Elder Zachary D. Johnson's Mission

Elder Zachary D. Johnson's Mission
Elder Zac Johnson has been called to serve in the Brazil Santos Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and wants you to share in his adventure! "Take the leap with me."

Monday, March 23, 2015

09 February 2015: Another One Bites The Dust


I thought a little Queen reference would be cool to shake things up a little bit. But now I am having second thoughts. Sorry.

So this week was a great challenge for us. Actually, it was a friendly tap on the face to teach us that we have to practice wise time management. I thought we did pretty well in that department until I looked at my planner and the numbers each day... Ouch. Though we had some great spiritual experiences with the members. There is this crazy holiday here called Carnaval and basically everyone gets together and breaks a ton of commandments. But the Church takes advantage of this and sends the youth away into the jungle to have a youth conference tipe of activity. In order to go, however, all youth (members or not) have to be interviewed by the Bishop/Branch President. We spent an entire day doing these interviews but they were such powerful spiritual experiences. It was very valuable being able to practice and develop the spiritual gift of discernment. The funny thing is that this had been a focus of our studies before we were called. The Lord sure inspired us to study about this particularly under-appreciatied spiritual gift. It is the most valuable but few people see it as such. Joseph Smith said that the gift of tongues is the most sought after spiritual gift but the least of all of them!

We have finished the week knowing that we need to better manage our time but also rely on the Lord a little bit more. Our time to find new people and to teach has been cut durastically and so we need the Lord to put more people in our path earlier in the day! He will do this for sure, we just have to open our mouth!

Yesterday we had Seminary graduation (only 6 youth) and President Cabral's 2nd counselor was there. He is such a great man. He had only nice things to say about us and told us very interesting things about the role that this extra calling that we have now will have, not only in our missions but also later in life. It was a humbling conversation and his presence left us more "refreshed". Our Sunday was not a relaxing day but spending some time with him had an uplifting and energizing effect that was not only physical but very spiritual. Sometimes we confuse spiritual tiredness with physical tiredness. Being spiritually tired is a good thing but you have to be rejuvinated with frequency. It makes me think of Nephi when he was tied up by his brothers. He prays and the "bands were loosed." I do not believe that the bands simply fell off but I do believe that Nephi loosed them as he twisted and tried to free himself. Why? He prayed for STRENGTH and because of the enabling power of the atonement, he was able to perform an act that was beyond his humanly abilities. He did not pray for the bands to disappear or for his brothers to be punished. He prayed for the strength to be able to change his own circumstances. We always hear and know more about the redeeming power of the atonement but we do not understand nor study as much as we should about the enabling power. Learning this lesson will not only help us accomplish our missionary and branch responsibilities but also in our tasks in our post-mission life. 

Well, I better end this epistle! I hope you all have a great week!


Elder Johnson

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