Monday, December 9, 2013

I picked a really bad time to miss out on a weekly letter. The past two weeks have been so busy. It feels like ages since transfers. I've got a lot to cover, so here goes.

New area and new companion- I'm in Mission Creek of the San Antonio East Stake. We cover from downtown San Antonio (including the alamo!!) all the way south to the 1604 highway. This area is exactly the opposite of my last. The ward is small, and super diverse (which I LOVE). There are tons ( I don't want to be specific here) of less actives, which means there is ALWAYS work to do. The area in general is much more...humble than the one I just came from. I don't mean this in a derogatory way, but it truly is the ghetto. Lots of gangs. Lots of problems. Lots of opportunities to help people!!! As for my new companion, Elder F, I couldn't be more exited. He is awesome. He's a new trainer but he loves missionary work and he loves people. He is full of optimism and enthusiasm, and we will do and have done great things together. Next week I'll send a few pics, along with a very special Christmas card from our district. By the way, the district here is legendary for being the tightest district in the mission, and I believe it. We're all super good friends already.

When I say that this area is busy, I mean it. I just barely finished meeting everyone that is being taught yesterday. There are so many investigators (mostly from part member and less active families) to even mention them all. The biggest quest and struggle we have right now is just getting me to know everything. There is so much to remember. There are so many names places and situations to keep track of. It is pretty overwhelming. The area is pretty extensive, and so we have a car full time. It is nice, but at the same time I miss the exercise from biking. 

Like I've said before, most of the work we do is technically less active work. That means we find and teach those who have, for whatever reasons, not been to or involved with the church for an extensive period of time. This kind of work is rewarding and frustrating at the same time. Rewarding because we are able to teach the families of these people who have not joined the church. Many times these families have children, spouses, or other close family members that live with them who need to hear and learn about the gospel. It is busy, busy, work. There is never a shortage of people to meet of things to do. It's frustrating, because it is hard to see these people who have lost the drive that they once had to follow Christ.

I've had so many experiences, and I wish I could tell all the incredible things that have been happening, but there is just too much!! Really quick, let me just say that fasting does wonders for spiritual sensitivity. Me and my companion have fasted three times already this transfer, and I've seen the spirit's guidance like never before. In one instance, we were driving to the home of an investigator (E) who had been progressing really well. Earlier that week she had comitted to baptism, and made some huge steps in being ready for that change. As we were driving to her home both me and my companion felt this feeling of...dread almost. We knew that something had happened. We got there and sure enough, her boyfriend (the source of most of her struggles) was back. We entered the home and just felt awful. E was talking with her mom, and she shoved the phone at my companion. Elder F proceeded to be cussed out and railed against by her mom via cell phone. As Elder F struggled to calm the mother, I talked to E. She began expressing doubt after doubt that had been fed to her by her boyfriend and family over the past few days. She had given up on following the word of wisdom, and just abandoned the testimony that she had gained. After 45 minutes of this Elder F finally joined me in talking with E. The incredible thing was, both of us knew and could voice her own doubts and struggles before she even expressed them. The spirit was with us. We both testified with all of our hearts, and left, by saying that it was in her hands now. It was a painful, terrible moment. Especially for Elder F who has been working with that family for months on end. We left that house devastated by what had happened, but so grateful for the presence and support of the spirit in helping us know what to do and say.

Once again I'm out of time way too soon, but I hope this letter has been extensive enough.

My love to all, 

Elder Johnson

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