I hope you were all able to find ways to strengthen your testimony this week! Cuz like, how is feeling of God’s love for you not at the top of your to-do list!?
Last p-day was pretty Radink to the hinkulous. The New York New York north mission has the best p-day activities in the whole world. I'm not being arrogant, I'm just stating facts. (R.I.P. To those few serving in Nebraska ‘n stuff)
Last week, as a district, we went to Manhattan and went on the Brooklyn Bridge. Since Brooklyn is part of the south mission, we could only walk halfway across because we didn't want to go out of our boundaries but whatevs. The bridge is long and ain't nobody got time fo dat. After the bridge, we went to China Town and got dumplings. Mine were supposed to be beef dumplings but there is a fifty-fifty chance that it was cat meat. After a delicious lunch of cat meat, the elders wanted to go to a store called Century 21, right across from the temple and buy ties. Century 21 is every missionary’s dream store. They got ties coming out the wazoo up in there. Outside of the temple I saw a kid wearing a Lone Peak sweatshirt and I was like, "Yo!" Turns out it was the Brother Hafen (from my home stake) and his family. We talked for a bit and then we took a picture so he could send it to my mom. I decided to put my arm around him in the picture even though I don't know him on an "embracing basis" but it was worth it.
We went with some Spanish missionaries, Elder Nelson and Elder Smith, to a lady named Sparkle's house because they wanted to pass her over to us. She asked the question, "I've already been baptized, why do I have to be baptized twice?" Inside, we were all thinking, "Oh crap. We have to break the news." Nobody was speaking up so I decided I would volunteer as tribute and tell her that she needed to be baptized again
because she wasn't baptized by priesthood authority. The rest of the lesson went well and she accepted everything we told her. The only thing she had a problem with was that all of our pamphlets had pictures of a white Jesus and not a black Jesus (a lot of people here think Jesus was black). But other than that, it was good. As we left and updated her teaching record on our nifty iPads we noticed she was already in there. We had 4 missionaries there and not one of us thought to ask what church she was baptized in! Apparently she was already a member! She doesn't know anything about our church though and she can't remember much about her baptism so we think she was baptized when she was 8 and hasn't been back. We knew she was too golden to be true...
I played basketball again last night with the youth. I still have yet to lose a game here in the Bronx. Swerve.
A group of children called me their “N word" the other day. I know most people think that word is offensive back home but here in the Bronx they use it as compliment.... and a verb, and a noun, and an adjective, and a sentence. I felt loved.
This last week has been tough on us lessons wise. People are way flakey on appointments. You will call them and confirm the appointment that same day, show up at their house and they won't be there. Sometimes they won't even call you back and tell you why they weren't there for a week or so. Despite the low numbers I know I can still be a successful missionary. Success doesn't come in numbers but it comes when you can feel the Spirit in you as you testify.
I desperately want whoever reads this to know that Heavenly Father loves you. You put the limitations on how much you feel of God’s love. Open up your heart to him in prayer and he will manifest his love to you in some way.
Have a happy Easter homies.
-Elder Tyler J Johanson
Look at the Bridge on that one!
Selfie on the bridge with Sister Arquero (lil Philippine gal. Super happy all the time. Basically everybody's little sister/ the district mascot), Elder Davidson (Zone leader from American Fork/ my roomie), Sister Fletcher (She's from Idaho Falls, went to BYU-Idaho. Swag.), and Elder Griffiths (southern gentleman from Georgia... Ladies??...)
Our Chapel in the Bronx.