Thursday, September 6, 2012

No Stairway to Heaven


I dont feel like I have much to write about for this week. Everything has been going good with Dulce and we thought for sure she would pass the interveiw, but when we had her baptisimal interview on Saturday she didnt pass  because she said that she still wasnt sure that she wanted to get baptized. We are going to keep working with her to help her with the doubts she hasnt shared with us yet.

Things have been going pretty well with an investigator that we found last week. She still hasnt read the Book of Mormon,  but she came to church with her mother and her daughter. Her daughter, Abril, really really liked church, especially the second hour when she was with the other kids (she is 7 years old). Apparently her mother was baptized in the 1950´s or something, but became less-active fairly soon afterwards. This investigator, Guadelupe, has a baptisimal date for the 22 so we are really excited that she came to church this week.

I have been trying to learn some hynms on the guitar (haha Im staying away from Led Zeppelin). I am trying to make a cool instrumental guitar rendition of Called to Serve. That is so crazy that Jeff Walton is back! I really wish I could talk to him or see him, I bet that he has changed a lot. This week both Colin Spear and Zander Sawyer are going to be entering the MTC! I am really excited for them.

That is awesome that Kelsey is starting College! She will love it. All of my friends that went to BYU-I really enjoyed it. I hope Colins first week at Eastlake goes well for him and that he has lots of friends in his classes.

Sorry this email was kinda short, this past week was kinda slow and it is hard for me to think of stuff to say about it. I am really happy that everything is going well for all of you and that life is exciting. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

con amor,

Elder Johns

Baptisms in Valles!

One of the members made a Piñata sized Elder Soto!

Mi compañero, Elder Soto, y yo.

Alan and Esteban!
Hey Hey Hey!

This past week was pretty great! On Saturday night we had the baptism of Alan and his brother Esteban! It was pretty crazy getting the baptisimal service planned out during the week, but it went well, besides starting a little late. The baptisimal service also included an 8 year old from our ward and a baptism of some other Elders from a different ward, so there were 4 people in total who got baptized. The room was packed! It was really great. Altough I do not really know Alan or Esteban really well, I really love them and I am so happy that they have decided to take this step in their lives. The church has really changed them. Just like 5 months ago they were rather rebellious. They came to know the church because their mother had a friend of hers invite Alan and Esteban to church so that they could learn to be a little less rebellious. And now they have really changed, they have had a true change of heart and are ready to follow the example of Christ until the end of their lives.

I think I mentioned Dulce in my last email. She is progressing really well and is really excited about the gospel. We set a baptisimal date with her for the 8th of September! She went to the baptism of Alan and Esteban and to church on Sunday. She is really prepared and I am so glad to have the opportunity of teaching her.

Thursday morning we had a Zone Conference. It was fairly good, I learned alot and I really felt like the spirit taught me what I need to do to become a better missionary. It was the first zone conference that we have had with President Jordan. They are still learning everything and I am truly amazed at their ability to handle all of the challenges and tasks being thrown at them. I would think twice before I accepted to be a Mission President in Mexico.

After I sent my last email, I decided that I wanted to buy a guitar for my birthday, so we found a nice music store and I found a wonderful acoustic guitar for a fairly good price. I also got a really cool tuner that clips on to the end of the guitar where the strings are and it measures the vibrations of the strings to tune and it is super fast and easy. The first 3 strings are nylon instead of metal, but it is a really good guitar for teh price I found it at. It is black and slick, I´ll take a picture this week and send it next time. It has been a great help for me to feel a little more relaxed and not so uptight all the time. I am learning hymns and it is really fun. I am thinking that I will be able to use it during baptisimal services.

We got together as a District Saturday morning and helped somone move in another ward. It was kinda fun to help someone move, I feel like I did that a lot back home and it has been a while since I have gotten to do it. Afterwards the sister cooked us some delicious meat. 

Apparently, a disease went around that killed a ton of the chickens that were used for laying eggs so the price of eggs has gone up to a ridiculous price when it used to be at a very cheap price so that families with very little money would buy a lot of eggs for their protein. I bought a bunch a little while ago before the prices shot up, but they might be my last eggs for a while.

I remember going to go and see the wrecked ship in Orgeon when I was little! That was a really long time ago. I also remember how beautiful Sea Side Orgeon is. Ryan and I went there I think for cross country to run a course when I was in 9th grade. I have heard of the famous maple bars with bacon from Portland! I have never eaten one before, but I would like to try one some day. That is great that Jeff Walton is back! and James Salmon is leaving this Wednesday, Maybe he´ll run into Tucker and Carlin. 

I really love you all and I am so glad that you all had a great vacation in Orgeon. I will have 8 months in the mission tomorrow, which seems to me to be so little, but it is a third of the mission which seems crazy. I hope you all have a great last week of the best month of them all, and that you can all get through the crazy transition from lazy summer days to the tiring grind of studies. ¡hasta luego!

con amor,

Elder Johns

First Week in Valles


So I just had my first week in my second area! It is really something to suddenly leave everything in an instant and be thrust into a new place and not know anything, it reminds me a little bit of when I first came to Mexico. I dont know the area super well yet, but now I have met our investigators and some of the members.

We have two investigators named Alan and Esteban. We finished teaching them the commandments this week and they had their baptisimal interview. They are going to get baptized this week! I dont really know them super well but I am so excited for them. They really love the church. Alan is 15 and Esteban is 13. Alan went to EFY and he really enjoyed it and now he says he wants to be a missionary. They both really enjoy the church and the youth programs, and are already making friends in the church.

We have another investigator named Dulce. She is a little older and she knows a lot about the Bible. She really likes the Book of Mormon, but we have had a difficult time getting her to pray and ask our Heavenly Father if it is true or not. We ended up having her do the prayer during on of our visits and she said that she felt good and wanted to keep listening to us. 

We have a number of other investigators but things are still a little crazy and I dont remember a whole lot.

This are is very different from my last area. We have the "centro" in our area which is where all of the large stores are. It is always really busy and there are tons of people. Our area is also very large though so we have other areas where it is just houses and there arent many people. It smells absolutely wonderful here! In my last area there was a Pemex (petrolium processing plant) near our house and it was constantly pumping out pollution but here the air feels super clean in comparison. Our apartment is also a lot nicer than it was in my last area. We have an air conditioning unit in our room!!!!!!! It is so strange to get cold, we turn it on blast during the night and the room gets freezing. The apartment was a little messy when I got here but I have fixed it up a bit. It also doesnt feel as hot here as it did in Madero. It is a lot less humid here, but my companion also tells me that this is the time of year where it is a little cooler than what it is like during May through July.

My companion, Elder Soto, is really great. he really knows his stuff when it comes to teaching and he is really good with the investigators. He also speaks really good english because he lived in Las Vegas for 2 years. We get along well.

I gave a talk last sunday about missionary work. They called us in the morning so I didnt really have any time to prepare so I just gave a generic talk but I think it went well.

Taking care of all those kids sounds pretty fun. I bet you are pretty excited to see Ryan in Portland. He is probably headed off to BYU for school pretty soon.

I love you all and I hope you are all enjoying your last weeks of August!

con amor,

Elder Johns