Monday, December 30, 2013

Whew, Christmas has come and gone, and New Year's will come just in time to kick me out of the states to Brazil! It is weird to think about the fact that a week from now, I'll be on my way to a new country, new language, and a new set of people to bring closer to Christ! I look back on my time here in Texas with such gratitude. I have learned so much, about being a missionary, and about being a child and servant of my Heavenly Father. It would be impossible to record all of the lessons learned here in on letter home. As excited as I am to get to Brazil, it is hard to leave this place and people that I have come to love.

This week has been a long one. Christmas was a fun respite from the rigors of the day to day missionary life, but it always feels great to get back to work. Speaking of work, there is plenty to be done. All of our investigators have struggles that have to be overcome, and struggles for investigators means work for the missionaries. In particular, one of our investigators (C) has problems that are far more substantial then I had realized. I had such hope and faith in her and her desire to change, and so I was chrushed to discover that she was far more firmly entrenched in sin than I had previously recognized. Working with her will be a labor of patience indeed, but we committed her to prepare fully for baptism on the first of February.

Other than that, I've been able to see minor, but awesome miracles in the work this week. One of those happened as I went on exchanges with Elder Larson to First Ward on Friday.

We were stopping by less-active members, and decided to stop by a recent convert. She however, was not home. Rather, her older daughter was there visiting. She invited us in, and upon further investigation we discovered that she had actually sat in on all the lessons with her mother. Not only that, but she remembered and appriciated what she had learned. One of the things that she remembered was the authority that our church claimed. Out of knowhere, I was impressed to share my Priesthood line of Authority. I let her see it, and showed how our authority traced directly back to Jesus Christ. She was fascinated, and it rekindled the interest she had in the Gospel years ago. My line of authority was the "hard evidence" that she needed to see to verify our claims to authority. To make a longer story shorter, she asked if she could join our church (aka: be baptised). As we shared this story back in our apartment with the other elders, we found that I was the only one who has their line of authority with them. What a miracle. I'd like to believe that it wasn't a coincidance that I was there at that time and place. 

I know that God himself is directing this work. I am but an instrument in his hands. He knows all, and provides for all his children. He wants us to find happiness, and has provided a way to obtain it. That way is through Jesus Christ and his Gospel. I love this work, and I am in awe of the power of God in directing it.

Elder Johnson

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