Week 72

Hola!

So the best weeks are always those that end with baptisms! And so last
week was super great!

We saw Esther and Brianna and the grandkids a few times. We stopped by
Friday to finish teaching her about obeying the law. Brianna was
getting super excited for her baptism! We had a lesson that was far
away walking distance, for the first time, she offered to drive us! We
had no idea how we were getting there but it all worked out. We went
back Saturday and Brianna told us she wanted to wear all white for her
baptism, yes a white jumpsuit! She was excited to get everything
ready. We bought her a white flower headband to complete the look. She
was so cute, beautiful for her baptism! Esther was so cute too. She
invited one of the older grandsons to come to the baptism, she said
“just this once, the baptism is a one time thing” but then she looked
at us and said “but we’ll get him to come back, it just starts with
one time!” It was precious. Someone called her while we were there and
she invited them as well, she was just so excited.

Sunday was so special. The baptism was super small- only the elders,
Brianna’s family, the bishop, and the ward mission leader were there.
It was perfect because it would have been crazy with more people (see
pictures). Brianna was super hilarious, she told us she looked like a
marshmallow. We just had the songs, prayers, a musical number, the
baptism, and we gave her a picture frame with a picture of Jesus.
While she was changing I played the piano. I was super surprised
because the kids were pretty quiet. I was really amazed by them, I’ve
seen such a change in them since I first started teaching them. They
were crazy but not that much. At the end Esther repeated to us a few
times, “estoy bien contenta, bien happy.” Esther was so proud of
Brianna and her decision. We could just see it in every smile. I am so
proud of Esther and her family! And I can’t wait for Jayda’s baptism
next week! Seriously, I just love them, they’ve changed a lot. Seeing
people change is the best thing in the world. Brianna said that she
felt really good when she was baptized, when she receives the Holy
Ghost next week it will be able to stay with her forever!

We had a funny relief society activity. We played games the funniest
one was where everyone had a jug on their head and their partner tried
tomorrow a ping pong ball in the jug. I was with H Covington and she
just laughed and was scared that I would hit her in the face. Of our 5
tries each, neither of us made any. It was a funny game. We also did
the balloon game where everyone tries to pop the balloons tied to
everyone else’s legs. Hna Pelayo pretended to not be playing then
jumped in and she did some yoga and put her leg up on the chairs and
table so nobody could pop it. It was so funny.

Last night we had a lesson with Fidel, the husband of our recent
convert. He told us that he doesn’t feel ready for his baptismal date
which was set for next Sunday. So we’re going to move it. He has come
to church almost every Sunday and he reads, he just hasn’t felt it
100%. We asked if he’s prayed about Joseph smith and he has, but never
with full intent, listening for his answer. He was telling us how
excited he was for baptism and he understood the restoration when we
taught his daughter that we thought he was feeling it more than he
actually is. It’s ok though, he’s still very committed to church and
reading until he gets his answer. We will just wait a little longer.

Today has been fun already. We explored in IKEA for an hour and yes we
took lots of funny pictures. And we are currently in Johnny Carinos!
Yes!! I found one here in West Covina, and I definitely had to take
advantage of it! I’m currently enjoying an Italian soda and bread
dipped in olive oil and herbs… Delicious.

As always other stuff happened but I don’t really remember what… And
that’s the most important anyways. Have a good week!

Love,
Hermana Laura Johnson

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Week 71

Oh hey there! It’s me, writing from my iPad mini! Yeah it’s great.
Pday is so quick now, we can just write whenever through the day. It’s
the best. I love having this iPad! The bad thing is that I can’t send
pictures… So we might go to the library sometimes to send pictures.
We’ll see.

So this was such a great week. First up-iPads! We were there when
Elder Evans from the head of the missionary department came. He talked
to us about Adam and Eve and how they had to decide to act. We can’t
just wait for things to happen, we must act and act well. They ate of
the fruit, that was their act. Eve really had to understand heavenly
fathers plan to be able to make the first decision, and it was
interesting that Adam didn’t. He had to have it explained to him by
Eve and it was the only option at that point to keep them together.
With technology there is so much we have to decide on, what websites
to go on, who to talk to, what to share etc. We must use technology
for only the best things. That’s why we have them as missionaries,
because they can be used for so much good. Sharing the gospel has
never been easier! I invite anyone reading to share something online
with your friends and family. It will help to prepare the hearts of
many!

The best part was exchanges. I just love those normally and this one
was especially great, because I went to Rimgrove, my first area! It
was cool being back, it’s been so long. Planning was interesting since
it was on our brand new iPads and because I actually knew what they
were talking about. We started the day by face booking. Then we went
to see someone I taught, Victor! That was so weird! He moved but they
got his address from him from on the bus. Just another reason why the
buses are awesome, so inspired. We taught a new investigator, the
father of one person they’re teaching right now. His name was Jose. He
said he wasn’t interested but it wasn’t true. In our lesson he told us
he’s been searching for the truth and he thinks this could be it. It
was a very spiritual lesson and it was way cool. We had a lesson after
that with Juan 2! We were supposed to teach his niece but she wasn’t
home so we just taught him. It was cool, he remembered it all
perfectly. It was so good to see him, it was a total surprise for him,
the smile didn’t wipe off either of our faces.

