Elder Ostler said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about but here’s something I do know about: baptism.” And then they got back on topic, it kind of shocked everyone. Baptism! It was awesome! I get it now, I feel like the rest of my whole mission will be so much more purposeful now. People don’t stay investigating if they don’t get what it’s all about baptism by the proper authority to receive salvation. You can only find it here, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Wow. It’s amazing. It’s not about Joseph Smith, not about prophets or the Book of Mormon. Those are important, but just the means to baptism by the proper authority. It’s about baptism to return to Heavenly Father. I’m so glad I’ve figured it out!
On Monday we met a referral from other members of the ward, started teaching them. They already have had good experiences with the church, so they are really excited to learn. The family in our ward is really willing to go out of their way to help, I am positive they will be baptized, just when we’re not sure. On Friday we taught the restoration, and the spirit was really strong! I know they felt it, want it for themselves. The Hna that came with us gave a powerful testimony that touched their hearts. The 22 year old daughter Martha agreed to be baptized on December 22 and last night we read 3 Nephi 19 together (such an amazing chapter!! all about praying, receiving the Holy Ghost, a testimony, then straight away being baptized). That chapter really solidified her for baptism, and helped her understand what she has to do–pray for the Holy Ghost to manifest the truth to her. It will happen, I am sure of it. They are very open, and want it to be true because they know the happiness it brings their cousins. Martha even said in her prayer she is 100% open to find out the truth, act on it. Wow it was so special!
Sunday was super special. We had the primary program and 9 less actives, and non-members came from our area. It really surprised us! It was a miracle! One of the people who came was the husband of a recent convert. He liked it, said he would possibly come again, and we even set up an FHE for this week. It will be a great week, we hope to start teaching him soon!
Yesterday H Davis said the funniest thing in Spanish. She was talking about a recent convert who was sick, said he didn’t come to church because “El esta muy malo” which made him sound like he was a bad little boy instead of just sick. She said it to our ward mission leader, I about died laughing, had to leave the room.
Also before zone conference our car died! So we had the Elders come jump our car. It was an ordeal. We couldn’t move the car because it wouldn’t go into neutral, there was a car next to ours. We had to wander around trying to find long jumper cables or the owner of the car. Luckily the owner left really quickly after.
Friday night was crazy as well because Sister Dewitt got hit by a car!!! We just got a text saying they were headed to the hospital, we had no idea what had happened for the longest time. A guy who they think was drunk hit her full speed. He came up really fast in the intersection, didn’t stop completely. Her body took the impact, she fell on the ground. The guy stopped after he saw what happened, but she was able to move so he drove off! She had a gash on her left side that had to be stitched up with 12 stitches and she got a small cut on her spleen but that was it besides the nasty bruise. Somehow nothing else happened! We have no idea how she didn’t break any bones or fracture anything, no scrapes or anything. Right now she’s in a lot of pain but nothing too bad, she’s at home resting. It was a crazy weekend for them!
There’s so much more but that’s all I’ve got time for this week!
Love you all! Happy holidays!
Hermana Laura Johnson