Sunday, May 18, 2014

March 24, 2014

Hola Familia!
Como han estado?! Espero que todo este bien y que esten disfrutando el sol y las bonitas montanas alli en Utah! Por que aqui, no hay muchas de estas.
One blessing that I have really seen this week is, ever since Hermana Trimble left, I have seen a huge difference in my Spanish skills. I have noticed that lately I don’t have to think so much about what I am saying and how I want to say it, sometimes it comes out and I surprise myself. Which is a huge difference from the first few months of struggle.
I also feel very blessed because we speak with multiple people a day who have lived in the United States for years who still don’t know much English. I think that would be very difficult...
Well, it is a beautiful day! The sun is out, its still pretty cold but almost all the snow is melted. They are calling for snow tomorrow but we will keep our fingers crossed that it is just a rumor. Hermana Sewel is from Hawaii, she was going to nursing school in Ohio before her mission. She has a really great sense of humor and style so she keeps things very exciting. She has been out for almost 4 months and is an awesome missionary. She really cares a lot about the people and wants to help in any way she can. We have had some pretty memorable times already. Like getting kicked out of the lavendaria and losing the mission gas card… I have a feeling it will be a pretty great transfer together.
Well, we saw a lot of miracles this week. I have always a little frustration when it comes to working with less-actives, but this area has given me so much hope! It just goes to show that everything is in the Lords time and we never ever give up on anyone. For example, one family that started feeding us every week has come back to full activity and even told me “Nuca va a quitar a venir.” (In her cute Dominican republic accent- like music to my ears:) Last week we ate dinner with 2 sisters from El Salvador, they make the best food! Their sister and brother (and families) have been inactive for years and wont let us in the door. I have never even met the sister. The brother was over at the house of Las hermanas Ortiz and we got to teach him about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the spirit was pretty strong. A week went by and as I walked into sacrament meeting I saw him sitting on the back row, white shirt and tie, smiling from ear to ear. I was speechless… my excitement was probably a little too obvious. But that was a moment I will never forget.
Alfredo is doing good… he is having a hard time because his family doesn’t support him and there has been a lot of contention lately. If I have learned anything, its that contention is of the adversary. And it drives the spirit away. But that aside, he is fighting hard, its crazy how much stronger the adversary is when we are on the right path and trying to change. Change is exactly what I wanted to talk about today…
3 Ne 29:3 talks about turning from our wicked ways and coming unto [Christ].
To turn means to move or cause to move wholly or partly around an axis or a point.
To change or cause to change different direction.
To change in nature, state, form, or color; to become.
To start doing or become involved with…
Living the Gospel is exactly that… turning from old habits and changing for the better. I have seen a lot of people that feel the spirit and know that they need to change, but it is scary. For whatever reason- they are stubborn, they are hard hearted, they are bitter, they are lazy, they are scared – they don’t want to change and thus they reason and justify that they are fine exactly where they are. They believe that all God expects is to be a good person and they justify their bad habits. (I think we all do this to an extent… we are all trying and will never be perfect). Mosiah 7:32-33 if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, put your trust in Him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, diliver you out of bondage.
Mosiah 11:21 except they will repent and turn to the lord their God…
Alma 3:14 except they repent and turn to me that I may have mercy upon them.
Alma 39:12-13 ye may turn to the lord with all your mind, might, and strength…
In the gospel of Jesus Christ we turn to the scriptures, turn to pray, turn to our Heavenly Father because we know through His atonement we can be healed.
I have seen so many people struggle and never remember to turn to God. I am thoroughly convinced that we are given trials in life so that we have a reason to turn to our heavenly father. He gives us moments to struggle, hoping that we will humble ourselves and turn to him. I know as we rely on our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we receive blessings and divine help that we can’t receive anywhere else.
“As we turn to our Heavenly Father and seek His wisdom regarding the things that matter most, we learn over and over again the importance of our relationship with [God]… As we evaluate our own lives with a willing mind, we will see where we have drifted from the more excellent way. The eyes of our understanding will be opened, and we will recognize what needs to be done to purify our heart and refocus our lives… Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most.” – Elder Uchtdorf, Oct. 2010
I know this is true. The man looking down from the top of the staircase is worse of than the man look up from the bottom. The only thing that matters is which direction we are facing. As we act and turn to Christ, our lives are filled with purpose and satisfaction. Life will never be easy, but its a lot easier when we have God on our side. There is nothing better than knowing that we are really doing all we can to work out our salvation.

I love you all so much! I hope your having a great week!!
Thanks for the emails!
Melissa: I love you and your letter was so nice!! I also wanted to tell you that any  tea that comes from the tea plant is against the word of wisdom… I found that out after you asked me and keep meaning to tell you. Something about tandoms and something… so don’t drink it okay :)
Mom: that email made me very very happy. I am so blessed to have parents that care so much about me. I want you to know that I love you a lot and you are never far from my mind. Thanks for always staying strong and sacrificing. Love you lots!

Love Hermana Johnson

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