Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dalton - 7/1/13 email


I noticed how Davi writes a challenge-of-the-week thing, so I thought I might give it a try:  This week, I hereby challenge everyone to not lock yourself out of your apartment.  I know you're probably all thinking "What?  Dalton locking himself out of his apartment?  That is so not like him.  I'm worried."  I know.  The mission can really change people.  So yeah, that explains why I was maybe 20 minutes late in writing this.

It's actually a little bit colder than I thought it would be right now, so I might buy a sweater today if my pride let's me.  Oh, and I got that thing of cookies and family photos this past week.  So thanks!  I can really plow through those things.

Oh yeah, my companion is getting rabies shots.  Please, please, please don’t freak out about that.  He's one of the very few people ever in this mission to get bitten by a dog, even though there are several billion of them in Lima.  Dogs here are generally more chilled out here.  Anyway, I tell you this because he goes to the clinic, which is pretty far away, once a week and has two more shots to go.  It's a double-edged sword, because we lose good proselyting time, but also puts us into close proximity to KFC.  No complaints.  Also, there was a scale there.  I think I've lost 20 kilos on my mission, or somewhere between 40 and 50 pounds.  But that was before the KFC.

Ok, serious.  Elder Bulacio and I have been talking about the issue of retention, and we have come to realize that we as missionaries too often look for the low-hanging fruit for baptism that don't stand a good chance for lasting conversion.  We have been looking for families, and specifically for priesthood holders. That's not low-hanging fruit for two main reasons:  a lot of the men here are accustomed to working longer than 12-hour days (once you include commute), and the majority of families here are unmarried. However, we decided that the ward needs more in order to withstand retention and the number of members in the ward in general.  We are seeing some really exciting prospects from that.  We found Jerson and Patricia from just tracting, and they are stellar.  After teaching the plan of salvation and the principle of eternal families, they opened up to how they've been thinking about marriage for a while. Carlos and Ayde Flores haven't had a lot of time lately, but are the parents of one of our recent converts. Ayde even was crying at Karolay's baptism.  Nilo works nights and is unmarried, but the rest of his family are members and want to come back to church.  We are super excited for that.  Also, Mireya is quitting coffee, but that is her only struggle.  She's gotten her answer and wants this for her kids as well.  A lot to be excited about.

Whew.  Salvation is not a cheap experience, but I'm so grateful to be a part of it, and to have a companion who is looking for the same end with investigators.  I'm having a good time here.  Thanks for your prayers.

Elder Johnson

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