Tuesday, April 1, 2014

To everyone:
Hey everyone! This week was great! It felt so good to have a full week to just get to work and not have to worry about moving, or traveling, or any other technicalities. A lot happened this week, including a visit from President and Sister Reber, the birth of a new baby in our little group of members, and some exciting transfer changes!!

We started the week with some good old-fashioned missionary work, namely, knocking doors and making contacts. This kind of work is hard and long, but experiences like the following one make it all worth it- We were working in one of the bairros afastados (far-away neighborhoods) for the first time, and trying to apply new and better techniques to our contacting by using pamphlets or the Book of Mormon in the first contact. We worked all afternoon without a lot of success, and it was getting dark. We wound our way down a couple of streets, and stopped to knock (or clap) at one final house. A lady, mother of two kids came out. We introduced ourselves, and the Book of Mormon, and offered her one as a present. In the moment, she started to cry. She thanked us profusely and explained that "Eu estava precisando". (I was needing it) We got her phone number, and marked a time to return. Looking back it is easy to see that we were lead by the spirit, but in the moment, it felt more like wandering. Just a faint prompting to "turn here" "turn there" and "stop here". It is so so sweet to be led in this way to those in need. Yet another testimony to me that the lord provides for and guides us!

The week continued as normal, until the visit of President Reber! Us missionaries and the members were all super excited to meet and learn from him. He arrived on Saturday afternoon, and stayed a whopping 24 hours. The time flew by, and we kept him and Sister Reber busy. Saturday afternoon and night, we stopped by all of the member families, and an investigator. Miraculously, Everyone we stopped by was home! Our little sacrament meeting had a record number of people on Sunday. A whopping 15! President Reber gave a great discourse on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it's simplicity and necessity. Afterwards, he interviewed all of the members, ordained M and L to the Aaronic Priesthood, and gave blessings to Irmaos P e I. All in all it was incredibly powerful, and everyone, including me was very touched.

That night, Elder N and I waited anxiously for the transfer news. President Reber had discussed a couple of possibilities with us, but we had no idea what was in store. We were both hoping for an extra dupla to arrive, to divide the workload, and personally, I was hoping to stay another transfer learning from the incredible example of Elder N. The assignments that came took us both by suprise. Elder N is being transferred, and I will stay here and finish the training of a new missionary, Elder T. 

Needless to say, sometimes I think President has a little more confidence in me than I have in myself. The idea of being responsible for continuing this little branch of the church in a city far removed from the mission is daunting to say the least. I hope and pray that I can live up to the task. I will be relying a lot on Elder T, and I have a lot of faith that we can learn from each other, and work well together, but more than anything else I'll be on my knees a lot this transfer, pleading for the strength of the lord. 
Elder Johnson

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