Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Hello Family and All You Others!
Well, Moses Lake is still here, ha ha. We haven't been taken up to heaven yet, but we're still hoping! We don't have any investigators with baptismal dates yet, so I don't have any of those pictures. However, I can tell you about them. We are teaching Francisco y Geronima and their three children. They are Catholic, but don't practice much of it. They love to talk about the gospel and love learning about OUR gospel. They started to really open up last week, we are excited about that. They have so much potential! We are teaching Jesus (you would think he'd already know about the gospel, right? ;) ) and his wife Monica, who are also Catholic. He is not interested at all, but she is, and since their house is small, he kinda has to sit in on our lessons. They are really nice though! They can't seem to get a grip on God and Jesucristo having two different bodies. We are teaching Juan, who is in his 20's. He's had all of the discussions, but is afraid to go to church. We are trying to get members to help us teach him so he will feel more comfortable in church. He has a son named Jonathan, who is 4 and never, ever wears a shirt, but he is cute as could be. Please pray that we'll be able to find more people to teach, because as cool as these guys are, they aren't progressing fast, and the Lord needs as many hands to help build up the kingdom as soon as they can (want to) start.
There is a secret they don't tell you in the MTC about the real world: There are actually people who believe some things (not usually our church, but others) enough that they would die for them. They have "prayed and asked and received an answer" and will never change. I'm happy they believe something. Most of them are nice and say no thank you or dismiss us with a smile, but a small percentage try to preach right back at you. They are genuinely concerned for our souls. They think the Mormon Church is "an abomination" and desperately try to save us from "the wrath of God and hellfire." I had someone tell me I was going to hell this week solely for believing what I believe. That didn't bother me too bad. As a matter of fact, it built my testimony. I know that there are people that are out to stop the kingdom of God, and they will do anything to do that. I have a testimony. It's renewed everyday when I bear it, when I pray about it, and when I feel the Holy Ghost testify of truth. It's a good thing I love people!
I bear a witness that the Savior of mankind did live, did die, and is living again. He restored his true church through the farm boy Joseph Smith, who He called to be a prophet, a seer, and a revelator to open the final dispensation. We have a prophet on the earth today who talks with the Lord daily, if not more frequently. This knowledge I have cannot be taken away from me. I bear this as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in his name. Amen, and amen.
I love you!
Elder Iver Johnson
P.S. Proverbs 25:25......
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Please note the address change for Iver from what I previously posted:
Elder Iver Johnson
820 S. Pine St. Suite 101
Spokane Valley, WA 99206
Please send any mail to this address instead.
Now, on August 24 Elder Johnson wrote:
The sign said: Welcome to Moses Lake, WA, which, I think was poorly named. The lake is funny shaped and looks more like a river, and is incredibly shallow. There are about 30,000 people here, it looks a lot like The Meadows (in Castle Rock), with half the money (10,000 people at least) who all own potato fields. The other 20,000 people work for them and live outside city limits in trailer parks. Guess where I am?! Yes. I was assigned to the trailer parks speaking Spanish to the people who work the potato fields. So...Spanish, which is good. Personally, I think it should have been named "Trailer Park City," with the 'r' backwards. You choose which 'r'.
My companion is named Elder Pablo Arcia. He was born in the mission am headed to (eventually), but grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He is a hard worker and incredibly polite to everyone. We'll take some pictures and I'll email them next week.
This week was not incredibly easy. It was the best, most frustrating, hottest, spirit filled, wonderful, exhausting, thrilling week I have had yet. I got the worst homesickness I have ever felt in my life, and also felt so much joy seeing someone feel the spirit for the first time, and recognizing it. It was a hard and great week. I'm having some trouble getting used to working like a missionary and accepting that I'll be doing it for the next 21 months. Rome wasn't built in a day. Pray that the construction crews work faster, will you?
Please write me! Missionaries love to receive mail after a long hard day! I cannot guarantee I will be able to write back all the time, but I will pay you for the stamps you use to write me when I get back, if you so wish!
My mission president is wonderful, He's been incredibly helpful this first week. I'm happy under his direction.
I love you all! I miss you! Write!!! I love you!
Elder Iver Johnson
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I got to talk to Iver on the telephone yesterday! What a crazy-wonderful surprise. Through tears of joy, he told me that he has been temporarily assigned to serve in the WASHINGTON, SPOKANE MISSION until his visa for Mexico arrives!
