Monday, January 27, 2014

Hey Y'all!

This week was such an amazing week! We were able to find success in so many different ways! Oh and this week was Elder Tingey's birthday! Now I'm not exactly sure how to describe the great week we had, but what I can tell you is that the lord has blessed us with so many tender mercies. One tender mercy was food. :D We Have literally been fed by the members at least once a day for past 2 weeks or more, save for one day. And through a service organization we are trying to work with, we received 6 bags of food! It doesn't matter if they're members or not, they like to give us food. We have been so blessed. Because I'll be leaving in two weeks the members are requesting that I sign them up on the days we don't have haha! That aspect has been the greatest miracle here. I love the members so much. I pondered for a while about whether it is possible to go through the whole mission in several areas, and to love every single person I meet. I have often felt that there is only so much love that you can give out to people, and that there are only so many people that you can truly care about. That meant to me that saying goodbye to someone meant that my love came with me. BUT! That is not the nature of Heavenly Father! He loves every single one of us. Millions, Billions, Trillions of us. And I'm saying how come I have sooo many friends I don't need on facebook?? But we can do it. We can have perfect love for each person we meet! But it's going to take some help from the man above who knows how.

I am so grateful that the love we have for those we meet can last. I will always love the people here in Cary soo much! And somebody that I have come to love a whole lot is Gloria.
Here's the finishing touch to her story :)

Gloria got baptized!!!!!!! And confirmed!!!!!! We realized at the last minute that she really wasn't expecting the confirmation part. That was our bad haha. After teaching her for more than a span of 6 months, there was a lot that she had forgotten, and that I had forgotten if we had taught or not.

Now I gave a pretty good story last week of Gloria, but we ran into one last bump in the road. Thursday around noon we got a phone call. Gloria was calling off the baptism!! WE GOT SO NERVOUS! We talked, and talked, and talked, trying to figure out exactly what her concern was. It came down to tithing, and being able to stay strong. But she was pretty nervous. We talked to her for a total of 1 hr and 45 mins. Holy cow! We had to slow down so much, talk simple, and explain very well to her the doctrine she didn't understand. When we reached the end of the conversation we asked if there were any more doubts or concerns and she said, "What do I need to bring tomorrow?"!!!!!! Ah that was a huge scare.

Her baptism went super well. She was very nervous and cold beforehand, but afterwards there was such a big change. It was incredible. Someone who had such fear and doubt, was so happy. Last night I was thinking about the whole experience, and I realized that Gloria is a few years older than you and Dad. To have such a huge change was such a miracle. And her family is going to change immensely. A scripture I read this morning was in Alma 19:6 about king Lamoni. I think it describes the change she had really well.

"Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God—"

I love you all so much! I know that we can be changed just as Gloria, Lamoni, his wife, and Ammon!

Till next week! :D
Élder Johnson

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

¡Y aconteció!

And it came to pass!! Ah one of the greatest things that I feel that we have been learning from our mission president is that we are out here to make things come to pass! Wow what a difference that made this week! We had one of the most amazing experiences where we made something come to pass, and through soo much faith, prayer, fasting, and time!

Gloria is going to be baptized this Friday!! I have been teaching Gloria ever since I got here! Well, we did stop teaching her for about a transfer. But that transfer made a huge difference. And like I said, it came down to our faith that she could make it.

Whenever we have talked to Gloria about getting baptized she has always said, "I want more time to study the book." well in Spanish she said that at least haha. But we were having the hardest time to find out what she meant by that, because practically everyone says that, but they all have a different doubt. Basically I can tell you that we never could find the doubt. She wouldn't open up to us! But I definitely know now that I have soooo much more that I can learn to be able to follow the spirit to be able to find peoples doubts. Yet, since we had been struggling in that aspect, we decided to move forward with something else. The faith that she was ready to enter into the waters of baptism.
About three weeks ago when we were doing weekly planning we were looking forward to when Gloria could get baptized. We both felt that the 18th of January was the day. We had plenty of time for that. So we set forth trying to meet with her as often as possible with the members. Well we had one of the most amazing lessons with her with Brother Martinez, her primary friendshipper. We went into the lesson, and by himself started to teach her from the scriptures! We read in 2 Nephi 32 where Gloria was in her reading, and tried to move back to chapter 31 to talk about baptism, and Brother Martinez jumped up to the plate and went right ahead and read verse 13!

