Monday, March 17, 2014

The Future of the Church

This dog is named Ricky Martin and his mom's name is Shakira.

So we've had a very fascinating week this week.  The week started off simply enough with the usual routine: talk with some people, teach some lessons, go to meetings and what not, you know, the usual stuff.  We did however have something rather interesting happen though.  We gave the Book of Mormon to one of our investigators the other day.  She told us she likes to read and planned on reading the Book of Mormon.  We in turn thought that would mean she would read the introduction or something like that before our next visit.  However by noon the next morning, she had read until 2 Nephi 17, which is a rather substantial amount of the Book Mormon.  We were in turn shocked that she read that much.  Guess she really does like to read.

We also had another person we gave the Book of Mormon to on the road last week.  She said she had a lot of questions and wanted to know more about the church.  We left a Book of Mormon with her and we had quite a few difficulties trying to get a hold of her the whole week.  We did in fact run into her yesterday and she had read until The Book of Ether.  That far in one week!!!!  We really wanted to teach her but we couldn't, (that's for a later story in this email.)  She said she had lots of questions and specifically asked us about baptism.  Which never happens so we were really happy of course.

So yesterday the stake president called all of us missionaries over to the stake center along with a bunch of the youth that wanted to serve missions.  Stake conference is next week and they're trying to make it a very memorable conference so they've been trying to get a ton of people there.  He had all of the missionaries in the zone come over, gave them lists of less actives and other people that they wanted to reactivate and/or baptize.  They then sent my companion and I out with a band of about 6 young men from another ward who wanted to serve missions.

And so the adventure began......

If you didn't already know, 16-year-old young men can be kind of a rowdy bunch, especially if you get them together in large groups.  It was also looking like it was going to rain and everyone forgot an umbrella.  They young men of course, thought they knew what was the right thing to do and where to go so we naturally had an adventure.  We talked with drunk people, got lost, found empty houses, and even found an investigator who read until Ether,  (we thought it would be a little strange to teach her with about 6 boisterous youth.)  When it started to rain, the boys fled for shelter while I was looking for the right road.  Some lady called them all over to hide in her house and we ended up having a very nice chat with her.  When the rain stopped, we headed out, only for the rain to start up again 30 seconds later.  The road then turned into a small river with water levels that went a little bit past my ankles.  We of course were fearless, but our small band of the future of the church didn't want to trek through the water.  They said it would get them wet and that it was mixed with sewer water.  Excuses.  So when a car drove by and gave us a small wave everyone jumped to higher ground.  I jumped on some ladies' window and was clinging onto the iron bars.  The lady looked more concerned about the rising water levels rather then the fact there was some strange Mormon guy on top of her windows.  We the fearless trekked back to the church and everyone said we looked a little wet.  I say it's the look of an adventure.

Some other interesting things that happened this week:

I got to try Chocolate Caseiro, our homemade chocolate, which was made from the Cacau Tree the day before in one of our member’s backyard.  It was probably the best thing in the world and it was so strong.
Chocolate Caseira com leite condensado em cima.

I also got to see something called a Manguezal, which is suppose to be one of the most complex ecosystems in the world.  Apparently biologists would fight to the death to take samples of one of them and Elder Coon and I just ended up taking pictures with it.  It really just looked like a bunch of trees in the middle of the water but apparently to Biologists it's one of the most interesting things in the world.
Me and the Manguezal
Well that's about it for now, to respond to your questions mom:

I'm good.
Really, I’m really good.
My new area and companion are pretty cool.
Yes I like it here.
Really mom I'm fine.

Well that's it for now, the rain is starting to pick up down here and my area is notorious for having the roads become rivers, like up to my belt size rivers.  

Naturally I'm pretty excited.

-Elder Johnson

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