Saturday, December 7, 2013

Excited & Nervous

Alright! So! I leave for France in TWO DAYS! Honestly, I wasn't nervous until about Wednesday.. I was staring at a map of the mission and realized: I'm going to be assigned my first area soon. It just hit me so hard. I am going to France, to preach the gospel to the French people, and I have the vocabulary of about an 11 year old. But then I was also thinking, this is SO awesome. The experiences that I am going to gain in France are going to greatly outweigh the trials. Our teacher said that the French members LOVE missionaries and when you make terrible mistakes speaking, it makes you more endearing to them. I will be VERY "endeared". lol We also had in-field orientation, which made me SO EXCITED TO GO!

It was funny because in one of the break off groups, we had the facilitator tells us a story about how his mom received her mission call and she was SO excited to share the gospel. (I'm not entirely sure where she was going to serve but it was a very secular place.) To her surprise and disappointment everyone was telling her "it will be a great experience for you, but you aren't going to have much success." She was traumatized. Why would anyone say something like that? 

So after we had heard that story, the faciliatator asked us if we had any similar experiences. I raised my hand and he asked me to come share my story.. Once I got up in front of about 50ish people, he handed me balloons as "consultation" for my trials. When I got to the part where someone had told me "you aren't going to have much success" he popped both of my balloons! Hahaha it was quite a surprise. He told us that, despite our "balloons" being popped by others--intentionally or not, we should not become discouraged because WE determine the success of our missions.

So, on Tuesday it snowed SO MUCH. I think it was like 8 inches or something like that. My companion was super excited.. I guess it doesn't snow as much in Wales as it does here. I can't believe how much it has snowed in Arkansas! you probably have more than us! The snow was nice for the first day but now it is just a pain. I am SO paranoid I am going to slip and break my arm right before I leave--then I would get stuck here for another month or so... #NoThanks. It is also SO cold but I kind of like the cold though. I'm mad at the snow though... we were supposed to have M Russell Ballard come and speak to us but because of the snow he couldn't come.. It was quite disappointing. I even joined the choir so I could get a good seat for the devotional.. Oh well ;) We had a great replacement speaker come. 

HOSTING: (hosting is when you welcome in the new missionaries)
It is so funny that you asked about hosting this week in dear elder because this was my first and last time hosting! It was really interesting to see all of the different types of Elders and their families stepping out of the cars. I felt like I was able to observe something that you couldn't see anywhere else. I absolutely loved hosting though. It reminded me of working at the ranch again. I met so many new people! I'm pretty darn good host, if I do say so myself. Working on the ranch really taught me how to speak with people. What a blessing!

That's actually it for this week. There hasn't been anything too spiritual or crazy happen this week. I almost feel like I'm having an out of body experience. I can see me going through my mission for two years and then all of the sudden it will be over. Time flies. 

I know that L'Eglise de Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth, and that it has the fullness of the Gospels of Christ. I am so thankful for the Book of Mormon and the clarity it brings to my life. I can literally write down any question, study the book of Mormon, and receive an answer in one way or another. I know that if we strive to do our best, we will fail to be perfect--but through the Atonement of Jesus-Christ we can be made perfect. I can testify to all of you, that Jesus is the Christ and that he died for our sins. I know that God loves us, as we are His literal children. There are going to be days in France, when all I want to do is give up and go home--but I know that on those days I will turn to the Lord for comfort, and he will hear my prayers. 

I love you all! The next time you hear from me, I will have made the jump across the pond! :) 
Avec beaucoup amour!
Elder Johnson

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