Sunday, October 25, 2015

Take out the Trash

Wed, Sept 30, 2015        

To whom it may concern, 

This is an epistle that contains the events and impressions from Elder Tyler Johanson for the week dating from September 23, 2015 A.D. to September 30, 2015 A.D. Elder Johanson is a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, New York, New York North Mission, United States of America, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy. 

The work: This week the work was hott. Like, I was extremely attracted to missionary work. Elder Buckley and I decided to go hard in the paint, and the Lord blessed us. We were able to set 4 baptismal dates. Good times. 

Companion: I found out two very important things about Elder Buckley. The first is that he loves Twitter. I'm not saying you have to have Twitter to be cool, I'm just saying that all of the companions that I have had that used Twitter pre mish have been the cats pajamas. The second thing that kind of correlates with the first is that his nickname is "Young Buck" which works out better than Richard Simmons in his prime because I am TJYoungBuck. It's like he is my long lost Twitter twin or something. 

Miracle: I went on a companion exchange with my district leader Elder Tabor. Elder Tabor is from Hemet, California. He does powerlifting so he is YUGE. So huge you have to say it with a Y. I have never felt more comfortable walking through some of the sketchy areas in Hunts Point than I did when Elder Tabor was at my side. On our split we taught a lesson to a man named Bean. That's not his real name, but he works as a chef down in Manhattan and he goes by "Chef Bean". We just call him Bean. This was his first lesson with the missionaries in the Bronx. He was being taught by the sisters in Manhattan but he moved to the Bronx. He explained to us that he has been on a search for peace in his life for years now and he hasn't been able to find a church that offers him continual peace. He's tried out Catholicism, Seventh Day Adventists, Buddhism, Jehovas Witness. Nothing has been able to feed his spiritual hunger.

We talked about the atonement and the spirit filled the room so intensely I probably could've pulled out a butter knife and cut it like butter. At one point tough guy, Elder Tabor had tears streaming down his face as he testified of the Savior. Bean, who is larger than Elder Tabor, and looks like he should be in a biker gang was sitting there mesmerized with tears also in his eyes. The Spirit was so overwhelming that Jesus Christ is perfectly aware of everything we go through that I couldn't help but shed a few tears myself. If somebody would've walked in they would have thought we were watching The Notebook and eating bonbons. We continued to teach and testify and then when the Spirit was at its strongest we ended. We walked him to the front door of the church building and he was stunned the whole walk. He could hardly say anything. We gently brushed him off and sent him off into the world. 

I can honestly say that that was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever been a part of. I'm incredibly grateful God placed me in the situation to witness such a thing. 

Thought: I have been pondering quite a bit on repentance this week. Growing up it seems like repentance is a negative thing. I know that's not the way leaders/teachers try to portray it, but it always felt like that the repentance process was a negative thing that you had to endure as the result of sin. My heart has completely changed from that fallacy. Repentance is an absolutely amazing thing! It's beautiful. You mess up and instead of continuing on with the guilt you feel, you have a chance to get rid of all of the garbage you are carrying around. Repentance gives us the opportunity to take out the trash. President Morgan always used to say,"The worthiest missionaries are those who are always repenting." We sin frequently so we need repentance frequently. If we don't repent frequently we let the trash build up. Repentance is not something to avoid. Repentance is praiseworthy.  Always remember that. 


Elder Johanson

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