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel."
Ah it was so great! That was the Thursday before the 18th. And we invited her to be baptized the 18th still. She said she'd pray about it! The next day we had a dinner with her and the Regulez family, and the other elders as well.

We basically talked to her for three hours about being baptized the next day. Those three hours were super uncomfortable haha. I personally knew that my words weren't meant for most of that night, so I spent the time eating, and praying in the bathroom for the others haha. After three hours we ended with a song, and Gloria had decided we'd call saturday morning at 8:00 to confirm the baptism. Ah she was killing us! :D But the spirit in that home was so strong at the end of the night.
We were super happy to hear that due to the many testimonies of baptism given on Friday, Gloria felt the chills really strongly from the spirit. We talked to her and she firmly stated, "I am doing it Friday!" We were soooo happy!! She truly is ready!

We had soo many miraculous experiences this week with investigators getting married without telling us (Lorenzo and Ivonne) and good quality lessons with our investigators.

Thank you so much for your prayers! We were blessed this week because of them!

Have an amazing week, and make this week come to pass!

Les quiero muchísimo!
Élder Johnson

Monday, January 13, 2014

Amazing week!

This week was an amazing week! We have been seeing incredible progress in our branch and in our area. We are trying to take a little bit different approach with Gloria right now, since she is doing just about everything to be progressing but still doesn't know when she wants to be baptized and commits herself to other things before the gospel. Basically we aren't talking about baptism haha. We're sending the members to visit or talk to her, to try to help her feel like she truly belongs. We are praying super hard for her trying to exercise such great faith! Please pray for her still! :D

Erika is still on track, but we still don't know when! Everyone in the branch gets surprised when we say that she's still not baptized. Something is keeping her from moving forward to what she truly wants.

We were able to teach a whole lot of lessons this week that went super well! Thanks to Facebook, blogs, excellent referrals, and members!

Sorry this was so short! But nonetheless I love y'all a ton! I am super excited for the wedding this week! I can't wait for the pictures! I pray for y'all and hope that everyone heals well from their wounds!

Les quiero muchísimo,
Élder Johnson

Monday, January 6, 2014


"Así también la fe, si no tiene obras, es muerta en sí misma." Santiago 2:17 (James 2:17)

Faith! I can honestly tell you that this week had all to do about faith! We were given a talk to read by Gene R. Cook, given Nov 8, 1981 (I think that's the one mom), called Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I would encourage each one of you to read it. I am starting up another blog for the mission, and I will post it there. I don't have my url yet, so keep tuned to facebook for that link. Please follow it and share it with others! :D

This talk gives some absolutely amazing counsel for us. I have always had questions about how to fulfill our righteous desires, seeing that they will be fulfilled as we have faith and are obedient. Yet I still wanted to know how to define a righteous desire. I would propose that as you read this talk, you will understand better how to purify your desires, yourself, and your faith.
We have been seeing so many miracles in our zone as we have put this into effect! Right now we are praying and fasting for Gloria and Erika to have a change in desires to have that eagerness to not wait for their baptism. As promised to us by our mission president, that can happen this week. Please pray for them!

Our other investigators weren't able to come to church, and are going through a very difficult situation with a deportation on the line. Please pray for Lorenzo and his family Ivonne and Abbi that they might be able to receive baptism in the time and place the lord has set for them!
At that you have our week! I'm super excited for this month! And it has nothing to do with the fact that we already have the whole month save 8 days set up for dinners... :D

I was asked by some about my new years resolutions haha. These most definitely have been some of the greatest resolutions ever! I find that as I spend time each day in preach my gospel studying one specific principle of the gospel, whether it be God is our loving Heavenly Father, or the creation, I learn something every single time that clarifies what the gospel is. My resolution this year is to become a preach my gospel missionary by studying one principle every day, to gain a more pure knowledge and understanding of the gospel, and how to help others to understand and receive it.

I love this work! It is amazing how much the Lord's hand is in everyone's life. I pray to be able to become more worthy to be a part of that influence in the lives that I touch.

Have an amazing week!
Élder Johnson