Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gummy Smiles and Spanish Encounters

Hola Cholos,

Last Thursday, Elder Burton and I went to the good ole Tuckahoe Community Center and served some lunch up to some old folks. I was on bread and butter duty. At first I felt that my skills weren't being utilized because I had the lowly job of bread and butter. However, all of a sudden the old people started to flock to my table as fast as the little wheels on their walkers would carry them. Seeing their gummy smiles and jolly wrinkles made it all worth it.

Sunday night Elder Burton and I had the impression to go look up a former investigator that we have both never met. We drove our way on over to the apartment building and as we walked up, we saw the Sister missionaries in our ward, Sister Groberg and Sister Orullian, walking out. They stopped us and told us they had just talked to someone that they wanted us to meet. They introduced us to a guy named Greg. Greg is big. Greg is black. Greg was fighting back tears in his bloodshot eyes that he acquired from a mugging a few days earlier. The Sisters met him at the apartment building while Greg was drinking. As they talked to him, he poured his alcohol out and listened up. They bore testimony of Jesus Christ and The Book of Mormon. He was touched by the Holy Spirit and had a joyous feeling come over him. He had never felt it before and he wanted to know how he could feel it again. We have a rule in our mission that single females have to be taught by Sisters and single males have to be taught by Elders. The Sisters were planning on passing him off to us but there a lot of times that people fall through the cracks that way. It was a miracle that we were able to show up at the exact moment Gregory was walking away. We get to meet with him on Saturday!

I was able to go on a split with my Zone Leader, Elder Ritter. On our split, we got a media referral which we get in the form of a text whenever somebody orders something or wants the missionaries to stop by. We went by that day and the guy that opened the door knew English about as well as The Baja Men know who let the dogs out in that one song. Luckily, Elder Ritter is in the Spanish program and was able to talk with the guy. In the text we got for the media referral it said that the guy wanted a bible but this guy had no clue who ordered the bible. Elder Ritter was able to work his magic on the guy and the guy accepted the bible anyways and wants the Spanish missionaries to come by. It was a miracle that wouldn't have been able to happen if Elder Ritter wasn't there with me, because Elder Burton and I don't know squat in Spanish. God is real!!!

The last couple weeks have been difficult for us. It seems that all of our appointments are canceling. Every door we knock gets slammed in our face before we even get a chance to explain who we are. It's funny because two weeks ago I was sincerely praying to God that he would help me be humble and teachable so that I could be molded into the kind of missionary that He needs. I don't know how I expected Him to answer that prayer... I guess I just assumed he would magically change me to become better which was stupid of me because that is NOT how prayer works at all. Instead of God magically making me humble, I have been realizing that He is placing me in situations to keep me humble and teachable. I've been learning a bunch these last few weeks about trusting God. Usually God doesn't "just make things right." He places us in situations that allow us to prove our faith and learn. I need to be better. We all need to be better. We all can be better.

I'm doing great. Lubb ya!

Elder Tyler J Johanson

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