Monday, April 10, 2017

Hi everybody!!  One more week past and gone here in Campo Largo, Brazil!  Man time really flies!  I´ll be quick because this Lan house is pretty darn expensive and I only have 20 Reais to live off for the next 4 days!  I´m getting really sick of Ramen, ya´know?  

This week was really cool because us missionaries planned out a huge activity for the entire church!  The activity was called `Campo Largo Espasoso`.  We essentially made a giant `tree of life` out of paper and put Christ in the center.  We had every participant write their names on a white sticky-note in the shape of a fruit (which us missionaries collected and slapped on the tree) before comencing the activity.  We tied ties around all the participants` eyes then led them to a cord (the iron rod).  They followed the rod until they entered the church.  Then they were loosed to try and find their way through obstacles to find the tree.  The holy ghost (us missionaries) whispered the way to go, while other helpers tried to distract.  In the end, everyone was laughing and having a good time.  

With the help of the spirit, EVERYONE made it to the tree (Christ).  What´s more, is that, when others arrived in the chosen destination, they returned to help their families who were struggling along the way.  What a great example, right?!!!  We always will have friends or family struggling to arrive in the kingdom of God, therefore, WE have a great duty to look back and help guide.  We are all one big family...the Family of God.  Why don´t we help out our fellow brothers and sisters along the rough path of life?  It´s so easy to do.  So let´s go!!  Hope to hear from you all next week!!

Elder Kumen Johnson 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Furgaco de informacones.  That translates to a whirlwind/hurricane of information.  Why??  Because of GENERAL CONFERENCE!!  I can´t even descibe the 10 hours of pure revelation that the whole world has recieved just days ago!  Truthfully, before the mission, I didn´t understand the significance of hours and hours of talks.  Now...I can´t even wait for the next one!  In the past, I´always thought ` more gigantic conference to try to keep my eyelids open.`  (If you´ve never thought this...congragulations, your inteligence status is quite higher than mine).  Sure, I made notes and tried to listen as best I could, but did I make a CHANGE????  The answer simply was always excuses (I forgot, I got mad...etc) to justify my lack of change.  
Two of my favorite talks were by Elder Rasband and Elder Costa.

Elder Rasband recounted a story that sincerely hit me like a train.  He spoke of recieving an inspiration to stop a closing door of a would be pesquisador with his foot and ask the question, `is there anyone else that would like to hear about the gospel?`  Because of that one tiny insperation, the door for hundreds opened and many entered the waters of Baptism.  WE MUST ACT ON THE FIRST PROMPTING!!!!!  As a missionary, this phrase is essential to finding and teaching those prepared by God.  A simple thought to talk to a stranger on the road or knock a single door in the center of a neighborhood is inspired and always is worth it.  Most times we can´t see the result of a invitation or a quick lesson, but the spirit makes sure that it leaves a lasting impression on the soul with whom we talk to.  

Elder Costa gave a miracle talk.  Why miracle?  Let me explain.  Before the entire General Conference, Elder Vasconclos and I found an amazing family that showed HUGE interest in getting to know the church after we taught the Plan of Salvation.  Sadly, they were only able to attend the Afternoon Sunday session.  We prayed that the talks would touch the investigators in some way.  Guess What??  Joauqim Costa addressed INVESTIGATORS.  It was as if he was looking directly into the eyes of Christiano and Eniya and having a conversation with them!! He said to have patience with the missionaries and hear them out.  Then, he bore testimony that being baptized would be the best experiance that they could ever imagine. 
             After the conference, Christiano said that that talk had been very peculuiar because `the man spoke to us`.

I hope all of you enjoyed the conference as much as I did!!

Elder Johnson