Sunday, November 15, 2015

Elder Johnson Performs His First Baptism!

Letter to Everyone:
This week FLEW by!! We stayed super busy, a total of 26 lessons, a little slow but pretty awesome.  There wasn't a day where it didn't absolutely pour rain.  Our lessons are getting more and more interesting, the spirit is opening my ears more and more and I am beginning to understand the lessons more, not the conversations quite yet, but the lessons.  We have eight investigators with baptismal dates and a ton of less active lessons.  Two couples that we are teaching we are in the process of getting them married to prepare them for baptism. 
This week I had a rough time with homesickness, just worries, but with the Lord's help, and with the strengthening power of the Atonement, I know that I have great things in store.  I am starting to feel more adjusted to my life and becoming my crazy self.  I constantly joke, dance around and say ridiculous things!!

Thursday, was service day.  We got to cut dead leaves off of the banana trees with a knife tied to a stick.  It was super fun.  I got laughed at a lot because I was super bad at it when I started.  But I got the hang of it! During the service an ant dropped on my face and bit me under the eye!  haha We get fed sooooo much, members constantly call us over while we are out and about and feed us.  A lot of fish, both cooked and raw, and rice.  The raw fish is my favorite.  It is lightly cooked in lemon juice and is put in coconut cream!
Baptism Day!

Elders Seguine and Johnson at Beiateuea's Baptism
Saturday was my first time performing a baptism.  I was told that no one ever wore the socks and slippers and I told them I was going to be the first!! It was an amazing experience, I was nervous I would say the words wrong, since they were in Kiribati but it went well.  The spirit was so strong!!
That night we were invited to a Botaki which is a huge party for a baby who just turned one.
Dancing at the Botaki
When we got there we found out we were the Guests.  It was insane! I got called into the center to dance it was soo fun!  There were a lot of new things that are big on the cultural side, like we were not allowed to stretch out legs, go into the middle without being called,  or walk in between people who were talking, (which is pretty much impossible.)
They even had a dance to show off the cake!  There was litterally sooooo much food! I had raw fish, cooked fish, this super tasty fruit leather stuff, crab, breadfruit, and a piece of pork the size of my head!! I was sooo full! Oh and my favorite, this coconut cream drink with cooked pumpkin for dessert. 
Over all a super good week!!
Letters to Mom and Dad
Dear mom,
The work is amazing, I try to take as many pictures as I can, but sometimes I just get so busy!! But I am having a blast, and I am working hard.
Our land-lords are the best people!! They are so kind and giving! Most people have stick houses, so we have definitely been blessed to have a house with electricity, and running water, and a gas stove.  I am definitely grateful for that. 

Saturday we did have a baptism, and it went really well, I actually got to perform the baptism too, It was so cool!!! Our chapel has a font and everything.  It was such a cool experience!  I see the other missionaries like every day, it is so cool!! I get to see one elder from my intake everyday!!

I'm glad that you are having more and more opportunities to teach, you have a strong testimony and I have learned so much from you.  I know you are going to do amazing, and thank you for sharing those talks with me!!
I love you so much and I am so lucky to have you as my mom!!
I know that as I continue to do my best the Lord will bless me and you as I serve!
Love your son,
Elder Johnson
Thanks for sending recipes and stuff, I am starting to experiment with the food, and when I get good enough I will ask how to cook the Kiribati meals they have.  They have canned tomatoes, corned beef, mushrooms, different packets of soup, canned fish, and rice.  Not much but I'll keep experimenting.

I know that the work can get tough, and stressful, I have definitely felt that a couple times, but I know that the atonement is a way in which we can endure those feelings.  I had a rough time last week.  I was scared, missing home, and felt unprepared.  Elder Seguine talked to me, gave me a talk from Elder Holland where he talks about not giving up, it was in a conference in 1999, and told me to pray and yoke the lord to me.  I did and I feel great, I have been more receptive to the spirit, happy and more focused on the work.  I challenge you to do that. 

I love the primary kids, they are amazing!! Tell them I say hi!

Living conditions are great! they are working on the road so the power goes off at our house every day at seven so I have to shower with a cup and a bucket, and it gets really hot since there is no fan, but it is good! I am very greatful for the house we have, seeing how other people live. 
Jeff's Shower
I am definitely getting more opportunities to teach, I can't speak much, but I understand a lot more. \

My companion is doing good!  He has taught me a ton! and he messes with me all the time!  One night  he told me to shake the Branch Presidents hand so I did because I thought we were leaving, but we weren't.... hahah so funny!!!

Our investigators are great! as of right now we have three couples who are really solid, they come to church, ask a lot of questions and are solid.  The only problem is two of them aren't married, but we are working on that.  The other two are teenage girls, who think I'm hilarious.  They are 12 and 13, one day I pretended to throw a rock at a rooster because they crow all the time and they wouldn't stop laughing for like ever!!

I know that as I try my best to love the people I will have an easier time serving them. 
I love you so much Dad,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

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