December 16, 2015
It's been a balmy 60 degrees and sunny here all week long. It's super strange for the Northeast this time of year buuuuuut it don't bother me! Elder Casela is still convinced that snow is still the equivalent of imitation cheese and Michael Jackson’s nose. #FAKE
If you are ever around a person that is fresh off the boat and learning English be careful what you say because they just might pick it up. The other day after Elder Casela asked me to do something, I said,"You got it baby daddy." Now he has been saying that after almost everything I say haha. What have I done?
People are so rich here. It's like, disgusting. We were driving around Greenwich the other day going to look up a media referral and the house we went to looked like the mansion off of The Bachelor or something crazy like that! As we drove through the neighborhood our car was filled with staccato yells every time we passed another mansion. Most of the houses were behind gates so we couldn't even see that well but you could still tell that they were Great Gatsby status. How in the world do you do missionary work if you can't even walk up to these people’s door and talk to them? I don't even know.
This last week has been kind of tough. I feel like my big brother Satan has been laying it on thick. He's been bullying me. He has been throwing a couple sucker punches my way, like he usually does when something good is about to happen. I felt it when I was preparing for my mission and I felt it when I got my call. I feel it now as I am trying to finish off my mission in a worthy way. For whatever reason he was digging up my past, trying to make me remember the wrong things I've done whether on or off my mission. He has been trying to make me feel unworthy, inadequate, feel like I haven't accomplished anything. Yesterday was crucial for me as I went to a meeting at the mission home with the other returning missionaries. President and Sister Smith talked a lot about our missions and life in general. He asked if we could be placed back in 10th grade knowing what we know now if we would do things differently. He asked if we were to start our missions over again knowing what we know now if we would do anything differently as well. Of course I felt like I would do things differently. All the other missionaries in attendance did as well.
Then he talked about how that is ok. It's good that we would do things differently because if we wouldn't want to do things any differently than that it means that we didn't change at all. Change is good. The atonement is real. The spirit has been coming to my mind reminding me, "Tyler, for two years you have gone around New York and Connecticut teaching about the goodness and glory of the Atonement of Christ and how it changes lives. Do you really think that it wouldn't work for you too?"
I am so grateful for the Atonement of Christ. Yes, it's true, I haven't been perfect. I haven't really even been close to it. That's why I am grateful for the chance to repent. Because a Savior was born, the things that I have done wrong in the past that I have no power to change now, can be forgiven, can be done away with. It doesn't matter so much if you were unworthy yesterday as it matters if you are worthy today. I just really love my other, more powerful brother Jesus Christ.
Love you guys!
-Elder Tyler J Johanson