Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 15, 2013

Hola familia y amigos,
I realize I say this every time... but I cannot believe how fast time goes. I only have 3 days left in the CCM and then its off to Chicago.
I have been getting very nervous about Chicago, mostly because I love the CCM and love the spirit we continually feel. I dont very badly want to leave the security of the CCM and really dont want to leave our district, however, I am very excited to begin teaching real investigators.
Last night we had our last lesson in the TRC (TRC is a place that local members volunteer to help us with our spanish, and we teach them). They usually do not have enough volunteers so we end up teaching other missionaries or other teachers, however, last night a group of women from a nearby ward sacrificed their time to come visit with us. I had the blessing of meeting with Hermana Lopez, she is an older lady, probably late 60s, never married, with a nonmember brother. She is a convert and has been a member for about 15 years. He testimony was SO STRONG. She was so nice and helped me alot with my spanish however, she spoke extremely fast!! After the lesson, Hermana Israelson said that she hardly understood a word becasue it was so fast (I feel really bad about it now, because i didnt realize that she was lost), but it was amazing! I understood just about everything that she said... I dont know why, and i was having a hard time expressing my feelings in spanish, but as hermana lopez spoke about her conversion story and expressed her deep feelings for the gospel, I felt the spirit so strongly! God blessed me with the gift of understanding for a night and I am eternally greatful! I learned so much from her. She is an amazing women, she has very few earthly possessions, but she has so much love and is so humble. We asked her what the greatest blessing from the Gospel is in her life and she said the Atonement. Before she was converted, she didnt know that she could be forgiven of her sins. She carried around so much guilt and hard feelings towards other people and her parents... but after she learned that God will forgive her and remember her sins no more, that is when she decided to devote her life to serving Christ! 
Yesterday was a powerful day... after TRC we came back and had a discussion with our teacher and district. I learned alot of things about pride and relying on the Lord. Alot of times I feel very inadequate or that I am not capable of serving a mission or learning spanish.
And the truth is... I am not. I am inadequate and I am not capable of learning spanish or teaching the gospel...  on my own. There is absolutly no way we can become who we are supposed to be without Christ. And I used to think that I had to do some specific amount of work before I would qualify for the Lords help, but the truth it, He has already done it all. We just need to be willing to humble ourselves enough to accpet His help.
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
God gives us weakness so we have to rely on Him. We cannot do it alone... It was a very humbling experiance today as I sat in the Celetial Room in the temple today, and prayed to my Father in Heaven. He told me that i have to trust in Him. I realized that my pride has gotten in the way of my faith and even though I tell everyone we teach to "have faith", I have forgetten to do that very thing. He told me to trust in Him... He knows so much better than I do. I dont know why I have been called to serve in Chicago, and no matter what I think, God knows better than I.
    2 Cor. 12:10 ...for when I am weak, I am strong.
I have a lot of weaknesses, but i know that if I can learn to rely on the Lord, He can make my weaknesses strengths. Whether it be spanish or my faith...
Thanks for all of your emails and letters!!! I really appreciate all your support and all of you prayers!! I love you all so much!!
We just have to remember that it is our DESIRE that qualifies us for the work... not how much we know, or what we think we can or cant do... if we have a desire to serve (in a calling, at work, in our families, or a mission) let that desire drive you to work harder and rely more fully on the Lord!!
con amor, Hermana Johnson
(Hey, I would love it if you could print and send me some pictures to Chicago... some of me and my friends from school, study abroad, the Sonnenburgs... the more the better, I would really appreciate it!!!)    

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