This is such a blessing...Iver wants to be out working and practicing his Spanish. We are so incredibly grateful for all of the prayers and support from our family and friends.
Iver will leave the MTC early on Monday (Aug. 16) morning. I will update his address as soon as I have it.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
On August 10, 2010 Elder Johnson Wrote:
Hello Family and Such!
First order of business for those who are concerned: I am sorry I have been spending so much money. I've had some medical such and such creep up. I have a bad "head cold" right now, and I needed to get some medicine, and last week I had to get a shot, and before that was the doctor visit I had for my headaches. So needless to say, I've spent a lot on trying to feel better. I am sorry.
I love you guys so much!
Elder Sonntag and Elder Hawkins left yesterday, early in the morning. They are now in Portland. My new companion is Elder Ballard, my district leader. We get along well and are having a good time so far. He is cool. We have the opportunity to go to the temple everyday, which is great. The rest of the day is basically study time. According to the MTC, missionaries who are delayed are just here eating food and taking up room until they leave. It was pretty hard, though, to see those guys go out to their missions. All we can do is pray and eat the otter pops that the sisters in the travel office have for delayed missionaries. I guess it could be worse. We aren't required to go to the Call Center anymore...so that's cool. We probably still will to stay awake.
I was reading in the Doctrine and Covenants this week and had a cool moment as I was studying section 90 verses 14-16. But these verses use the same wording as a part in my Patriarchal Blessing, and got me thinking about that.
Being sick is making me terribly tired, and sluggish which I don't like. So I'm sorry I'm not going into too much detail.
I received an assignment from my branch presidency to go to the temple everyday, and to learn how to prepare talks and give them without ever writing them down. It's good to know that I have an assignment. Gives me something to focus on.
There are 130 missionaries going to Mexico delayed before me, so the chances of being reassigned are pretty thin. I'm not too worried, though. I know that I'm stuck here for a reason, I just need to figure out what that is and work hard on it. Mine adversity and afflictions will be but a small moment.
I love you guys! I have about ten minutes left. I'm going to log off and if I think of anything else I want to tell you, I have time during laundry.
I love you!
Elder Iver Johnson
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
On August 3, 2010 Elder Johnson Wrote:
Hello Family, Friends and Those Not of This World!
Well...Elder Sonntag leaves in a week. He leaves on Monday morning at the crack of dawn. It will be cool to see him off. After he leaves, I'll be companions with my district leader, who is also waiting for a Visa. Next Monday will be the last time we have an actual teacher, our "old" teachers will receive a brand new baby, smelling strongly of plastic and machinery, district, and we will be kicked out. The cool part is: we have the whole day to study, and go to the temple. Guess where I'll be as often as I can get my companion to go? That's right!! The temple!!
But with all this change is ushered in the opportunity to be temporarily reassigned. Montana, Mississippi, New York. There are a lot of possibilities within the U.S. of A. Where, oh where will it be? The average missionary is receiving his Visa about four to eight weeks after he is supposed to leave the MTC. Which could be worse. It'd be kind of cool to be able to actually learn Spanish in the field somewhere, before going to Mexico to be laughed at. Keepin' my fingers crossed and my knees raw.
I was reading in the scriptures this week, and I came to a word I didn't know, so I grabbed my Spanish dictionary to look it up. Then I realized the word was in Spanish, then I realized I was reading Spanish, then I realized I was reading the SCRIPTURES in Spanish. That was cool. I understand about 95% of them now. I really enjoy the first part of Mosiah and King Benjamin's conference talk. I highly recommend it. I also enjoyed, this week, Alma chapters 40 to 42. Good reading if you do so prayerfully.
Other than that, the week has been like the others, except I had my first good experience in the Call Center! I talked to Alisha in Baltimore, who is struggling with drugs and wants to "say 'yes' to Jesus." Please pray for her, she would really appreciate it. I'm going to go put her name on the Prayer List at the temple here in about thirty minutes. She's really nice.
Mom, I hope you are doing well. I appreciated the package and ate the cucumbers right up! I hope you received my map. I'm sending you a letter today about something I have spent time pondering and praying about which directly involves you, and something I believe the Lord needs your help with. Expect that letter via USPS. I love you!
That about wraps it up on this end! I love you! I miss you! I pray for you!