Wednesday, March 5, 2014

December 30, 2013

Buenas Dias!
It was so awesome to talk to all of you on Christmas!! The highlight of the week! I am so incredibly blessed to have such amazing family and friends... honestly, we are so lucky!! I love you all so much! And I hope that you all enjoyed a little break for the holiday! Just like all of your lives, missionary work doesnt slow down... 
So these last 6 weeks have been some of the hardest weeks ever... I never understood how difficult it was to watch someone you love so dearly struggle so much. And the mission puts you in situations that you would never expect. After spending 24/7 with someone, ever minute of every day, you get to know each other very well. You know each others strengths, weaknesses, struggles, desires... I am so extremely thankful for the time that I had with Hermana Lane, so is an incredible person and I have such a deep love for her... She has been struggling with a lot of mental/emotional problems and unfortunately she flew home to her family on Saturday. It all happened very slowly but very quickly. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do... wake up at 5 am drive her to the airport and hug her goodbye. But she is doing alright I think... She is strong and she knows what she wants in life now... I have absolutely no doubt that she will do great things. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life to look back on... although tough in the moment... I have learned so much and am a better person for it. 
So, we dropped her off Saturday morning and met my new companion at 9:30 and off we went! Her  name is Hermana Lopez, she is 19 from California but she spent the first 10 years of her life in Argentina... so that means my spanish will hopefully get much better. She is one of the most positive and happiest people I know, and a very hard worker. She has a really strong testimony. we are still trying to catch our breath and looking forward to a nap today... but we have already had a couple great days, so Im pretty excited. 
As far as the work goes... we are ready to jump back in. Our first day together we stopped by a PNI who wasnt home so we decided to knock the neighbor. Two men, Erik and Rosalio came out and we started talking. Turns out that Rosalio had a girl friend in Mexico who was mormon and wouldn't marry him because she wanted to get married in the temple. When he moved to America he promised her he would learn about her church... He said that he looked up online and visited the church in Elgin but no one was there (it was wednesday or something). Then he said he didnt know how to get a hold of anyone and has been hoping we would find him... The funny thing was, he said other missionaries (Jehovahs witnesses, etc.) have stopped by but he was just looking for the mormons. And he came to church yesterday! He has a lot of questions and doubts but he is excited to learn more!! We cant wait to teach him this week! 
The weather here is crazy! Hermana Lopez and I take turns slipping because there is so much ice and snow... currently its about 3 degrees outside, so its not as cold as its been. 
A quote I found today: 
"If we fully appreciated the many blessings which are ours through the redemption made for us, there is nothing that the Lord could ask of us that we would not anxiously and willingly do."  - Joseph Fielding Smith. I love that I have the opportunity to teach and testify about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I want my motivation for everything I do to be the love I have for my Savior and Heavenly Father. I know that they have given me everything and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve them. 
I miss you and am SO HAPPY That you are all doing well!! It was so fun to talk to ya! Thanks again for all the support and love!!! IF there is anything I can do for ya, please let me know!! I hope you have an incredible new year!! Its crazy that I have exactly 1 year from today to put everything else on hold and serve with everything I have... Its crazy to see how fast time goes but Im learning to appreciate the time that we are given. The time on this earth to grow closer to our Savior and serve others! Thanks for all you do!!! 

Con Amor!! Hermana Johnson 

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