Briana, Esther’s granddaughter is getting baptized next week! They’ve
come to church pretty regularly the entire time I’ve been in Covina so
it’s about time. Briana will be next Sunday and Jayda, her 8 year old
sister will be the next week. The baptism will be really different
because she wants the fewest number of people there as possible. So
that means her family, the bishop, an elder to baptize her, one to
witness. We’ll probably just have a prayer and the beginning and end
and two songs. I’m so excited for it!

I may not be from the tribe of Manasseh but I did have a dream last
night that could have been revelation! I dreamed that our little trio
was walking around when I had the impression that we needed to stop
and pray to meet a family with some non members, and that isn’t on the
ward list. Well were now praying for it so I hope something comes out
of it!

Well that’s all for this week!

Love, Hermana Laura Johnson

Week 70

Hello everyone!!
 
It has been another great week and there is another amazing week ahead!
 
First up, is iPads tomorrow!! I’m really excited about that one. We’re going to have everything online–our planners, area books, sheets for the ward, our scriptures, everything! That means we’re going to have really light bags now which is great! No more back aches from carrying everything with us. Also it means that online prostelysing will explode! It’s going to be great.
 
We had some really great lessons with Fidel. He is reading a lot, he read 8 chapters from Friday to Sunday. We taught him about tithing, he said that he would definitely pay it. He said that if he’s doing this whole Mormon thing he’s doing all of it. I just loved that answer. And we had a lesson with Matilde’s brother, his family, and Brenda, Fidel, Matilde. We taught Brenda the restoration, finally! Her question was not if Joseph Smith was a prophet, but why he was a prophet, why God called him. We can see that she is very receptive to the gospel! She’s also so sweet, she’s such a great girl.
 
On Friday we got to clean the Mission office. That was fun! We just cleaned the kitchen, then we went to Dennys for dinner! I got delicious cinnamon pancakes that tasted like cinnamon rolls. Then we got to the ward movie night a little late. We watched the testaments. It was really cool, it’s when Christ went to the Americas. Matilde really enjoyed it, now she wants a copy. Love it.
 
Actually not a lot of interesting things happened. That’s it. So sorry. Maybe next week!
 
Love,
Hermana Laura Johnson
 
Ps. Pictures of me matching H Quezada, and me with a Rimgrove member, Hna Garcia!
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Week 69

Hello Everyone!
 
This week was a good. I’ll just start with the most exciting thing, we saw a car burn yesterday. It was on fire and it was crazy! Sadly I can’t put in the video because it’s too big, but it was crazy! There was an explosion of stuff, we drove away (in a member’s car) because we didn’t want to be in the way if something bad happened. Later the member texted us saying that the car was melted. Crazy!
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Fidel, the husband of our recent convert is going well. He has a baptismal date and is very excited. He is listening to the BOM and he enjoys it. We had 3 lessons with him this week, every day this weekend. They are so funny! We love spending time with them. We taught the 10 commandments, and we taught about chastity. We told him what it meant and he joked saying he didn’t know if he was married. Matilde just looked at him and rolled her eyes, and he convienently remembered haha.  He’s gone to church 3 times now, and we really see his faith! He is starting to meet the members of the ward and is friendly with them. He is fitting in really well, and we’re excited for March 2nd with him. 
 
Another investigator is set for baptism soon. He really wants to be baptized and everything, has a testimony but he hasn’t come to church yet. Weird things keep happening to him like his alarm not going off, him waking up sick at 2 AM etc. We really hope it is soon though. He had to ask of Sundays from work, and he got them off, so we know he really has the desires and faith. It’s just hard that he hasn’t come yet.
 
We went to a diner called the Sugar Bowl (like in Arthur). It was really delicious. And it’s also super famous. There was a movie made there called Pop Jenks Sugar Bowl or something like that. 
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We had some sad times this week as well. We taught a lady Rosie the restoration. She loved it, almost cried! We went back a couple days later to teach her about the Book of Mormon, and she told us her husband told her she couldn’t study with us anymore! It was only the second time we saw her! It was so sad, she told us she really felt it but just couldn’t keep with us. We did end up teaching the Book of Mormon and giving her a copy so she can keep reading. Then Friday came, we had a lesson planned with Marisela, our investigator that cried during the first vision. She told us the same thing. Her husband doesn’t like it, the only difference is that he is a less active!! That was really sad as well.
 
We went to the doctor with H Covington to find out what is wrong with her arm. The doctor said that it is not a fracture that they can see but there was some fluid, (which comes from breaks) that was by her elbow. They said that she probably has a small fracture that didn’t come up on the x-ray but it’s not that big so she doesn’t have to wear a cast. She just has a sling for when her arm hurts, she can rest it. So we’re busing everywhere! It’s really fun, but is also hard. I am just loving this area though! Covina rocks! Also it’s my 16 month mark!!! Ahhh
 
Love,
Hermana Laura Johnson