Thursday, October 30, 2014

Coastin' on a Dream

Hello homo sapiens, (my attempt at a not so cliché greeting)

Hope your week has been good. Hope your Halloween is good too. Make sure you read your scriptures and say your prayers before trick or treating. I would hate for a witch to pop out n eat ya. 

This week has consisted of a bunch of service which I love. It gives us a chance to change out of our shirt and tie. Every week we help out a family here named the Phillips. They don't have what most people here consider a farm but they have some land, a barn, and animals so I consider it a farm. We have been helping them get ready for winter by cutting wood. I feel like Paul Bunyan every time I step foot on their property. We have also been able to rake plenty of leaves for old ladies. Service is my favorite type of missionary work. 

Took a break from working at the Phillips’ so we could work at our selfie game. (My companion Elder Judd is the one in the middle, and then the Spanish missionaries Elder Nelson and Elder Diaz.)

We had our ward’s trunk or treat. We were able to see some less actives and a non member there. It was a good non-threatening activity. The best and worst part of the night was when Elder Nelson, Elder Diaz, Elder Judd, and I were asked to judge the kids costume contest. It was the best because during the night all the kids would try to get tight with us. I felt so loved. It was the worst because when we announced the winners the kids that didn't win rebuked us. On the bright side, most of the kids forgot about it by Sunday.

Back when I was in Scarsdale, Elder Burton and I went through the area book and found a former investigator named John. He had a baptismal date at one point so we decided to go by his house and see if he was interested in meeting up with us again. When we knocked on his door, he told us that he wasn't that interested and didn't know if he had time to meet with us, but as we stood on his front steps and testified of how the gospel can help him, The Spirit spoke to him.... I don't know what The Spirit said but it said something convincing because he let us sit on his back porch and talk to him some more. That first time we met with him we got on the topic of redemption when all of a sudden he asked what he had to do to be baptized. I will never forget it, Elder Burton and I looked at each other as if to say, "Miracles do happen!" He had some struggles as we were working with him, but John felt like he was ready now. This last Saturday was his baptism and I was able to get special permission from President Morgan to drive to Scarsdale and attend! It was a great service. The coolest part would have to be that as he was working towards baptism for the second time, he was able to get in contact with one of the first missionaries that started teaching him 7 years ago. The missionary that originally found him skyped in to the baptism. You know what they say... you don't always reap what you sow but sometimes you Skype it. Am I right? Or...

John’s baptism! Good to see John and Elder Burton again.

Friday morning we had interviews with President. The interviews were being held in the Newburgh chapel. Thursday night, one of my roommates who has served in Newburgh said it would only take 30 minutes to get there. Friday morning we woke up, got ready, and left with 40 minutes to get there. We started driving and hit a little bit of construction, on top of that the chapel was further than a 30 minute drive and would've taken about 45 without the construction. We were rushing to get there and by so doing, we neglected to take into account that the Spanish Elder’s car that we were driving in was running low on gas. We got to the Newburgh chapel ten minutes late to our interviews with President Morgan. We all felt embarrassed and ashamed but President Morgan is such a nice guy that he just brushed it off and we got started. My interview went great! President Morgan has a way of showing his love for you but helping you stay on your toes and being productive like nobody I know. 

Trees line the streets here like shoppers line stores on Black Friday. It's beautiful here this time of year. 

After the interview we all hopped in the car and started driving back. While driving, a beeping from the car started interrupting our consecrated conversion. It was the car telling us that our fuel level was low. It wasn't just low but that it was basically empty. The electronic gauge read that we had 7 miles of gas left before we were toast. We typed the nearest gas station into the GPS and started squealing like little girls when it said that the nearest gas station was 9 miles away. The nearest exit off the freeway was also 9 miles away. We kept driving, hoping that the fuel gauge was lying to us but it wasn't. When the fuel gauge read 2 miles to empty we still had 4 miles to go to the nearest village. We didn't know what to do, so we decided to pray. The fuel gauge dropped to 0 miles to empty and we still weren't off the exit yet. We coasted down the slight decline and got off. We drove up to the gas station all singing and praising and whatever cuz we thought we were safe but on the only gas station in the village, there was a sign that read, "NO GAS". Hot darn, we were scared. We typed the next closest gas station into the GPS and started heading that way. It made us get on the freeway again and travel 6 more miles to the next nearest town. Luckily, most of the way was down a hill so we coasted on down while chucking up some more prayers. I don't know how we did it but we made it to the next town and pulled on up to where the GPS said the gas station was and it was out of business! The second attempt was a no go. We figured we made it about 15 miles with 0 miles of gas, what was 1 more? Luckily the 3rd gas station we tried had some gas. We filled the car up there, took a selfie to remember the moment, and said a prayer thanking God for helping us not look like idiots stranded on the side of the freeway. Nothing like making memories. 

Elder Tyler J Johanson

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