Thursday, October 3, 2013

September 30, 2013

Hola familia!!! Como es todo?
I hope everything is going well in the world! (and especially at home!) I love hearing about your lives, grandpa merrill emailed me about their trip to washington and your visit. It sounds like you guys had a blast, hot springs, dutch oven, and smores... some of my favorite things! Sorry that the weather is getting cold, we have had a few cold rainy days here and there but for the most part it has been really nice... usually very sunny and beautiful!
This last week was crazy, amongst all the craziness, there were so many miracles... I was too preoccupied noticing everything that went wrong, I forgot to look for the good. Now, looking in retrospect, I feel bad for being ungrateful, because we received alot of blessings and answers to our prayers.  
So to answer your question, yes, we had a baptism!! And as everyone says, the week of the baptism is crazy, because Satan is working overtime. I guess that is just another testimony that this work is true... anyway. There were a couple bumps along the way, but Daniel was baptized at 2:00 on saturday. It was a great service, I got to conduct the music, my companion played the piano. All the missionaries in our district sang a hymn and president gave a great talk. We had another investigator come, which was a miracle, and the spirit was very strong. He was baptized by Elder Tenifa, our district leader. The entire service was really stressfull making sure everyone was where they needed to be, and that everything would go smootly... but at the end of the day, all that really mattered was that Daniel was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The only true church with the authority and power of God, the priesthood. Daniel gave a very short and simple but powerful testimony. It really was amazing!
I am so excited for Daniel because I know he is truly converted. He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and knows what it means to endure to the end. All he could talk about was how excited he is to get the priesthood and he has a goal to go through the temple in exactly one year.
Another blessing: General Relief Society meeting!! I loved it!! As we stood up to sing "I'll go were you want me to go" I couldnt believe that I am actually on my mission. I loved Pres. Monsons talk about the power of prayer. If there is anything that I have learned on my mission, is that prayer is real! Prayer is the only way that we could ever have the strength to make it through life. And the good news is that praying for strength is not a sign of weakness, its a sign of confidence in our Heavenly Father. It is showing Christ that we appreciate His sacrifice. I have grown so much closer to my Savior through prayer, continually trying to seek His will. For me, there is no greater joy than knowing that you are doing the will of the Lord. This is something I have struggled with... I wish is was something that I could just throw at Him. Like a cake, my will is the cake, and I could just give it to Him once and say, "Heres my will, Ill take yours because I know it will taste better." (sorry, I have gotten very good at using analogys.. they usually involve food). I so desperately want to His will to be my will but it is much easier said than done. I quickly found that It is a daily/hourly struggle to put off the natural man.  
Anyway, sorry I ramble a little... I have always had a love for General Conference and llistening to the Prophet, but before my mission, I never fully appreciated this blessing! Words cannot express how excited I am for this weekend!
The best news of all: I survived one entire transfer! 6 weeks down... eternity to go... but Im so excited to see what the future has in store for me. Both my companion and I get to stay in Elgin, which is great because I love it here. Im starting too feel a little more comfortable with the language and the ward, I can usually remember the way to drive to members houses and can remember their names.
I love you all so much and hope everyone is happy and healthy!!  I will be thinking about you alot as I watch conference... Im trying not to think about french toast and hot chocolate... but I hope you all have to chance to watch!
Thanks for all you do!! I love you and pray for you more than you know!!!
Love Hermana Johnson

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