Friday, June 12, 2015

The First Impression Rose

Hello everybody, 

Put another shrimp on the barbe!..

Soooo Mother's Day was the best! The best sort of the day was definitely being able to speak to my family, but the second best part was going to church. The ward here goes hard in the paint for mothers on Mother's Day. Unfortunately, having a mother and a father in the house here is rare. Many of the families here don't have a father in the house leaving the mothers to do double duty. For the hard work they do, our Ward wanted to make sure they felt special. We did way more than just the typical flower or chocolate at church for Mother's Day. Our Ward gave flowers, made t shirts, the young men cooked a lunch for the moms after church, we even had the Elders Quorum President decide to go out and buy a bunch of necklaces with gold colored lioness heads on it! That's right, lioness heads. Who does that??? The Olmstead 2nd Ward does. 
 Zone Picture. Please ignore the disturbing actions
of the senior couple, Elder and Sister Waterman. 
This last week we went singing at the Bronx center again. Every week we go and sing to the patients there. There was one room that we went in and there was a lady there laying on the bed. We asked her if she wanted us to sing to her and all she did was make a high pitched moaning sound. We had no clue what to do so we just stood there for a quick minute and looked around at each other. A nurse popped his head in and told us that she can't talk at all and that we could just start singing. There we were singing "Count Your Many Blessings" like we were on the main stage at Coachella. Wanna know the CRAZIEST thing ever?? By the end of the song this lady who supposedly can't speak any words at all had tears in her eyes and she forcefully but distinctly mumbled the words to the last line "Count your many blessings; see what God hath done". She can't speak at all but she was able to sing the closing line of our song?? Whaaaaaa? #Miracle

Saturday we had the opportunity to have Elder Quentin L. Cook from the quorum of the twelve apostles come and speak to our mission. It was a special experience. I've never been able to meet an apostle like that before.
Moments before trying to get the first impression rose with Elder Quentin L. Cook
At the beginning we were able to all go and shake his hand. The anticipation for this moment was killing me. A lot was on the line! After all you only get one shot at a good first impression. It was very similar to the vying for the first impression rose on the Bachelor. You only have a short amount of time to impress, yet soooo much is at stake. I had to make sure that the tie I was wearing wasn't too skinny so instead of a Penguin tie I wore one of my Tommy Hilfigers. I made sure that it was a conservative yet classy tie. I think he liked it although he didn't say anything about it. 

The things he shared with us we amazing. The most impressive thing about him was the Spirit that he brought with him. You could tell that not only was the spirit with him, but he knew that the spirit was with him. He gave us some advice and that was to focus on three specific questions in life. Those questions are:

1. Is Jesus Christ divine?

2. Is the Book of Mormon true?

3. Is Joseph Smith a Prophet of God?

The answers to those questions are critical in our lives. The answers of those questions will determine everything we do in life for the rest of our life. If we take the time to find out those questions we will have added purpose and direction in our life. 

Well folks, Shot Calls came this week. I was hoping I would be able to stay with Elder Thompson and kill him off. You know, switch things up a little and be with a companion for more than one transfer, but that didn't happen this time. Elder Thomspon is off to Scarsdale for one cycle. I'm staying in Olmstead and getting Elder Wallace from Declo, Idaho. I was in the same Ward with him back when I started my mission in Kingsbridge. He's a chill dood. It should be a good one. 

Bye. Until next week when I can write another email to you and pretend that it is the same thing as actually talking to you.

Elder Tyler J Johanson

If your slices of pizza aren't as big as a small child then like, what are you doin???

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