Are you enjoying the cold??? It is soooooo hot here. But, hills, sun, sweat, and lack of member-provided meals builds character Calvin&Hobbes style :D
Well, I have some mixed news for all of you! The Sisters have really been struggling here. Actually, all the missionaries are struggling here, in my area at least. Because of a lack of faithful members, we have to do every thing. We give the classes, seminary, the leadership trainings, the family home evenings, clean the chapel, do the Home Teaching, and even count the tithing. So, when do we have time to find people to baptize? Great question! We dont have enough time in the day to spend an adequate time finding the Lord's elect here. But we are trying our best and the Lord will bless us for all this work.
On Saturday I was priviledged (I cant remember how to spell that word) to baptize the Sister's investigator. Raíssa has had a really hard life. She was abandoned by her mom (lives on the same street--3 houses away) and lives with her best friend who was also abandoned by her parents (lives with her grandma). The friend, Vitória was baptized a year ago. Raíssa was at that baptism and wanted to get baptized then too but no one ever invited her. When the Sisters found that out, they invited and got her soaked :D It was such an honor to perform the ordinance!
Just before the baptism, I had one of the best moments of my mission. I got a phone call from Andrew, but that wasnt all that great. But he was with Júlio! I dont know how or why, but he passed the phone to Júlio and we talked for about 10 mins. Júlio, trying to talk and stop crying at the same time, thanked me for "changing his life." He said "Thank you Elder Johnson for finding me and changing my life. I know you didnt baptize me but I will never forget you nor what you did." What a blessing! What pure joy. The Lord is way too good sometimes.
It took me a while to stop crying too.
Andreia didnt come to church. She called us this morning to tell us why. She and her daughter woke up early to catch the bus but didnt know what they should wear. They thought about calling us to find out the dress code, but it was still early and thought we would still be sleeping. "You boys work so hard, we thought you would need the rest!"
When she said that I banged my head on the desk. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. IT IS IN THE FREAKING PAMPHLET!!!! Those were my first thoughts, but then she asked if she could take the day off work on Wednesday and come to the Family Home Evening. She is perfect! :D We hope to have the baptism on the 20th.
To help you get excited for christmas here are the two songs that we have playing nearly nonstop at home :D
Austin - Yes, you may want a social life but all of your friends will be working too. I think it would be good to work all day during the summer. You will learn a routine, you will be out of the heat, and you will hear Mark swearing all day. I think that would be hilarious! So when you complain about your hours I hope that Justin says "Shut up you fruitcake." :) 371 followers? That is more than the friends I have on Facebook... Let alone number of friends in real life.... lol Take the opportunity of less joking in Church to really develop your testimony. Study the scriptures. It should really take you around an hour to adequately study a chapter of the BoM. 2 Nephi 9 is what I studied this morning :D
Cam - email
Lexi - You were the first one to write me this week so you WIN! :D And yeah, it really isnt that important where the brothers sleep right? ;) I hope you had a great time at the Grand Illumination! A couple weeks ago, there was a Japanese festival down by the river (not in a van btw) and they launched a ton of fireworks from boats in the river! Cool huh??
Love you all a ton! Have a great vacation!
Elder Zac Johnson