The big news is in. In case it hasn't already been made known, I've been reassigned to the Texas San Antonio Mission to wait for my VISA to come through. The important thing about this reassignment is that I know it is for me. Much like the mission call itself, the assignment to serve for a short time in San Antonio feels right. I know for a fact that there is work for me to do there, and I am SOOO excited to go do it! As soon as I get my new address, I'll let my parents know. I leave dark and early tomorrow morning (3:30 in fact)!
This last week has been so, so long. I firmly believe that the first and last weeks of the MTC have been some of the longest weeks of my life. But, I've loved it! In fact, this past week (especially the past couple of days) has been incredible in so many ways.
The hardest thing has been saying goodbye to the Elders and Sisters in my district. In fact, the San Antonio group is the last group to leave. Every morning for the past 4 days, we've all awakened at 3:00 to say our final farewells. It's amazing how close you can get to a group of people in just over a month. The Elders in our district are especially close.
We all love and respect one another, and I for one have learned so much from each one of them. We also had the remarkable experience to give blessings to the departing missionaries, but I'll talk about that later.
The last final days of class with our teachers (Irmao Miller and Irmao Porter) were really power packed. We learned the stories behind the practice investigators that we've been teaching, and each teacher shared stories and experiences from their missions. The teachers at the MTC are the best, and I firmly believe that our district was blessed with two of the finest teachers in the MTC. In fact, our district was the very last district Irmao Porter will ever teach. He has been teaching for almost 4 years, and I guess that's the limit. Irmao Porter has got to be one of the most Christlike people I've ever known. In every lesson he taught well, made it fun, AND brought the spirit. His testimony was always super powerful, and you could feel his love for teaching and his love for us missionaries. His last day of class was one of the saddest, most touching things I've ever experienced. I could literally feel his turmoil and anguish as he had to prepare to walk away from something that he loved so dearly. The expression on his face as he turned and looked back at the classroom for the last time broke my heart. He has helped me want to be so much more than a good missionary. Thanks to him I feel ready to hit the mission field running, and get to work right away! Thank you Irmao Porter!!!
The last thing I'd like to talk about is the Priesthood blessings that I mentioned earlier. In our church, we believe that God gives a portion of his power to man for the blessing of mankind, just as he did in the days of old (the bible). That portion of his power is called the Priesthood. With that Priesthood, one of the things we can do, is to lay our hands on someone's head and give them a blessing (either of comfort or healing depending on the situation). Like I said before, these past couple of days, we've had the opportunity to bless the missionaries in our district that were leaving with blessings of comfort. I was able to be the one to bless my own companion, Elder Hinckley, just before he left for Brazil. In giving this blessing, I know with certainty that I was a "mouthpiece" for the Lord. I know that the things I said for him were exactly what the Lord needed to be said. They were not my words, they were God's, and they were perfect for Elder Hinckley. I know that the Priesthood power is real, and that it exists so that God can more fully bless his children, us. God loves each and every one of you and so do I! Next time I write it will be from Texas!
Elder Justus Johnson