Monday, January 26, 2015

Landmines and Spiritual Break Throughs

District meeting
Dear Family and Friends, 

This week has been a great one! Despite one huge disappointment, I will cover it later. Anyway, we taught a lot this week! And we had a lot of good rendezvous with the amis that we do have. 

SO! I will start with the most terrible event of the week to get it over with ever since the very beginning of my mission I have always been absolutely disgusted in how much dog poop there is in the streets here in France. Literally you always have to be looking down to not step in it. So, knowing me, I set the impossible goal to not step in dog poop my whole mission. At first I just kind of set it as a joke but the longer that I was not able to step in dog poop, the more serious the goal became... 

24 Janvier 2015, Périgueux, France. It is a cold winter night, rainy and just absolutely horrible. It is dark and the sidewalks are just full of biological landmines laying in wait to be stepped on in the misty darkness. Elder Brill and Johnson are contacting. Whilst contacting, Elder Johnson takes a blind step into the darkness and with panic, realizes he has stepped in a huge pile of dog crap. 

Elder Johnson, to the alarm of his companion, screams out in horror---knowing that his record of one year and three months of not stepping in dog poop have come to a very unfortunate end. He fought a good fight. 

GOSH I was so mad that I stepped in dog poop after making it this far! 

Sooooo.... This last Monday we have a soirée familiale with all of the single members in the Branch and we have a member who is from the West Indies (her name is Magguy). Magguy made blood sausage for family home evening for us! I was a little hesitant to try it but I know how hard it is to make so I decided to make her happy and eat some. It wasn't actually bad! I wouldn't run back to eat some but it wasn't bad. It had a very mild taste to it. 

Before Elder Brill realized he didn't like blood sausage.
Elder Brill on the other hand, couldn't stand it. He took two bites and then whispered to me, "I'm going to puke if I eat any more of this stuff." So then I took his and ate it too. I'm a very charitable person. Right before the family home evening Magguy called us and asked if we wanted her to bring more for us so we could take some home after the soiree was over. I told her that I didn't know if I liked it and that Elder Brill is a pretty picky eater so I told her that it wasn't necessary. She then told me that she had talked to Elder Brill and he said that he loved it! I was all confused because Elder Brill doesn't really speak French yet and I knew that whatever conversation he had, he didn't have any idea what was going on... I asked him about it and he said that Magguy asked him if he liked "Black pudding" and he said YES! I love pudding. Little did he know that "Black pudding" is blood sausage in the UK. LOL. It was pretty darn funny. I laughed so hard when I realized what had happened. 

Our amis are doing really well and, as I said we are starting to teach a lot more! It is great. I really think that it is because we are really giving it our all. We are doing what the Lord would want us to do and he is blessing us abundantly for it. 

Yin-He is our Chinese ami. I love him so much. He is really funny. As much as I love him, his questions are always so hard and logically based sometimes I want to pull my hair out. But we have realized we have to teach him with members if we want to have a good lesson with him. The highlight of the week for me was one of the lessons that we had with him. 

Elder Brill and I were kind of stuck on what we needed to teach him next. When suddenly, Elder Brill said that we should watch a church DVD called "Finding Faith in Christ". Normally, I don't like showing amis this DVD because it is before the church put so much effort and quality into media. The film is pretty cheesy in some parts, but it can still be a good tool. Anyway, I thought about it and I was about to say no when I just felt like we should watch it. At the church later that evening, we watched the film with Yin and Soeur Matthieu (who served a mission in Utah so her English is the bomb). 

When the film finishes, the room goes all quiet and the spirit is unmistakably there. We all just sit in silence for about a minute when Yin asks what I think of the movie and I tell him that I think it is kind of old but that it is really touching and then I ask him what he thought. He kind of just shrugged off the question and tried to start talking about a study where they found Chinese people can't be spiritual and all this n'importe quoi (nonsense). When Soeur Matthieu asks Yin if the things that the stories in the movie depicts could be true.. and he says, “I want them to be true”. 

The room is quiet again for about a minute when Yin asks me what I like about the movie. At the end of the movie, there is a man that is talking to Thomas (the apostle) who says that he wants to believe but he doesn't know if or how he can. I start to get really emotional and tell Yin how he and this man are in the same situation and how God just loves us so much. It’s that instant, I just felt so much love for Yin it was almost crushing. I feel like I felt the love that God feels for him. The lesson continues and we are all just weepy because the spirit was so present. Yin was extremely touched. 

He has been praying, reading, and coming to church and he says he hasn't felt anything yet... and in that moment, I know he felt the spirit. We engaged him right then and there to pray to know if God was there and that if He loved him. Saying the closing prayer, Yin probably said one of the most genuine prayers I have ever heard. In the prayer I he asked "Please help me know this is true so I can share this knowledge and truth with the people of China." After he said that, I got the most distinct impression that he will eventually be baptized and become a member of the church so he can share the gospel with the people in China. 

It was a very tender mercy of the Lord to have such a powerful lesson with Yin. I know without the slightest doubt God loves Yin and wants him to know the truth. After a lesson like that, you are just so happy! It is like a runner's high only way better and more edifying! 

My temporary legality papers until I get the actual card.
 Anyway!!! That is it for this week! I love you all! Transfer calls are this week---I don't think anything will change this transfer but we shall see. 

Que Dieu soit avec vous!
Elder Johnson

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