Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like sweating on your upper lip that never happens in Nevada

December 15, 2014

It is a little strange to see how some Christmas traditions transfer from the states to here, even though they totally shouldn’t.  Some people have decorations with snow, and I am bracing myself for the classic treat of paneton with steaming hot chocolate, which is honestly very tasty, but not something someone wants after a December day here.  But whatever, Friday I will be having some for the ward Christmas party.  Remember Bill, the guy I mentioned went to the Christmas devotional?  I think he's going to be the Santa.  That will be pretty funny to have a Papa Noel that doesn’t speak a lick of Spanish.

Speaking of gringos, you will never believe this:  We contacted another gringo in our area named Mike.  He married a Peruvian in the states, and retired to live here.  Guess where he lived for 10 years:  Sparks, Nevada.  It was weird, like I had followed them all the way down here.  Just to explain, Los Olivos isn’t exactly the place in Lima to see a lot of gringos.  The richer part where a lot of Americans are is in the Lima Central Mission, like San Isidro or Miraflores.  (I’m sure these places will only sound familiar to Davi, and even that’s a maybe.)  This is just strange.

The Lord is giving us some great opportunities this week:  First, tonight we are going to teach to referrals that we got out of nowhere.  One of them, Jose Antonio, had talked with us on Saturday and said that he really wants to have a clean slate and has listened to the missionaries about 2 years ago.  We are really excited for that today.

Another example:  After going to a faraway appointment that fell through, we were feeling a little down.  We went to the bishop’s house to give back the chapel key that we wouldn’t need after all, and we asked the bishop what we could do to help.  He mentioned a family that moved back into the ward whose father is very less active.  When we passed by on Sunday, the wife seemed very wanting to share the gospel with her distant family (and it seems like she has a lot of them).  We'll be there tomorrow.  

Also, Efrain Carasas accepted the invitation to come to church out of nowhere.  (He's an investigator we were honestly only teaching because he was a member referral and the member always sets the appointments.  He wasn’t really anyone that was progressing in the lessons.)   We were just dumbstruck after that lesson, because we honestly weren't too optimistic.  And it’s not like it’s because we're so great at teaching.  It’s just because something seems to have told him to.

It’s just kind of funny.  After working and working and working, something great generally falls out of the sky.  It's like someone's looking after us, noticing that we're working hard and just having a batting slump, so then in His love gives a couple of softballs to help us feel of worth.  Not like we are any better, just that the Lord decides to help someone that wants to help and just doesn’t do it that well.  Everyone goes into the MTC thinking that they are doing this great service and that we are hot stuff, but then there comes a point where you realize that it’s really the opposite.  We don’t really have a lot to offer, but Someone a lot better than us has called us to serve because He wants us to feel like an important part of His work, though in the end it’s Him that really makes it all work out.  It’s fun to see it all sometimes.

Love you all!  Don’t get too fat on paneton and mantequilla!

Elder Johnson

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