Monday, August 25, 2014

Bautismo!!

Teresa's baptism this Saturday went so well! Halleluiah! We were looking back on her teaching record, and one year ago from the 23rd she had told the missionaries that she didn't want to get baptized anymore. But she made it this time! She was really nervous (because of the water) but after several tries and loving patience from everyone there, she was able to do it. The spirit was soo strong. I feel like it was the most special baptismal service that I have had on my mission. 
Now there are a few other factors to that as well that made it such a great baptismal service. Marisol and Jorge were there! Yeah! Marisol sat with a member and talked to her the whole evening. That was icing on the cake. Or in our case, brownies. That's what we made Teresa 555. (Clint that is specifically for you...ask him what it means.)
The other thing that made the baptismal service so great was that there was so much member support. Teresa is going to do well here. And we are so happy for her. :)
One of the great things that happened as well this week was that we had a great English class after the baptism. Marisol, brother Lopez (WML), and Guadalupe and Armando (Teresa's parents) all stayed for the class. Then out of nowhere Hermano Garcia comes with three cousins! We had a great class. We had such a great time teaching! It amazes me how much the principles of Preach My Gospel are not just for the lessons. They are for all circumstances of teaching and life!
Now here is the sad part. I am leaving Henderson. I leave the 9th of September. The week before Jorge is supposed to get baptized! And we are trying to set a date with Marisol this week as well, which I am afraid will be the same day! I am so sad to leave this area! But I am very comforted because I know that Marisol and Jorge have testimonies of the Gospel and know how to keep progressing. I am excited to see how they progress in the future months and years.
Now here's the exciting thing. I have been called to be a District Leader! I don't know where I will be serving, but there aren't many options when it comes to spanish District leaders. Who knows! I could go back to Cary and replace Elder Hall as a District leader! :D Doubtful though
Though I will be able to see him at Transfer meeting before he leaves the mission to go back home.

When there are so many great things going on all around you it is so easy to get excited and pumped I guess you could say. And hey, why not? It's great! I love it! But I have been coming to a realization of how it's not just by chance. It is because it is the work of the Lord and the promises that he makes are so true. Being in the service of your fellow man brings so much love and joy. I know that this is the Lord's work and I am so grateful to be out here helping others to come unto Christ. And I am so grateful that this work will never end for any of us, and we can feel this love and joy throughout our whole lives.
Have a blessed week! And don't forget to serve the people around you!
√Člder Johnson



Yo, Armando, Armando jr, Teresa, Guadalupe, Erik, Brother Jester, Elder Rose


Probably one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me! I LOVE THESE MOTHS!






Monday, August 18, 2014

Teresa!

This week Teresa is getting baptized! The crazy thing is is that she has been taught several times by missionaries with no success. It most definitely had to do with the fact that her parents weren't actually coming to church. But it has been so fun teaching her and her family. We are looking forward to a really great baptismal service with great attendance!
Jorge is doing great! We had a church tour with him to help him know where the building was, and then he came to church! He is so great! Our gospel principles class was on the scriptures, specifically talking about what scriptures we use and all. He talked so much and shared a great testimony of the Book of Mormon! We are pretty excited to teach him again this week. He's more than on track for his baptismal date on the 13th of September! So we may just have to do it a week earlier haha. That way I will be able to be there before transfers come. Which I don't know for sure I'm leaving, but pretty sure. To be here a 6th transfer would be crazy! But as the lord wills!
Marisol got sick with a virus this week and couldn't meet or come to church. But we are meeting with her on Wednesday. She says she is planning on coming to church next week so things are still going well!
We found a great investigator this week named Maria! She is a former that Brother Jester has taught a few times, and she accepted a baptismal date for the 27th of September! Woot! We'll be telling you about her more next week when we can meet with her again. 

Nancy got a job and is going to school, so we have been struggling to get up with her. We plan on teaching her over facebook this week. 

Now the biggest news for this week was that our Bishopric was changed!!! HOLY COW!!!!! That is huge! Henderson is such an amazing place, but since the ward only just recently became a ward, it has been functioning as if it were a branch still. And some of the functions just really weren't happening. We have been struggling to work with the leadership in the ward to unite the missionary work with what they're doing. They have helped us out a lot, but it's been on separate fields. Brother Kinnin is the new Bishop, and he is amazing!!! He has been one of our most faithful exchanges so we are sooo excited to work with him as our new Bishop. We've been able to get some great work done here, and with this change, the ward should be taking off! 
One thing we hope to see is less actives returning to activity. We have about 150 active members with about 400+ members on our roster. Our building only holds about 250 people at the absolute maximum. We really do expect some great things to happen here.

A few other people that would be great to keep in your prayers are Moises Hernandez and Karina Lopez. They are both the recent converts here for spanish. It's super difficult to hold firm without a solid friendshipping base to work with, and they definitely need prayers. Thanks! They're both working hard and doing well!

This week in my studies I have been learning a lot about the attributes of Christ. The attributes of Christ are so amazing! When we apply the gospel (faith, repentance, covenants, the holy ghost, and enduring to the end), then we let these attributes become a part of our nature as well. Though it takes time, if you pay attention you can see yourself change and it brings so much hope! Plus you are exercising patience when you look for the results, since it takes some time haha.

