Thursday, April 24, 2014

Drunk Doods in Happy Moods

Hello my fellow hood rats,

I hope your Easter week/Sunday was great because mine sure was!

Last week for P-day we had a zone activity. We all went to da Bronx zoo. I saw grass for the first time in a while. The animals were cool
and all but I have to say that I have seen wilder things walking the streets of the Bronx than I saw at the zoo. The lovely children of God that reside here are all just so wonderful.

I stepped in dog poop on the sidewalk for the first time since I have been here. I have made it long but it was bound to happen eventually so it's probably good that I just got it out of the way.

On Saturday our district went to the street corner by Fordham University and did a "Chalk event" for Easter. The video that the church put out for Easter, "Because of Him", is having an impact on people so we wanted to focus it on that. We got our chalk out and wrote, "Because of Jesus Christ..." and had people passing by write down what they are able to do because of Him. We had our iPads out and showed the "Because of Him" video to people that would stick around to watch. Many people watched. Some even left in tears. One lady I talked to said she didn't have time to watch but I sweet talked her into sticking around for 2 minutes to watch. By the end she was in tears saying, "God is trying to tell me something." She was very interested, along with many other people that we were able to find. It was a very successful event.

"Because of Jesus Christ" chalk event

Chalk Fun-in-the-Sun with the District

On Easter Sunday we were sitting there in a meeting before church when one of the Spanish missionaries pokes his head in and utters the words every missionary wants to hear, "There is somebody here looking for you." Elder Reynolds and I walked out wondering who it could be. It was a man who we met on the bus a few weeks ago and invited to church. We lost contact with him and were stoked when he showed up Easter Sunday to come to church. We had an hour and a half until church started so we taught him a lesson about the Book of Mormon. We had to cut the lesson short because we needed to go pick up an investigator for church. He told us that he would sit there and read his scriptures until we got back. Well............. We came back to the church and this man was nowhere to be found. Sacrament meeting started and at the beginning of the first talk we hear a man start clapping and shouting, "AMEN". It was our friend. Sister Newsome, the wife of the first counselor in our ward, sat by him and calmed him down and it seemed like she got it under control. The musical number starts and he whips out a homemade flute that doubles as a weapon (essentially it's a metal rod with holes in it. He said cops have taken it away multiple times). Sister Newsome used her motherly instincts to, again, calm this man down. At this point, Elder Reynolds and I were getting uneasy and were debating taking him out and telling him how we behave at our church but the next talk started and everything seemed fine. Then... I hear a noise, I look back and he started kissing Sister Newsome's hand. Brother Newsome, sitting up on the stand, looked like he was gonna bust somebody up! Elder Reynolds and I popped up along with Brother Desmond (a tall/built black man) and escorted him out of the church. Turns out he disappeared before church because he was doing a lil boozin and got drunk. We told him that he is welcome back but he has to be sober. We are going to go try to talk with him this week. Our drunk investigator is lucky Brother Antwine (a WWE wrestler) in our ward didn't get his hands on him or we could've had a problem. Long story short, our ward needs a new calling, "ward bouncer".


Saturday night I had an experience that strengthened my testimony greatly. We went to go teach a lesson to an investigator. She is very flakey and suffers from an abundance of addictions and depression. The last few weeks she has been very slowly making progress. When we showed up she was not well. Her kids opened the door, free as June birds, with no clothes on. There was more nudity in that apartment than in sumo wrestling. She said she wanted us to leave her alone and she didn't have time for us. She slammed the door in our faces and we walked off disappointed. Before Elder Reynolds and I made our descent into the abyss of the subway, I had a lingering feeling that we should go back to her apartment. It wasn't so much a quick thought as it was a deep desire. I knew without a doubt in my mind that it was the Holy Spirit. I knew if I didn't act on this prompting, I would feel guilty. I told Elder Reynolds and we went back, in a caring manner we told her how much we loved her and how much God loved her. You are all probably thinking something miraculous happened, right? Well, nothing happened. She told us again she didn't want us over and shut the door before we could tell her goodbye. As we walked off, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction, not because she necessarily listened to us but because I know I acted on the prompting of the Spirit. I don't know if that experience will ever change her life but I do know that it changed mine.

Heavenly Father will send The Holy Spirit to guide and direct us. We must be in the right position to listen and to act on those promptings. For when you act on those promptings, you know you have done the will of your Father in Heaven. There is no greater reward than doing God’s will.

I love you all and hope you've had a great Easter and focused on why it is celebrated.

-Elder Tyler J Johanson

One more selfie because it's been too long

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