Monday, January 19, 2015


Zone Conference
Hello everyone! I apologize for not writing an email last week. My fingers were really tired from knocking on so many doors that week ;) It is weird. I always want to share my experiences and how the week went, but sometimes it is hard to explain missionary life to those who have never been on a mission. When I come home, I will be able to talk to other return missionaries and just say while smiling and nodding "Yeah…the mission." And we will understand each other but for others they have a very limited view of what missionary work actually is, even if they know what we do from a day to day basis. ANYWAY, I digress. 

     What to say about Perigueux? I have been here for about six weeks so far and to be honest, this little town has been kicking my butt lately. La branche is good and the members love us but there are a LOT of problems within the branche, which make things kind of difficult as a missionary. It seems like a lot of the members are struggling right now. It just stink’n stresses me out because I love them. It's funny being a missionary. You realize how selfish and self centered you were before you mission and how important it is to be aware of others. It is an interesting experience to change in such a way. Anyway! 

So! I realized that I LOVE BLEU CHEESE. Oh my goodness, it is so good. I've come a long way since spitting out that nasty cheese at Harmons :) 
     With that said, la branche loves us and wants to share the gospel but just doesn't! So, we have made it a goal to visit every single active member in the branche and share with them how they can share the gospel, show them that we love them and want the best for them and that we are there to help them. I don't know if it is because the last transfer fell on a weird date (so close to Christmas) or what but I don't feel as comfortable in this branche as I have in other places. I'm working on it though. It just seems to be taking a LOT longer that I would like it to. #theSTRUGGLE As frustrating as it is, I find peace in knowing that President Roney is an inspired man, and that me being in Perigueux is for my benefit and for the benefit of others. The trick is having that perspective all of the time. 

    Finding new amis is still the number one goal for us here. Going from such a large city (Marseille) to here, I am still trying to adjust to the fact that you can't just "blow through" bodies when contacting people. There are limited amounts of people! ha. You have to give it your 100 percent effort every single time (and that is how it should be, but it is exhausting!) Being delightful all day whilst being rejected all day in something that is not always easy! But with the right perspective it is more than possible. 

We recently had our zone conference and interviews with President Roney, which came at just the right time. I am always so refreshed and recharged after meeting with President and seeing other missionaries. I think some of my fondest memories after my mission will be all of the zone conferences I had. Anyway! This conference we talked a LOT about attitude and being delightful people. As soon as president said what we were going to talk about I was like, "Crap, I need to change." President engaged us to do a self-inventory and I realize that there were a lot of little things that I could change that would probably have so big effects. Not to say that I wasn't happy or not being a good missionary, but I had began to allow myself to not be as positive as a could have been or being a little bit slower to go out the door or not working out as hard as a could have in the morning---none of these things were super serious and probably won't make a huge difference in the success that I would have BUT they affected how I felt about myself and the work around me. Attitude really is everything. 

After talking to president, I feel more resolute in my desire to give it my all, ALL the time. As Preach my Gospel says, "Commitment defines success." In this little town of Perigueux, that is probably the most important thing that I can remember. I may not be able to see the outward results of my work but I can know that I am being a successful missionary in being fully committed. 

AND! I've grown! (Gotten fatter) You have to take a mug shot for a card that you show on the train and the picture on the left was taken last december and the picture on the right was taken a few days ago!
(Im sorry I can't smile in them.. lol)

So! We have a few amis that I have yet to speak about... mostly because we haven't really been able to see them a ton until this week! I'll talk about Yin first.
Yin is a Chinese man that was found contacting. He has been in France for about a year now so his French is really good but he prefers to speak English with us. He really is searching for God in his life. Teaching him is difficult. He has the hardest questions in the whole world! hahaha. He is very logically based, so he has a hard time understanding spiritual things. Hearing him pray is one of my favorite things ever. His prayers are so sincere and genuine. Hearing him pray helps me remember that we truly are talking to our Heavenly Father---and the things that we are saying should be for Him and not for those who are listening to our prayer. We have recently started teaching him some of the commandments, knowing that as he lives his faith; he will receive an answer more quickly (so pray so that he accepts to live the commitments we give him). 

We have another amie named Cécile and she is absolutely wonderful. She is just super lovable. She has been an amie for almost 2 years now on and off but recently she contacted us so that we could start teaching her again. She is from Cameroon and has been living in France for about 12 years now. She wants to be baptized but because she doesn't have custody of all of her children (and is fighting for it), she fears that her ex husband could use her membership in the church as a way to win the kids over for good since the church still has an ambiguous identity in France. We are really praying for a miracle to happen with her and that the case will be decided as soon as possible. 

We also have an ami named Jean Luc, he is kind of frustrating or really frustrating. But I really just need to have more patience with him. He had a baptismal date when I arrived and we haven't been able to see him since the first week that I was here. He always has excuses. But then I had a feeling like I needed to call him yesterday and he was like, "I'm so sorry that I wasn't able to come to church today.. I have been sick.. but I'm going to come next week and we will see each other at Family Home Evening tomorrow at the church, right?" I was like….uh.. "Okay! :)" Moral of the story is, be patient and love everyone. .

Anyway! That has been our week! We haven't fallen ill or anything it has been great! hahaha Thanks for keeping up with my adventures!
Je vous aime!

Elder Johnson

1 comment:

  1. You're not getting fat, just maturing. Sounds to me like Jean Luc is frightened of the big change he'll be making in his life. Maybe you should just ask him about it!