I know that we are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, and that we have divine potential. Our potential is to become as our Heavenly Father is! And what joy that brings and what hope it offers! Often we can have the temptation to settle for the easy way, or the temptation to justify our pride, but it is in that moment that we have the divine opportunity to develop the attributes of Christ and decide to do as he would.

I am so grateful that the Lord sacrificed his will so that we too could know how to sacrifice our will and be endowed with all that the Father hath!

I love you all so much! I'm so sorry that you have to go to school! This is so much more fun! :D
Have a great week!

Elder Brian Johnson

Monday, August 11, 2014

English Class

This week was an awesome week! We had all sorts of great things happen, and all sorts of things not happen. That's what happens when it rains. We had sooo much service planned for this week and almost all of it fell through due to rain. But things turned out in the end. One of the great things that happened this last week is that we had an english class! Boy am I grateful to already know English! Trying to teach English is quite complicated and this class we are doing is going to be really stretching for us. I feel like I could teach Spanish with not much problem, but since English never has been my forte, and it just doesn't make sense, I feel so inapt! I can understand a little better now how some hispanics don't learn even after 15-20 years of living here. None of our investigators came to the class, but we had a blast with the four members and us. One family is learning english as their 3rd language. Spanish is their second, and Tarasco is their first. So they have such a hard time! So all yall out their be grateful for the language you speak. It's a huge blessing!

This week we had a lesson with Marisol that went really well. She no longer has a baptismal date for the 16th because she is nervous about being baptized and then not feeling that desire to come back because it's in English. She really wants to be able to understand better. After talking to her about that on tuesday and trying to resolve her concerns, it turns out that she turned down going to the beach with her family so that she could come to church! Halleluiah! She left church too fast to talk so I'll have to tell you next week about her experience.
Teresa is on for the 23rd! I love working with the youth because they are so willing to try and make it fun! At least Teresa is haha.
Jorge is doing great. We missed him at church this week, but he understands the doctrine so well. Simply he needs to understand how to recognize an answer from the spirit to know it's all true. Once we can help him feel/know that, he is ready to be baptized! He understands what he is doing so well! So pray to help him step out and come to church to feel the confirmation of the spirit to his question!
This week I have been studying several things, but the thing that has stuck out to me is love. What is the pure love of Christ? Do we really have the pure love of Christ? Do we limit how much we can love people? I have found sooo many things to work on to truly allow me to love people. All people. And here in Henderson we are surrounded by many great and spacious people. And I love them! And I continue to pray to find an even more unconditional love for them. 

I love yall a lot! Though I have to say that the people here are running a close battle for who I love more! :D
Have an amazing week!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hey!

This week was a great week! We didn't teach that many lessons compared to normal, but we taught really outstanding investigators! 

First of all this week we taught Marisol. She accepted a baptismal date for the 16th!! We're most likely going to push it back though to help her out. When we went over and talked to her this last week she let us know that she really does feel like it is true and that she has been receiving her answer along the way. She feels like she needs to learn more before she is actually baptized, so we have set up a good plan to teach her more through the week. Pray for her! Help her to hold strong and strengthen her conversion!

We also taught Teresa this week a few times. She is the best! We were trying to set a baptismal date with her and she was sooo nervous and we couldn't figure out why! Turns out she is really scared of drowning! Haha! We were soooo confused! And we were so relieved that it was just that. Turns out that she's perfectly fine if the youth leader baptizes her, and not us haha. We're just fine with that though. We're actually teaching her tonight! 

The miracle for this week though was Jorge. We found Jorge a while ago while I was companions with Elder Swinney. Though ever since then we hadn't been able to get up with him until last sunday. And turns out he is super elect! When he taught him yesterday we invited him to be baptized on the 13th of september when he came to know it was true. His answer was that there's nothing that would keep him from doing it, so of course! It was great! He probably has the best understanding of what the Bible teaches than any other person I have met on my mission. Explaining gospel dispensations was the easiest thing to do! We are super excited to keep working with him. And it will be really easy since he is home every day. The difficult part is that he is most likely going to have to move to be baptized. So please pray that doors will be opened for him to be able to find new and affordable living circumstances.

This week we had a great Zone Leader Training meeting. It really was one of the greatest ones we have had. Really it was because the topic was completely on Baptism. For the year we have a 894 baptism goal. So far we have 193, leaving 701. We've had some since, but over all that means by the end of the year each companionship needs to have 6 baptisms by the end of the year. The great thing about the meeting though was that we tried not to focus so much on the big number, or even the number. Yet we focused on what we are going to change to actually achieve that and apply it to specific people.
As a zone we have committed to these goals. 1. Pray specifically to baptize. 2. Invite investigators to be baptized no later than the second lesson. 3. Include baptism in the step of How to Begin Teaching.
We saw miracles happen as we were able to set three baptismal dates after that meeting! 

I know that if we do pray for the blessing of the lord that he will bless us in his time and with what his children need. We must be dedicated to do what our leaders ask of us to do, and as we do that the Lord will place people in our path that we can influence and bring with us the whole way.

I love yall a ton! I know that the gospel is true and that it is specially designed for each one of us as children of God! Have a great week!

Elder (Brian) Johnson