Saturday, October 24, 2015


Wed, Sept 2, 2015

Oh hey there, 

I was able to go on a companion exchange with the one, the only, Elder Pulu from Oakland. "He's from Califooornia. He's a Californian"(Petey from Remember The Titans) Elder Pulu is a missionary that has been out for just 4 months and he is currently training a new missionary. It's been crazy to see how much he has grown from when he first entered the zone as a brand new missionary and now where he is training a new one. It was a refreshing split to be on because sometimes I lose focus. I forget how much this whole mission thing is changing me and I don't really see it until I take a step back and look at the ways it is changing me for the better. My time with Elder Pulu was a good step back. To see him so pumped about being a missionary gets me pumped up too.

Quick story of something that went down on the split. We went back to their pad for lunch and Elder Pulu who is Tongan and definitely eats like one said, "I'm going to make you the Pulu Special." Not questioning as much as I should of what exactly a "Pulu Special" was, I accepted it. He made me a hug plate of rice, with macaroni and cheese on top, huge chunks of spam, and "bread crumbs" on top. The bread crumbs were really just pieces of bread that he had torn up and threw on top. He laid the plate delicately before my bulging eyeballs as if it was a rose on a casket. "Eat up" he exclaimed. I was skeptical at first because it seemed a lot less like authentic Tongan cuisine and more of a meal he invented when he was at college, but I ate it regardless. It put a dent in my stomach, however it was actually a lot tastier than I thought it would be. 

We went bottle hunting again last P day. Got all muddy digging around there for antique bottles and stuff. 
Out there on our Bottle Hunting Hustle

What is my companion doing??? #GotHim

 Also I heard Kanye West is running for president in 2020? At least that's what all the kids are saying. Is this true??? Lolz. 

I was reading a talk that I got months ago from a missionary friend. It's a BYU speech actually. It's by Jeffrey R. Holland. It's titled, "The Bitter Cup and The Bloody Baptism". It's sounds really Catholic and a little scary but it is quite the opposite. The gist of the speech was that as members of the church there are going to be times where the heat is turned up a notch and the faith that we have built is going to be tested and tried.

My favorite part was when Jeffrey R. Holland talked about the "13th apostle" C.S. Lewis. C.S. Lewis was a popular Christian writer at the time his wife was diagnosed and began to slowly die of cancer. His faith that he had all over all these years was put to the test. C.S. Lewis penned:

 “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to [tie] a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it? . . . Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief. 
. . . Your [view of] . . . eternal life. . . will not be [very] serious if nothing much [is at] stake. . . . A man. . . has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses.
. . . I had been warned—[indeed,] I had warned myself. . . . [I knew] we were. . . promised sufferings. . . . [That was] part of the program. We were even told, “Blessed are they that mourn,” and I accepted it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t [agreed to]. . . . [So] if my house. . . collapsed at one blow, that is because it was a house of cards. The faith which “took these things into account” was not [an adequate] faith. . . . If I had really cared, as I thought I did [care], about the sorrows of [others in this] world, [then] I should not have been so overwhelmed when my own sorrow came. . . . I thought I trusted the rope until it mattered. . . . [And when it indeed mattered, I found that it wasn’t strong enough.]
. . . You will never discover how serious it [is] until the stakes are raised horribly high; [and God has a way of raising the stakes] . . . [sometimes] only suffering [can] do [that]. 
[So God is, then, something like a divine physician.] A cruel man might be bribed—might grow tired of his vile sport—might have a tempo- rary fit of mercy, as alcoholics have [temporary] fits of sobriety. But suppose that what you are up against is a [wonderfully skilled] surgeon
whose intentions are [solely and absolutely] good. [Then], the kinder and more conscientious he is, [the more he cares about you,] the more inexorably he will go on cutting [in spite of the suffering it may cause. And] if he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless. . . . 
[So I am, you see, one] of God’s patients, not yet cured. I know there are not only tears [yet] to be dried but stains [yet] to be scoured. [My] sword will be made even brighter. 

It's been a little hard lately feeling like we put in a ton of hard work, effort all topped with tender love and care, and it is rarely reciprocated. That passage helped me out a ton this week as I was struggling a bit. Not that I didn't have a testimony anymore or anything, but I've just needed a little more faith to know that all that we work for is worth it. This work is most definitely worth it. I'm glad I've had little reminders of how great this work is through friends like Elder Pulu and C.S. Lewis. 

K. Bye. 

Elder Tyler J Johanson

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