Thursday, November 21, 2013

I dub this week the week of exchanges because I feel like
half the week was spent on exchanges. It started on Tuesday, when I went to Vista Ridge with Elder O. He's a fairly new missionary (6 months or so). We spent the morning putting up Christmas lights for a member in his ward...not exactly the best use of time, but we ended up going with him to give a blessing for a young boy going to the hospital. That was a neat experience, but it was costly for time. We didn't get back to our apartment until 4:00 and we had dinner and an teaching appointment right after. We taught an Indian (as in from India) guy named VJ in the home of some members. He was super sweet, and was remarkably open to the
message of the restoration, but he feels devoted to his Hindu beliefs. Thursday, we went on splits with the priests. Unfortunately the priests were 50 mins late, and that threw a wrench into our plans, so we had to improvise. Everything worked out though, and Joseph (one of the priests) and I went and had dinner and taught a quick lesson to a part-member family. Saturday, I went on exchanges again! This time I stayed in Walsh Ranch with Elder O. We had a pretty busy day. We talked to a bunch of people, and even helped wash someone's car, but only got one return appointment out of the day.
 One family actually tried to give us this anti-Mormon book, written by a former member of course.
They were SOOOOO sure that the LDS church is completely wrong. That night we had a lesson with M and A. We had high hopes, but they didn't want to come to church the next day. I don't think we've found a single seeker of truth here yet. So many people are content. Which leads to my thought for the week...
I've heard a few times the quote, "my 'good' is the enemy of my 'best'". I don't think I've ever bought into that principle until now. Complacency and satisfaction are enemies to progression. When you are "fine" with who you are, how you are living, and your life in general, you loose the desire to improve. Without a constant effort of self-improvement, you stagnate and end up regressing. I've seen this in others and myself here. Everyone says, "I'm happy with my religion" and occasionally I say, "well of course you're satisfied, because you don't know how much more happiness is in store for you!! What we offer is a way to grow that happiness that you've already found." I know that that way to find increased happiness and joy is through the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and the blessings it offers. This week, I had to step back, and recognize the complacency that was setting in myself. I had to realize that my desires were lessening, and I was becoming more at ease with the lack of success in our work here.
That complacency/satisfaction is unacceptable!! Especially in missionary work! I had to rekindle in myself those high hopes and aspirations that accompanied me at the very beginning of my mission. I invite all of you to watch out for that complacency in your own lives. Never get stuck being "satisfied". There is always more to do, and more to become! Don't lose hope, and just keep trying! I promise our Heavenly Father and Christ are there to help us in our efforts and growth. Turn to them if you feel weak, or if you start to despair. They love you, and I love you. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Elder Johnson

Pictures: Justus with companion Elder C and splits missionaries Elder O and others.  Justus in his apartment and Justus with Texas sized doughnut!

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